Photo credit: Florence Charvin
Photo credit: Florence Charvin

As featured in current BayBuzz magazine article, Twenty.

The desire for wellbeing is universal. 

This is something meditation and mindfulness teacher Kate McLeay witnesses every week as she mentors a diversity of clients from high-powered career people in Auckland, to ex-prisoners in Hawke’s Bay. 

“These are all people who are putting their hands up and wanting to change,” she says. “The tools we use to do this don’t discriminate.” 

For six years Kate taught mindfulness, resilience and wellbeing tools (largely voluntarily) at Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison. She worked in particular with men to unlock a sense of inner peace and calm as they dealt with their sentences and prepared for life on the outside again. 

Covid ended that work, but Kate has continued to support and mentor ex-prison clients and whānau as they have taken their learnings out into their communities. And this has been a revelation. “It has the potential for a very big reach out into the community and because of this, it is very potent.” 

Kate and her husband Cam run Cape South Country Retreat and Wellness Centre near Waimarama offering “relaxation, movement, meditation, organic food, learning and most of all time to put yourself first.” 

Like many women, one of Kate’s challenges is finding that balance between self-care and service. “I grew up being taught martydom and everyone else first. Now I am constantly trying to walk the talk.” 

Her aspiration is to make the world a more peaceful place. “I think we all have powerful invitations to come into present awareness,” she says. 

“We need to take those opportunites and do some deep listening. I like to think that if we can each make the world a bit better, all those little droplets can make a beautiful ocean.” 

Kate draws inspiration from many Hawke’s Bay women. 

“The ones in the community who have got over early trauma and early abuse and addictions and have had the heart to go on and make their lives better – they’re my heroes.” 

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