Men in hi-vis jackets are plentiful around Christchurch at the moment, but we have a special tribe of them helping Tim Barlow create the site for TEZA (pictured above).
TEZA couldn’t be built without these guys from Postive Directions Trust, or PDT for short. They include men who have had a bit of a rough start, and may be heading toward a life crime or gangs. “When these guys are given responsibility they turn away from crime,” Positive Directions Trust CEO Phil Tikao says.
“PDT works with men who have significant barriers’ to employment, like criminal records or not having much education, but most of them do really well in social settings.”
After a period of training and induction, they get a uniform and are placed in a project.
“It’s not rocket science really. You give them a hi-vis jacket and a walkie talkie and they’re feeling some responsibility and genuine care.”
PDT is assisting Letting Space with building the TEZA site and with security overnight.
PDT has been around for 18 years and has always tried to work on innovative approaches to social issues.
Phil says there are many perceived risks in his work but he knows they can do even more. He says they are “tucked at the side,” working with ACC, the Department of Corrections, Ministry of Health as well as iwi-affiliated Te Rununga o Ngai Tahu and He Oranga Pounamu.
Its a privilege to able to be part of adding a public art organisation to that lineup.