Te Ara Rangatahi was created in 2015 by a group of Ngaati Te Ata rangatahi who came together to discuss what they could do for their Iwi.
We witnessed the hard work of the generations before us and wondered how we could carry on the legacies of those leaders; our parents and grandparents. This influenced the paatai - how can we, as rangatahi, add value to and further empower our iwi?
We thought about what the future of the Iwi could look like and what we would like to see in 50 years' time, when we are no longer rangatahi.
Ideas and dreams were shared, and the excitement of possibilities, aspirations and future thinking led us to want to continue the conversation. This was the beginning of us catching up every Wednesday.
A couple of keen rangatahi started fleshing out the ideas and projects were formed. Before long, rangatahi were voluntarily making their aspirations become a reality.
Rangatahi did a lotto drop to fund projects to start with and then with some financial support from funders, Te Ara Rangatahi has been able to create a youth space and open a fully operational youth organisation.
What started off as a collection of ideas transformed into a youth led organisation implementing the aspirations of rangatahi.
We discovered that in order for the future of the Iwi and community to be as amazing as our aspirations we need to prepare ourselves and the younger generation to be leaders who think big, who are successful and who have a strong sense of identity. We believe that by inspiring rangatahi to dream and think globally they will unlock their true potential. We are excited for the future of our Iwi and what the next 50 years brings.
WHANAUNGATANGA : BELONGING
Whanaungatanga is about forming respectful relationships and strengthening connections to the taiao, whaanau, tuurangawaewae and communities. When we prioritise whanaungatanga, we are investing in genuine relationships that are built on trust, are mana enhancing, are reciprocal and that provide the rangatahi with a sense of belonging.
WHAKAMANA : EMPOWERMENT
We believe that rangatahi are born with mana inherited from their tuupuna. Whakamana is a principle focused on the enhancement of that mana. This is achieved through the teaching and sharing of traditional knowledge and practices. Rangatahi will be given opportunities to realise their aspirations and will be empowered to develop their skills, knowledge and experience in the areas that interest them.
MANA MOTUHAKE : AUTONOMY
Whaia te Mana Motuhake (in pursuit of Mana Motuhake). This principle reaffirms the ability of rangatahi maaori to engage in self-realisation and self-determination. We will provide rangatahi with the tools and maatauranga (knowledge) needed to support them in attaining their full potential.
MAURI ORA : WELLBEING
Mauri ora refers to the life essence and the wellbeing of the rangatahi aa-tinana, aa-wairua, aa whaanau, aa-hinengaro. When we feel safe and protected, one's mauri will flourish. Therefore, guiding our rangatahi to find balance within their life and supporting them to create a pathway to care for their immediate needs across all stages of life is how they will learn to protect, maintain and enhance their mauri ora.
"Te Ara Rangatahi is having an impact on young people but also on their friends, siblings, parents and grandparents because they get to see the development of their young people" - Kahurangi
"Te Ara Rangatahi has helped me build my confidence and self esteem and has made me reach out to more people and opportunities" - Mauri Ora
"Tū Māia was the best experience of my life. The trip to Rotorua with the other 20 rangatahi changed me. I wish I could go back and stay there forever. Everything was good about it, the programme, the staff, the activities, the food. It's like we are now a family. We all still keep in touch, we have a group chat. TARHI helped me to set goals, get my drivers licence, forklift licence, working at heights licence, a CV and paid employment" - Jayden