Please find our 2022/23 Reports below
The Youth Work and youth development sector has continued to serve rangatahi through a year that has been severely impacted by weather events, climate change, cost of living crisis, strikes and the ongoing ripple effects of COVID-19.
Ara Taiohi continues to actively support capability and capacity, as is outlined at a high level in this report, however we know the needs of the sector are vast and ongoing.
The What About Me survey released by MSD identified the many ways rangatahi in Aotearoa are strong and resilient. The youth sector plays a key role in supporting these positive outcomes. However, mental wellbeing results present a concerning picture of the high needs young people have regarding their wellbeing, and a worrying trend when comparing to previous survey results. This was significantly worse for our young wāhine, disabled and rainbow young people, as well as worse for rangatahi Māori. The evidence supporting positive youth development as the essential ingredient to support youth wellbeing is overwhelming. It is particularly important to acknowledge how essential this approach is for our nation when we respond to young people who offend.
We see the important impact of the youth development sector for our rangatahi, as well as the extremely high need for our sector to be strengthened moving forward.
A highlight in the 22-23 year for our team was the completion of our contract with the Ministry of Health that supported Rangatahi Regeneration, a Library of Stories, and an eco-mapping project. We were excited to see the next cohort of rangatahi graduate and build our pool of rangatahi who can facilitate Mana Taiohi training. This project was led by Simon Mareko and Christina Leef. Their commitment to indigenous, rangatahi-led youth development is inspiring. We honour their investment and wish them all the best in their next adventures.
There are a number of kaupapa that have developed this year. Of particular note is the Mana Taiohi Champions project with Ihi Aotearoa/Sport NZ, ongoing evolution of what Aotearoa Pacific Youth Workers Network (previously Pacific Warriors) and the review of our Mosaic resource. We are excited to see how all these projects are growing and evolving to meet the needs of taiohi and the sector that serves them.
Our team continues to ‘flow like the awa’ and adapt to the changing needs of the organisation. Along with Si and Christina moving on, we have farewelled Rebecca Carr from the Korowai Tupu Admin role, Zara Maslin from the Korowai Tupu Projects role, and Caitlin Mason as our Training Co-ordinator. The Korowai Tupu Admin role is now held by the hugely competent and dedicated Renee Ngatai. Some of the team have shifted focus, with Tyler Ngatai bringing his flair to the senior leadership team, Dayna Carter picking up the huge challenge of leading INVOLVE in August, and Maarie Mareikura-Ellery massively stepping up to lead our Mana Taiohi Champions project with Sport New Zealand | Ihi Aotearoa. We have welcomed the stunning Luhama Tau’alupe to the Admin role, and also our intern Piper Clare has served our team so graciously by picking up various admin roles. Youth Week this year was led by two Rangatahi Leads, Talei Bryant and Timena Iuliano who dreamed big and ran the largest launch to Youth Week ever! I honour and acknowledge our whole team, including the kaimahi of Te Ngākau Kahukura. They are committed to our sector and to young people; who they are and the work they do inspires me every day.
Our Board has also seen significant change, with both our Kaihautū, Matekino Marshall, and our Co-Chair, Mataio Viliamu, moving on. The legacy left by Matekino for Ngā Kaihoe and Ara Taiohi is powerful. We thank these two men for all they have given to our sector. The Board and all our rōpū and sub-committees continue to hold Ara Taiohi in a safe place, giving us the confidence to get on with the mahi.
Finally, I cannot speak more highly of the commitment of our members, youth workers, and the wider youth development sector. I know many of you have or are struggling with compassion fatigue after a particularly challenging few years. Now more than ever, we need to focus on self-care. Our hope is that together we have a sense of belonging to something that is far bigger than any one young person or organisation – that we have each other’s backs, and our dreams for rangatahi and our sector are both re-sparked and realised.
Ngā mihi nui e hoa mā.
