(From left to right): Travis McIlroy, Mike Timu, Amoe Tarsau, Amy Kururangi, Rawiri Wanoa and Rua Tipoki (Manager).
Making the right decisions and figuring out what you want to do with your life, can be difficult regardless what age you are. However if you are a young person going through the sometimes difficult transition between adolescence and adulthood, growing up can be tough.
Whanau Oranga, the social services division of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou has a team of Kaimahi based in Kaiti and up the Coast who understand the challenges faced by rangatahi, and deliver a range of programmes aimed at supporting them to achieve their potential.
However if you are a young person going through the sometimes difficult transition between adolescence and adulthood, growing up can be tough. Whanau Oranga, the social services division of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou has a team of Kaimahi based in Kaiti and up the Coast who understand the challenges faced by rangatahi, and deliver a range of programmes aimed at supporting them to achieve their potential.
Rawiri Wanoa and Amoe Tarsau run the Nga Reo Tautoko mentoring programme for young males and females between the ages of 12 and 17. The objective of Nga Reo Tautoko is to provide young people with a network of positive role models, expose them to new experiences and help improve their life and communication skills.
Teenagers can be referred to the programme by whanau members, government and social agencies, schools or youth groups. Mike Timu and Travis McIlroy deliver the Fresh Start programme for young males who have been referred by the Ministry of Justice.
The aim of Fresh Start is to provide opportunities for young people who may be at risk of re-offending, to turn their lives around and make positive life choices. The programme, like Nga Reo Tautoko, involves mentoring and structured activities based on cultural values. Participants are engaged in a community programme where they learn Mau Rakau, and also attend court supervised camps where rangatahi can find out more about their cultural identity.
The camps are held on marae within the Ngati Porou rohe, and rangatahi learn about the local landmarks, history and tikanga of the area they are visiting. They also go out hunting, diving and fishing, preparing this kai for a hakari back at the marae is also part of their mahi.
Ngati Porou Youth service is a new initiative set up to help rangatahi under the age of 18. There are three components to the programme, which provides financial and other forms of assistance to support youth. Amy Kururangi, Travis McIlroy and Mike Timu help administer the scheme at the Kaiti Office, while Paora Brooking and Rimini Moana provide assistance at the Ruatoria office.
Through the programme young people living by themselves may be eligible to receive a Youth Payment (formally known as the Independent Youth Benefit). For young matua who meet the criteria, they may be eligible to receive the Youth Parent Payment and also other services which can be wrapped around their whanau.
For rangatahi who are not attending school, a course or going to work, but do not meet the criteria to receive the Youth Payment, the Ngati Porou Youth Service are still able to provide assistance through mentoring and other forms of support.
The underlying kaupapa behind the services and programmes provided by the Kaiti and Ruatoria based team is that all young people have the potential to fulfil their dreams and aspirations. But they may need some guidance along the way. This could be in the form of helping rangatahi to deal with private or government agencies, connecting them with appropriate community services they may not be aware of, or providing pathways to meaningful education and employment opportunities.
If you know of a young person who may need support please contact one of the team at: Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, 197 Wainui Rd, Kaiti, Gisborne 06 867 9960 or 0800 676768. Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, 1 Barry Avenue, Ruatoria 06 8649 004 or 0800 833 502.