The Project Overview

The project is a starting point for people affected by Centrepoint to seek positive outcomes of growth and to find psychologically healthy ways of moving on. The project supports the building of a group of like-minded individuals, with a desire to share and connect, support one another, and above all to integrate and understand past events.

For many people who were damaged by childhood or adolescent years at Centrepoint, the notion that there could be something to restore from that time might seem incongruous, offensive even. Restoration does not mean making good or making right or covering over. It does not mean minimising or diminishing. It means finding a new way to look at the pain, and reframing it into something which did not just happen to people, but instead helping it to become something which people can claim agency over. Restoration means turning a shitty inheritance into something new, gaining control over it, restoring it for people, and for their children. It means one day being able to sit with memories of that time without feeling angry, triggered, traumatised or simply alone with it. 

Facilitating restoration and healing

The purpose of the Centrepoint Restoration Project is to facilitate restoration & healing for those who were closely connected to Centrepoint during the years of its activity. The project has the following purposes:
 

  • to link participants to others with similar experiences 

  • to support people to share their experiences of the community

  • to testify to the damage that occurred to Centrepoint children while in the care of Centrepoint adults

  • to stir within those who need to make amends an understanding of the destructive consequences their choices have produced in the lives of others

  • to facilitate communication between the older generation who lived there as adults, and the younger generation who were there as children, where there is genuine desire to make amends

  • to foster a context where healing of relationship can occur

  • to discuss the difficult issues, and to allow a range of perspectives to have voice

  • to advocate for and actively model honest and respectful conversation about sexual trauma, thereby participating in a wider societal change

What this project is NOT...

With such a sensitive topic and with personal experiences it is critical that we emphasise what we are focusing on and what this forum is NOT FOR...

  • It's not an opportunity to name, shame or blame others by either victims, or perpetrators of crime

  • It's not a place to intellectually debate the validity of other people’s stories. This kind of discourse is highly likely to alienate victims, plus it serves no useful benefit for others, and distracts from the restorative work that needs to occurs to bring healing of relationships

  • It's not an entry point for people who have limited or no legitimate experience of Centrepoint to gather information, or form connections for personal gain (ie journalists, or commentators). The presence of these people in conversations is highly likely to discourage genuine engagement from others

  • It's not a place to gather material to pursue criminal conviction

  • It's not a place to excuse inaction or to offload guilt about neglect of duty, or damaging mistakes. Participation is for people who have repair work to do. It should feel uncomfortable. The work that needs to be done is being avoided if it appeases guilt or excuses injustice.

“If our desire for justice is not rooted primarily in the pursuit of restoration, then reconciliation will be nearly impossible to achieve. It is precisely because grace is undeserved that makes it grace.” 
― 

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SURVIVING CENTREPOINT

By Rachel C King

"Shortly before I turned 13, my life changed forever when my family moved to the notorious Centrepoint Community on Auckland's North Shore, then at its peak. Centrepoint was founded by Bert Potter, its 'spiritual leader'. He called himself God. During my four years there I was pressured into inappropriate and often frightening situations by many of its adult members. Like so many others, I have lived with the trauma and shame of these memories, but I have survived. This is my story.."

Audiobook - to come
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