Chief Executive Office
Co-Chair Report | Looking Ahead
Tēnā koutou katoa,
It has been such a privilege to hold this position for the past year. It was wonderful to experience the energy, learning, and mauri of INVOLVE. What a highlight that was! A time of professional reflection, idea-gathering and connecting with friends both old and new. With over 1000 attendees, we must feel collectively proud as a sector. We demonstrate such commitment and positivity for the young people of Aotearoa.
In an election year, emotions can be heightened. It has not been lost on us as a Board that INVOLVE was also a reflection of the world we are all navigating. A world where everyone has a microphone, everyone has an opinion. How wonderful that we live in a country where diversity is celebrated, and people embrace their own identity. INVOLVE was a melting pot, and a great example of how so many different voices and worldviews can come together with a common, uniting, unwavering goal. Young People. Mana Taiohi.
Going forward we must remember that uniting goal and keep it in sharp focus. When the world is divisive, let’s embrace and celebrate diversity. In a world which is politically polarising, let’s weave our common threads. This is how we, the youth sector, will make our country better for the future.
I look forward to another great year ahead with Ara Taiohi. I want to thank my colleagues on the Board for their wisdom, time and good humour. Together we have big plans to strengthen our governance practice and ensure we look up and look out.
I also want to sincerely thank Jane and her team of awesome kaimahi. You are a team for good. You inspire the Board, and you inspire the sector with your hard work. Take a moment to reflect on the ripples in the water that your daily grind creates, ripples that reach to all corners of this land and directly and indirectly impact organisations, youth workers, and young people. You are the humble kumara, but we all know how sweet you are.
Josie Ogden Schroeder
Ngā Kaihoe continues to cultivate strong reciprocal relationships between kaimahi Māori and the wider youth development sector by facilitating open exchanges of knowledge, experiences, and perspectives. Ngā Kaihoe has worked to create an environment where being informed by Te Ao Māori is seamlessly integrated into Youth Work practices, enhancing the effectiveness of hononga, whanaungatanga and manaaki. These reciprocal relationships naturally extend to stakeholders, including government, social services, communities and whānau.
Through the engagement of Kaihoe waka, we will amplify the advocacy efforts for Mana Taiohi. Our strategy emphasises the integration of Mana Taiohi into the core design and delivery of Youth Work practices by kaimahi Māori, for everyone. By raising awareness, we aspire to influence youth development professionals to adopt culturally responsive Youth Work. While our primary focus is kaimahi Māori as part of the wider youth development sector, we anticipate that the ripple effects will extend beyond its boundaries.
We continue to build our whānau ensuring that we have appropriate data collection processes and guarantee connection opportunities for whānau to engage. This mahi over the past year could not have been completed without the dedication, time, and energy from our Kaiārahi rōpū. As seasons change, so do personnel and we want to mihi for the efforts and contributions that you have made as the carving of our waka has happened.
We mihi to our friends and whānau: Briarley Birch, Karina Nepia, Matekino Marshall, Stevie-Jean Gear, Kiwa Kahukura, Manawa Te Heuheu, and Toia Chase for serving our whānau in Ngā Kaihoe.
Raneira Pene, Kaihautū
Tyler Ngatai, Practice Lead
Korowai Tupu celebrates another year of Youth Work through our membership. We have seen slight growth in numbers; this reflects the natural life cycle of membership as some of our members move on either from Aotearoa or their Youth Work roles.
This year we are pleased to have streamlined our systems and processes so that membership runs smoothly. We have focused on connection opportunities for Korowai Tupu members and now run Kōrero Café bi-monthly, as well as running a roadshow during International Youth Work Week 2022. We continue to advocate for strong Youth Work conditions and for those who hold the title of youth worker to be professionally accountable to the Code of Ethics.
We acknowledge that there has been a focus on strengthening relationships, and we know more investment is needed in this area. We continue to strive towards creating opportunities for members to connect and build their understanding in Youth Work knowledge and practice.
We are pleased to have released Kaiparahuarahi Vol 2, No 1, themed around Whai Wāhitanga, rediscovering the future of youth participation. We were committed to Whai Wāhitanga in action, and loved having Kahukura Ritchie join the editorial team, and Tokararangi Poa design the tukutuku panel that frames our understanding.
