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Road to Forgiveness

Raymond Hansen, a farmer drives to the pub, gets drunk, drives home. He knows he shouldn't drink and drive.

One evening in 2005 he does as he is accustomed to do - drives home inebriated and kills beautiful 22 year old Rochelle and two of her friends in an horrific accident, leaving only a blazing wreck of a car.

A mother of one of the girls, can't accept or forgive Raymond Hansen and fights at every parole hearing to ensure he stays in prison for as long as possible.

However, Jan Wallis, mother of Rochelle, did several things that have perplexed those around her. Instead of becoming bitter, she was determined that she would make "something beautiful" out of Rochelle's memory. She instigated a process of restorative justice and she invited this documentary team to watch it happen in a rural New Zealand Prison.

A nervous Hansen heard things he never expected to hear, including the fact that she had made a conscious decision not to hate him or be angry with him, because, she said, "I did not want this tragedy to rule my whole life for the rest of my days".

It was a powerful message that helped salvage the lives of those affected by Rochelle's tragic end. 

A short clip from the meeting has been used in prisons in several countries to teach people who visit prison inmates about the power of extending forgiveness.

Raymond's likely to be paroled this year. He and Jan plan to work together to help promote the anti drink-drive message.

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