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'Maori are clever' - Kaitaia woman starts Facebook support page to infuse self-esteem into her community

A TV news story about Annie Tauroa's home of Kaitaia being the criminal capital of New Zealand spurred her to try and do some good for others in her community.

She started a Facebook page to share her stories of struggle and to help others who were going through the same struggles she had, such as learning to survive on a benefit and managing money.

And Annie's now celebrated throughout her community because of it.

"What I wanted to do is to show whanau that they can do things because we're clever," Annie says.

"Maori are clever, sorry about it. We are clever across the board."

She has over 28,000 likes on her Facebook page - Annies Way Of Life.

"It engaged with a lot of the right people. Knowing that I could do that I find my dot looking at me all the time and reach out to thousands of people was cool," Annie says.

"You get to relate. They related to some of the topics. They shared their views."

Annie is a beneficiary and she says her goal is to help other beneficiaries who are struggling.

"They go to wait for a pay day on a Thursday, however, that's not going to tie them as a whanau so what can they do productively to get them out of that situation instead of thinking I'm going to wait till pay day."

"Or I'm going to go borrow off the cuzzy."

She believes the community needs to help itself to get stronger and hopes by doing what she does it will help Kaitaia get out of the negative news and become a more positive place to live.

And through Annie's Facebook page, many community initiatives have sprung up to help - such as Awhi Kaitaia which prepares food parcels for the homeless.

"Basically drives that we get given or we get given koha to be able to make many little things for whanau," she says.

Annike Tauro''s home town being the criminal capital on TV spurred her to try and do some good for others in her community. Source: Te Karere