Pete Thorburn: From Shadows to Light - Charting a New Path Forward in Addiction Recovery. Photo / FILE

Meth Cook to Mentor: A Talk on Understanding and Overcoming Addiction on Aotea

Pete Thorburn, a figure well-known across New Zealand for his transformative journey from one of the country’s most infamous methamphetamine producers to a revered drugs counsellor, is scheduled to visit Great Barrier Island for a series of talks aimed at addressing and combating the scourge of drug addiction. Residents across the motu are invited to attend the empowering sessions on Saturday, 13th at Kawa Marae, and Sunday, 14th at the Claris Conference Centre, both from 10 am to 12 pm.

Thorburn’s past life as the ‘Gas Man’, a nickname earned amidst the world of drug supply, saw him handling millions of dollars worth of meth, alongside running guns. His story took a pivotal turn following his last stint in prison for drugs and firearms-related crimes, leading him to rehabilitation and a life dedicated to helping others avoid the pitfalls of addiction. Since turning his life around in 2005, Thorburn has become a beacon of hope, leveraging his experiences to assist those struggling with addiction.

In recent years, Thorburn has expanded his efforts through his company, Meth Education and Solution Services, and advises on projects including the establishment of a specialized hospital in Auckland for meth-related health issues. His approach to solving the meth crisis is unique, focusing on understanding addiction as a health-based issue and advocating for community empowerment over merely increasing funding for addiction services.

Thorburn’s talks on Aotea are free-of-charge, and not just about sharing his story but also about offering practical solutions and support to individuals and families affected by methamphetamine. The talks are organised in collaboration with the local board as part of their commitment to mental health and addiction recovery, amid the meth problem, which remains a pressing issue not only in urban centres but also in remote areas like Great Barrier Island.

Event Details:

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  • Saturday, 13th: Kawa Marae, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Sunday, 14th: Claris Conference Centre, 10 am – 12 pm

Entry is free and no bookings are required.


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