posted: 6:00 am - 13th September 2018

Created by women for women, I AM ME is a Wellington-based event where New Zealand wahine can share their experiences for a better future.

Tapu subjects will be discussed openly and honestly with five women of Māori and Pacific descent sharing how their past has shaped, and continues to shape their futures.

Among those sharing their experiences is Loretta Hunt-Tevaga.

Loretta has struggled with depression and suicide, which stemmed from past relationships as well as experiences throughout her career.

While growing up, Loretta experienced discipline, but never violence.

This changed five years ago.

Loretta refuses to be a victim despite continuing to face struggles in her life, from suffering from alopecia areata (hair loss), to having high grade abnormal cells in her smear test.

By sharing her experiences, Loretta wants to inspire other women to stand up and let their voices be heard.

From victim to victor, Treena Madar will also be sharing her experiences at I AM ME.

The New Zealand-born Treena has battled alcoholism, depression, anxiety and mental abuse for over three decades.

However, in less than four years, she has completely transformed her life because of her journey with Christ.

Now a Youth Pastor, Treena spends her Friday nights ensuring young people do not fall into the same trap she did.

Her passion is to empower Pacific female youth to face their issues head-on, finding any opportunity to offer her mentorship, which includes managing a basketball team at Wellington East Girls College.

A biological mother of two, a spiritual mother to many, and a wife to the man of her dreams, Treena believes in order for us to succeed as a people, we need to keep it real and hold nothing back.

Also taking the stage to share their life journey with attendees to the forum will be Seini Talainaivalu – a Victoria University mature student; Amanduh La Whore – a nationally and internationally recognised iconic gender Illusionist; and Synteche Collins, who is of Filipino, Māori  and European descent and has struggled for many years with her identity and feeling a sense of belonging in New Zealand.

Supported by Pasefika Proud, along with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP), New Zealand Police, Le Va, Money Talks NZ and Taeaomanino Trust.

I AM ME seeks to empower and inspire women to have the courage and strength to speak out and spark change.

Its aim is to create a safe place for women to share free from judgement or consequences for the sake of a better tomorrow.

While the event is for our Pacific and Maori women, it is open to all women interested in being inspired.

I AM ME is on September 19 (6pm – 9pm) at Wharewaka, 2 Taranaki Street, Wellington. Entry cost is a gold coin.

Attendees are asked to register for the event by September 17 – email Loletta Hunt at New Zealand Police loletta.hunt@police.govt.nz.

Visit HERE for more information.