Thomas White is 44 years old of Samoan/English descent. He grew up in West Auckland and is the oldest of three brothers. His childhood took place in a very controlled environment where he was training to be a professional footballer everyday from the age of 9 years old. He represented New Zealand at age group levels and played professionally in the United Kingdom for Leicester and Liverpool as a young pro. On returning to Aotearoa, Thomas worked in sales and then owned and built a premium bar, continuing to work in hospitality for 5 years.
Thomas has 15 years lived experience with addiction and our justice system after serving a sentence for the distribution and manufacturing of a class A drugs.
He currently works as a Odyssey House peer support manager having previously worked for four years in the Te Wairua program (dual diagnosis). Thomas is a graduate of Odyssey’s Adult program after receiving parole to the service.
Thomas has a passion for justice reform that comes from a slightly different perspective. He will always be extremely grateful for the pathway to recovery through the criminal justice system, feeling he received enough opportunity along the way to make positive change in his life. Thomas is cognisant that his experiences were a gift and not necessarily brought about by intentional intervention.
Through being part of He Ture Kia Tika and his wider mahi, Thomas hopes to be able to be part of a movement to reach more people through planned and intentional support to effect positive change on our communities and whānau.