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Project Toru


Establish solid support networks and tools for creative resilience based on our own needs


Collaborate with each other, the community, supportive agencies and artists to work towards a happy, healthy home and environment


We have opportunities for creative engagement in the community and continued connection with Home Ground


Project Toru video

He kākano: The magic seeds of the circle

Home Ground is a collective of artists, responding creatively to the challenges women and

whānau face in the New Zealand justice system.

We all bring something to the table, we all have those magic seeds, it is what we choose to put in the circle that matters. 


We wanted to bring our space to life, to show what we bring to the table. How do we do that? With a boil up.

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“If I collaborate, I know something good will come of it. It builds me – there is fear… but you can’t just be one voice.”


Project Toru


Project Toru 2020 worked with two groups inside and outside of Arohata Prison.


A three-week intensive project was held in the community in February. This was followed by a month of workshops, with the last week moved online due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Home Ground delivered a series of workshops inside Arohata at the same time. Home Ground worked with the New Zealand Festival of the Arts and Te Ata Festival to present Neo Muyanga at Arohata Upper Prison. The Home Ground participants led the welcome at the event, and approximately 40 women and Corrections staff attended the event. Neo performed and participated in a question and answer session and the women performed several waiata in exchange.


In Toru we began work on an installation of a re-fashioned kitchen table created by artist Kath Foster. This and a selection of other work was displayed at the end of Project Toru’s presentation.


Our intention is to collaborate over a series of projects and installations to start community conversations and develop our advocacy through a range of public events, online or in the real world.


We came out of Project Toru with two artistic aims:


  • The public launch of a resource book for women in the justice system, by women in the justice system.

  • The Home Ground Kitchen Table project, a series of installations based around the kitchen table.


Because Covid happened we added a third:


  • Three curated digital advocacy pieces based on the participants’ artistic work in collaboration with professional artists.


Project Whā was the result.

“I closed a huge chapter on my life, gained employment, a house, used tools I learnt here for personal situations. Made an effort on my personal relationships- family, partner and  friends"


“I feel so solidly heard and supported and appreciated and also proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and writing and presenting it I felt confident and connected”


“I can forgive myself and hope my family can forgive me too for bringing trouble in my life.”



“Home Ground made me more expressful and gave me hope for a better life!”


“I have learnt to trust the process. That change doesn’t happen overnight but it does in three weeks. Lol.”


“When you are on probation, you feel really stuck. When you finish probation - it is a new kind of stuck, a system stuck. Home Ground is a place to be unstuck.”


For more information, email homeground.poneke@gmail.com 

or talk to your case manager or probation officer.