Ōtaki pilot programme for rangatahi sees locals delivering local solutions
The Ōtaki based Te Hunga Rangatahi Pilot Programme, that kicked off in February this year, is helping local rangatahi overcome barriers and discover pathways to future employment.
The two-year pilot programme received $995,000 from the Ministry of Social Development’s He Poutama Rangatahi initiative – a fund to support young people overcome barriers to employment, education and training. The programme provides wrap-around wellbeing support and skills training to young people aged 15-24.
To date, 25 rangatahi have graduated from the programme. One graduate says the programme was life changing.
“It (the programme) got me a job. If I hadn't been on this course, I would be doing nothing with my life still. Straight up, I would still be at home doing nothing. It has affected my future because now I am out and working and meeting new people.”
With principles of tikanga and te reo Māori intrinsically woven into the 12-week programme, which starts at the Marae, rangatahi undertake a number of activities such as understanding local tikanga and kawa, creating a CV, engaging in work experience, learning vital coping strategies, financial literacy and gaining their driver’s licence.
The programme has been delivered by Te Puna Oranga o Ōtaki and Work Ready Kāpiti. Kāpiti Coast District Council is also a partner having worked closely with all parties to secure the funding for the programme.
Kāpiti Coast District Council’s Strategic Development Director, Darryn Grant, says it’s the collaboration between two local organisations, Work Ready Kāpiti and Te Puna Oranga o Ōtaki, that has seen Te Hunga Rangatahi off to such a positive start.
“We’re already seeing really positive outcomes for the Ōtaki community. These two organisations are the reason 25 rangatahi are now on pathways to brighter futures. From working together to secure the necessary funding, to getting the programme off the ground, to navigating the most recent COVID-19 lockdown – these organisations are a credit to our district.
As the programme approaches its third intake, Work Ready Kāpiti is exiting the partnership to support Te Puna Oranga o Ōtaki to exercise their rangatatiratanga over the programme.
Work Ready Kāpiti chair, John Scutter, says it has been a privilege to have worked with Te Puna Oranga o Ōtaki to establish this important programme.
“Work Ready Kāpiti is proud to have been a part of the Hunga Rangatahi journey to date. Our Board is passionate about supporting rangatahi into becoming work ready and this programme has delivered tangible results within our community that achieve just that.
We are excited to see the future results this programme will deliver for our rangatahi and we wish Te Puna Oranga o Ōtaki all the best with their future stewardship of this vital community based programme and look forward to working collaboratively with them in the future.
Work Ready Kāpiti are excited to continue delivering our core programmes: #EmployerMeet events, WEX - work experience placements and the Kāpiti Work Ready Passport to support many more rangatahi to become work ready."
Chair of the Te Puna Oranga o Ōtaki charitable trust, Kiwa Raureti, says connecting rangatahi to our community has been a big part of the programme’s success so far.
“This is a community driven programme and this is reflected in the range of local expertise involved with the programme’s delivery. We’ve also learnt a lot from our rangatahi and have appreciated their insights and ideas to determine what they need from their community.”
Pou Ahorangi for Te Puna Oranga o Ōtaki, Rawiri Rikihana says “the most important component of Hunga Rangatahi is Te Mana o te Tangata, ensuring that the mana of rangatahi is maintained. Links to wellbeing emerge when connections are made, fostered and maintained, that is the strength of local delivery”
This programme is one of approximately 70 He Poutama Rangatahi-funded programmes throughout New Zealand.
Ministry of Social Development Employment Director, Amy Henare, says it’s been great to see the difference these programmes are making in their communities.
“The programmes are community-led, and individually tailored to support rangatahi who are not in employment, education, or training.
“Seeing Te Puna Oranga o Ōtaki, Work Ready Kāpiti and Kāpiti Coast District Council listen to and respond to the needs of the rangatahi has been a positive experience, and we are excited to see Te Hunga Rangatahi continue to evolve.”