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Celebration of Matariki .. Boil-up and fried bread were on the menu when Labour list MP Jo Luxton (left) dropped into the Addiction Mental Health Peer Support Services centre in Timaru last week. Also pictured are attendee Jeff and MP support Jessica Hurst. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by George Clark

A local mental health support group came together to spread the art of kindness and celebrate Matariki last Friday.

Addiction Mental Health Peer Support Services members gathered outside Movie Max Theatre and gave out harakeke flowers to people in the community.

Matariki is both the name of the Pleiades star cluster and also of the season of its first rising in late May or early June. This is a marker of the beginning of the new year.

AMPSS 101 manager Amanda McNoe said the group had been making flowers with the help of Whaea Sally over the past few weeks, and selling raffles as a fundraiser for a trip to Christchurch’s Orana Park.

“We had a shared kai for lunch consisting of a boil-up and fried bread.

“Labour list MP based in Rangitata Jo Luxton and MP support Jessica Hurst joined us, both of whom also got involved in the art of icing sculpture,” she said.

“The day was thoroughly enjoyed by all.”

AMPSS 101 is a free community drop-in centre open Monday-Friday 10am-4pm to support people who are experiencing addiction and/or mental health issues or who are just wanting to make better choices.