Telling Your Story
We recognise that New Zealanders who want to share their story may not be able to attend a session in person. We also appreciate that how people might wish to tell their story is a very personal experience. In order to provide a choice in how you might do this we are providing different options so that you can choose which one is right for you.
■ By letter: to Chair in Restorative Justice/Restorative Health, Rutherford House Mailroom, Victoria University, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
■ Online Written, Audio or Video submission
These sessions have been co-designed with representatives from Mesh Down Under and the Ministry of Health and will be facilitated by skilled facilitators from the Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice from Victoria University Wellington.
Restorative processes are about bringing people together who have been harmed with the people who have a responsibility to put things right.
The circles will be comprised of two facilitators, people impacted by mesh, their support people, Andrew Simpson (Chief Medical Officer) and/or Margareth Broodkoorn (Chief Nursing Officer) from the Ministry of Health.
The circles will also be attended by a social worker to provide immediate emotional support to participants as required, and information about how to gain ongoing support can be found in the FAQs. A researcher from Victoria University, who is also a registered nurse, will be present to document the stories of those impacted by mesh harm.
The Ministry of Health representatives will listen to the experiences and needs of those affected and acknowledge the significant and enduring harms created by surgical mesh use. It is important for the Ministry of Health to first listen to the needs of people most impacted so that the ministry can respond to the needs identified.
Attendees will need to make their own travel arrangements. Tea, coffee and refreshments will be provided.
While we will endeavour to make the facilities at these sessions as comfortable as possible and breaks will be taken as often as needed, please feel free to bring any support aids (eg cushions) that you use.
Although we aim to provide a safe and supportive environment, we know that sharing your experience may be a difficult an emotional experience. A social worker will be available at these sessions to provide one-off, immediate support for people in distress, and you are welcome to bring one support person with you.
The 1737 helpline is always available and they have been briefed on this process and the impacts of surgical mesh.
The Ministry commits to using the information provided in the listening circles and other submissions to inform action and clarify responsibilities. Please refer to the homepage for more information about the whole process.