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Labour Tukituki MP Anna Lorck gives self-defence training a go

A programme of self-defence classes for young women in Hawke’s Bay is proving popular, with one of the region’s MPs even tagging along to pick up some skills.

The Kia Haumaru programme, which has been taught across the region, is run by instructor Brie Sergeant, who says that along with learning self-defence and awareness, it builds confidence.

“They leave with new skills and knowing what to do, if they ever they are needing to defend themselves,” she said.

Joining the class at St Mary’s in Hastings recently, Tukituki MP Anna Lorck said she was impressed to see young girls feeling empowered.

“It was the first time I’d attended a self-defence class, it was active and informative,” Lorck said.

“You can never be too old to learn and also as a mother with five daughters, including three young adults, it’s certainly something I’ll be encouraging them to do.”

St Mary’s Middle School team leader Tracey Mckinlay-Smith said all Year 3 to 6 female students took part in the course this year, with feedback from students positive.

Formerly known as the Women’s Self-Defence Network - Wāhine Toa, Kia Haumaru has its roots in the 1970s, when a wave of enthusiasm for women’s self-defence training emerged as part of the wider Women’s Liberation Movement.

Sergeant also teaches women’s community classes, one of which is through Heretaunga Women’s Centre. The registered charity operates throughout New Zealand.

Sergeant says she teaches in about 50 Hawke’s Bay schools from Wairoa to Dannevirke.

Originally published in NZ Herald here

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