Oranga Rangatahi success
Young people involved in the Huntly Youth Prevention Project, Oranga Rangatahi had a lot of fun during a school holiday programme
Working together for rangatahi
Oranga Rangatahi Huntly is a collaboration between Oranga Tamariki and other agencies, including the Police, the Ministry of Education, Huntly College and the Waikato District Health Board and also community groups.
It is aimed at preventing young people from getting into trouble and providing them with support to create positive futures. A group of 12 to 17 year olds spent three days taking part in a range of activities.
Winiata Leonard from the Huntly Neighbourhood Policing Team says the youth enjoyed their visit to Radio Tainui, where they got to speak on the radio and they learned some interviewing skills.
Pictured above, left to right: Jack Berryman, Patara Berryman, Yve Haenga-Ashby, and Winiata Leonard from the Huntly Neighbourhood Policing Team
"It was cool fun, and better than staying at home playing X-box, or cruising the streets"
Community comes together
Cousins Jack Berryman and Patara Berryman from Tainui hosted the rangatahi at Te Kauri marae, teaching them tikanga (Māori customs and protocol) and pepeha (connecting with ancestors), and walking the Hakarimata Summit Track.
Social worker Yve Haenga-Ashby says every activity in the programme has a learning aspect attached, including learning to trust, and YJ manager John Kirton says there’s also strong focus on re-engaging rangatahi with their own community.
Speaking of his time at Te Kauri marae, one of the teenagers says "We got out of home and had free munchies too, and we got to learn about respect".
“We’ve made a commitment to these young people”
Lasting impacts for the future
Shaun Brown, Regional Manager for YJ Waikato and Bay of Plenty, says word of the Oranga Rangatahi pilot in Huntly is spreading, and he’s fielded inquiries from from Tokoroa, Rotorua and Tauranga.
“Oranga Tamariki is trying to build trust and relationships that last for years to come, these kids are reliant on us, their whānau, the wider community and society”.
Oranga Rangatahi is also helping re-engage some teenagers with school, with four youth who’d left school now re-enrolled. Shaun says some of the teens had been out for school for a long time, so to get four back into mainstream education and to see them flourishing is a major achievement.
“What we are doing has a base for learning and these kids are young, they’ve got the potential and we're creating an environment that encourages them to want to learn more". Shaun says the trial ends in August 2018, but it’s been a fantastic success so far, and no-one on the programme has offended.