After farewelling Rebecca Carr, Korowai Tupu has been joined by the amazing Renee Ngatai who keeps the Korowai Tupu application process moving. This year we have farewelled Charlie Eggleton as Co-Chair of the Korowai Tupu Rōpū to Australia, and Nikki Hurst has also recently stood down. Both Charlie and Nikki have given hugely to Korowai Tupu for many years and the legacy they leave is strong. We wish them all the best in their new adventures and know that their contribution to Korowai Tupu. The rōpū (Chillion Sanerivi, Lisa Hann, Chloe Bishop-Wright, Raelene Hoogeveen, and Isabel Lemanutau) is reviewing its makeup and how it functions in an advisory capacity. Looking forward, we are excited about the platform we must build for intentional focus on advocacy and research.
Tyler Ngatai, Practice Lead
Jane Zintl, CEO
Youth Week 2023 Report
Youth Week is a nationwide campaign and festival of events organised by young New Zealanders to celebrate local young people’s strengths, talents, passion, and success. Every year, young people determine the theme and design an image to frame the campaign.
Summary from Youth Week Campaign Lead (Talei Bryant)
Having the opportunity to be in the 2023 Youth Week Campaign Lead role was awesome. I believe Youth Week this year was very much driven and run by rangatahi, and that is one of the reasons it was so successful. The Youth Week launch was in my eyes a great event that was again rangatahi led, with most of our speakers and both performances by rangatahi. It has been amazing being able to bring rangatahi on board for all of Youth Week and being able to acknowledge them for their time. This backs the idea that our rangatahi are worth the investment, just as we would pay a consultant for their time and wisdom. I have felt so supported by the wider Youth Week and Ara Taiohi Team.
Summary from CEO (Jane Zintl)
The 2023 Youth Week campaign and festival of events grew on our foundations and strengthened our commitment to a Rangatahi led co-design process. This resulted in many highlights, as well as a lot of learnings for Ara Taiohi. We are so grateful our Youth Week Campaign Lead (Talei Bryant), Grants Co-Ordinator (Piper Clare) and Partnership Lead (Timena Iuliano), as well as the team of Champions that supported events in their rohe. This team was supported by our Communications Lead, Sarah Bradnock, who together galvanised rangatahi and youth organisations for a week that celebrated and honoured the young people of Aotearoa, and the sector that supports them.
Ministry of Health kaupapa
Ara Taiohi was honoured to partner with Te Manatū Hauora for 2022-2023 through their Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2019 – 2024 (He Tapu to Oranga). Alongside Ngā Kaihoe, the following kaupapa contributed to this partnership.
Our team successfully co-curated another Rangatahi Regeneration where five rangatahi Māori and Pasifika journeyed through their tuakiritanga, pūkenga facilitation and te ao rakahinonga. One of the key goals was for rangatahi Māori to be upskilled and supported to grow personally (the pou ‘ko wai au’) and professionally (learning the art of facilitation and entrepreneurship), as well as building mātauranga in Mana Taiohi and relationships within their hapori.
An external evaluation of the kaupapa was conducted, giving the team the opportunity to reflect, considering RR’s strengths and future growth opportunities. Rangatahi Regeneration no longer sits under Ara Taiohi beyond the completion of this contract. Our moemoeā is that RR continues to impact the lives of rangatahi Māori and their hapori, and that Ara Taiohi can continue to champion and celebrate future evolutions of this kaupapa.
Library of Stories
Library of Stories houses the stories of tāngata Māori who serve taiohi around Aotearoa. It takes us into their ao to learn more about the people and places they descend from and are integral to who they are. We also learn more about their mahi in youth development and their aspirations for whānau ora and rangatiratanga.
Six community leaders shared their stories: Vyaan Kakau-Leef, Matua Greg Houkamau, Whaea Elizabeth Kerekere, Ezekiel Wetere, Maarie Mareikura-Ellery and Barney Wikitera. It was a privilege to bear witness to each person’s journey and their vulnerability and openness. These kōrero can be found on Spotify.
