I saw this on stuff.co.nz as a feature story with a picture up and the first thing that came to mind was what does Arohata mean in Maori.
I (and I think many people would) know that aroha translates as love.
The women sit in a semi-circle, heads down, quiet. They’re there to talk about their most private experiences, many of them traumatic to recall. Five women with five long stories of abuse, drugs and violence.
Their stories and ages differ, but all are living behind the walls at Arohata Women’s Prison.
As best I can see is that this might mean ‘without love’.
Arohata Women’s prison – the woman we no longer love – if there is a better translation than that I would like to know.
The last thing they want to do is talk to a reporter. The sight of a cameraman aiming in their direction makes them shift uncomfortably.
I ask why they are here, what they have been doing.
“Relationships”, one mumbles.
“I just want to get better for my kids,” another says.
You may be wondering why I posted this.
I couldn’t help thinking about a man condemned to the prison of the Family Court jurisdiction and just wanting better for his kids.
His prison bars are not set in concrete walls, they are held in place by the legal forces of our country.
What do you think?
(Arohata – bridge. See also Arawhata – bridge)