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Our Stories


Mama’s Club

Kia Ora my name is Benny Teremona Hone

I am a solo mother of 10 children, I decided to joined the Flaxmere Mama’s Club in 2017, run by Mel Grant who was supported and under the Wharariki Trust Ana Apatu.

In 2017 mid-November I was on my way to attend another mama session with the Flaxmere Mama Club at the Flaxmere Library. 20 mins before I attended, I drove and at that time I only my learner license. I was pulled over by the police with a full car of my children. I was given a fine and a warning that if I didn’t get my Restricted License I’ll would be in big trouble.

Sitting in the room with the Flaxmere Mama Club, Mel Grant asked us what can they do to help and what do we as mama need in the community? I put my hand up and asked that I needed help to get my license.  I wanted to learn the ins and outs of driving to get my restricted.

Ana Apatu then stood up and shared that there was some funding available to help with get our licence.

After New Year's in 2018 in mid-January I got a phone call from Vance. He was refered to me by Ana Apatu. Vance the driving instructor took me for a 10-week driving course.  On the 16th of March I passed my restricted. In Mid-September Vance took me for another 10 week driving lessons for my full license. In December I passed my full License. I give credit to my instructor Vance because he was patient and never gave up on us.

A week later I had to go to court because my fines were outstanding. I went up against the Judge to explain how I was inspired by the Mama club with Mel Grant and Ana Apatu,  Wharariki Trust who helped me get my Restricted and Full Licence stood in court proud that as a solo mother I had completed and achieved my goals. The Judge was so proud of me for seeking help from Mel Grant, Ana Apatu and Vance the driving instructor that the Judge cleared all my fines, and recommended that there should be more collectives like the mama clubs and Ana Apatu Wharariki Trust.

I am free from all fines and have my full Driver License.  I now have a safe legal car for me and my children. I am so happy and feel confident to move forward to chase my dreams.

I would like to give a huge Thank you to Mel Grant for guiding me to Ana Apatu, Wharariki Trust for helping me with funding and Vance the driving Instructor for being an awesome teacher.

As a maori women I wish we had this help 10 years ago.  This is the sort of help we need in our community.

Thank you.

Benny Hone.

Note: Ana Apatu is part of the Wharariki Trust team.