7 Jun 2013

CD recording for charity helps Pacific inmates in NZ

5:39 pm on 7 June 2013

An inmate at Spring Hill prison in New Zealand says joining the prison choir and recording traditional Pacific hymns has helped him get in touch with his culture and identity.

The Spring Hill Pacific Focus Unit recorded and released a charity CD last week.

None of the choir members was involved in last weekends riot at the prison.

This prisoner, who is not allowed to be identified, says completing the recording of the CD is overwhelming because it's not often he gets to celebrate positives in his life.

He says the Vaka Fa'aola Unit was an ice-breaker for the men, who were brought together through the desire to get to know more about their cultures.

"The last time that I actually practise my culture or even do anything like this was when I was a child, in primary school. One thing led to another, you lose your way, then basically lose yourself and you start adopting all these other cultures, for example gang cultures and things and you think that that's you, that's your culture and stuff like that. But you know, all that's been stripped, stripped away in here, in the Vaka."

A prisoner in the Vaka Fa'aola Unit choir.

All proceeds of the charity CD will go to the Cancer Society.