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Walking with the Taniwha – book launch

Media Release

1 September 2011

Walking with the Taniwha – book launch

The launch of Walking with the Taniwha - a brutally honest, humorous and uplifting autobiography about drug addiction and the path to recovery – will make an important contribution to the debate about mental health and addiction.

The book, written by Paul Bennett and first released in 2005, now includes a further seven years of insight into an inspirational journey of recovery from the impact of mental illness and addiction.

The latest edition will be launched at the Cutting Edge conference at the Rendezvous Hotel in Auckland, 1-3 September.

Cutting Edge is an annual conference for the alcohol and other drug sector hosted by DAPAANZ, the Addiction Practitioners' Association of New Zealand. The theme for this year’s conference is “Recovery and Wellbeing”.

At the age of 18, Paul Bennett had the world at his feet. He was an accomplished surfer and the first Mäori to represent New Zealand in surfing.

But Paul was becoming increasingly involved in the drug and alcohol culture. While he gave the impression of being a ‘Mäori Warrior’ without a care in the world, he actually felt sad, angry and empty.

After 25 years of addiction to both illicit and prescribed medication, and the consequent damage to his health, Paul’s doctor gave him months to live. But Paul refused to accept that fate, instead creating his own path to recovery.

Paul has rewritten his autobiography following another seven years of recovery and has included his ongoing self discovery about the drivers of his addiction.

The Mental Health Commission, which helped to fund editing and publishing of the book, is pleased to support Walking with the Taniwha. Books about recovery from mental illness and addiction, from a New Zealand perspective and by a Mäori author, are rare. It will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in addiction, wanting to recover from addiction, their families and those working in the addiction sector.

Paul’s story shows that no matter how far down the path of addiction and the self destruction that encompasses addiction, you can recover.

© Scoop Media

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