‘I want to fix the streets I poi­soned’


‘‘Women give up meth to get their chil­dren back, men give up 'cos the women and kids leave them.’’

Maaram­e­tua Wil­liams once robbed a bank at gun­point while she was high on meth. These days she leads a moth­ers’ group.

It’s been six months since the Porirua woman told the story of her 16-year ad­dic­tion and now she’s cel­e­brat­ing one year of so­bri­ety.

She car­ries the re­sults of a re­cent drug test with her, ready to prove any de­trac­tors wrong.

‘‘I’ll show it to any­one. I want ev­ery­one to see I’ve cracked it.’’

In March, Wil­liams spoke to Stuff about her life, metham­phetamine and how she even­tu­ally got clean.

Sex­u­ally abused as a child, she turned to pros­ti­tu­tion in her teens and be­came ad­dicted to meth, or P, af­ter ‘‘try­ing every other drug there was’’.

First jailed for con­spir­acy to man­u­fac­ture the drug, then for the armed rob­bery, Wil­liams lost ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing cus­tody of her daugh­ter.

Years later, af­ter six failed at­tempts at re­hab, Wil­liams went cold turkey on her own. The fear of los­ing her other chil­dren was too much.

One year on, life has changed dra­mat­i­cally. These days she trav­els the coun­try, speak­ing at meth hui and ad­vis­ing ad­dicts and their fam­i­lies how to get help.

‘‘I used to poi­son the streets and now I want to fix them.’’

Peo­ple al­ways knew her in her home­town of Porirua City but these days she’s recog­nised for dif­fer­ent rea­sons.

‘‘They still know me as that meth girl but now it’s in a good way.’’

So­bri­ety is a work in progress and Wil­liams ac­knowl­edges she will al­ways be an ad­dict. She has to keep her­self busy which is where the ‘‘meth mums’’ group comes in.

‘‘You know how the other girls do things like spa days? We do the same things but they’re free.’’

The women are learn­ing how to live with­out drugs so try to do an ac­tiv­ity every day - no easy feat with­out money.

Mon­days is the walk-in at Wai­tan­girua’s meth sup­port group, Tues­day is coun­selling. The group has just scored free pool tick­ets and that will fill Wed­nes­days.

The mums are al­most al­ways in it to ei­ther pre­vent their kids be­ing taken by the state or to win them back from the so­cial agency.

‘‘Women give up meth to get their chil­dren back, men give up ‘cos the women and kids leave them.’’

Wil­liams is now a mother of four, a son named Ta’Sa­muela was born on elec­tion night and he will never know a meth-ad­dicted mother, she said.

Life is chang­ing. It’s tough, and at times un­cer­tain but ask her where she’ll be in an­other six months and she an­swers with­out hes­i­ta­tion.

‘‘I’ll be clean.’’


Maaram­e­tua Wil­liams is a for­mer metham­phetamine ad­dict, now clean for over a year. Maaram­e­t­u­aWil­liams

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