This project was an opportunity to present high-level data about rangatahi, including rangatahi Māori, from a strengths-based lens, utilising data collected through the What About Me survey, OHI Navigator, and population data from StatsNZ. Our aim was to better understand and capture the unique ecosystem of our key focus rohe: Waihōpai, Mataatua (eastern BOP), TeTairāwhiti, Tāmaki ki te Tonga and Te Taitokerau. O We were able to make recommendations through this project to Te Manatū Hauora about the way that they collect data regarding young people, and the importance of working alongside the youth development sector who already hold relationships with our taiohi.
We wish to thank Christina Leef, Maarie Mareikura-Ellery, Dayna Carter, Tyler Ngatai and Simon Mareko for all their mahi supporting these kaupapa and the MOH partnership.
Te Ngākau Kahukura
This year, Te Ngākau Kahukura has continued to work across sectors and systems to make Aotearoa safer and more inclusive for rainbow people. Our work over the last year has engaged with kaupapa including homelessness, state care, gender-affirming healthcare, ending conversion practices, violence prevention, nursing and medical education, youth development, mental health and addictions, suicide prevention, data collection and research, identity documentation, intersex wellbeing, and rainbow support sector development.
Our work continues to be guided by our five core strategies for systems change: educating decision-makers, embedding rainbow competence in professional training, building inclusion in services, developing accessible information, and growing rainbow support sector infrastructure.
Advising government decision-makers
Over the last year, we have been part of government advisory conversations related to health system reforms, state care, mental health promotion, gender-affirming healthcare, family and sexual violence prevention, housing and homelessness, education, statistics and data, sports integrity, and other kaupapa. We have engaged as members of formal advisory groups, as contracted experts, through submissions on laws and strategies, and through meetings with government officials and decision-makers.
We have worked with the Rainbow Support Collective, Rainbow Violence Prevention Network, PATHA, and other key collaborators to raise rainbow community priorities and needs with the government, focusing on uplifting more marginalised perspectives. This has included contributing to a list of rainbow election priorities published by the Rainbow Support Collective and meeting with politicians to discuss their commitments to rainbow inclusion.
Building rainbow inclusion into Auckland’s housing support sector
Our Making Space collaboration with RainbowYOUTH delivered a pilot rainbow competency programme for Auckland’s housing and homelessness sector in the first half of 2023. An evaluation found that the project successfully developed “a partnership-based relational model that meets providers where they are at and walks alongside them as they journey toward rainbow responsiveness.”
Through engaging with the pilot programme, housing providers dedicated extra resources to rainbow responsiveness provided rainbow training to staff, and developed processes to learn from service incident reporting. Our network of rainbow advisors with lived experience of homelessness reflected that Making Space has responded to their realities well and most reported that their experience had been positive – with some facing challenges of ongoing housing instability which added to pressure and distress when advocating around rainbow homelessness. One advisor reflected:
“I think you’ve done a fantastic job personally. I’ve done a lot of these kinds of things before, advisory stuff. Most of the time, I felt disregarded. I feel like this is an actual community. And I’m valued.”
Delivering online education and learning resources
We have continued to build on our experience of delivering education online by developing new web-based learning materials, and producing online workshops, guest lectures and free public webinars. This year, we have added to our resource database with a series of webinars about trans and intersex health in partnership with Intersex Aotearoa, resources about inclusive language including a webinar about pronouns, a series about technology and trans-inclusive practice in medical settings, and webinars and resources about suicide prevention and rainbow young people’s experiences in state care. Our resources and webinars are free to ensure they are accessible and widely usable. As a result, they are increasingly used by educators and service providers to support professional learning.
Evaluations and attendee feedback have been positive, indicating that the sessions are helping people to learn, develop confidence in working with rainbow people, and understand how to find further resources to support their mahi. One webinar attendee commented:
“This was one of the best webinars I have been to. One of those ones that leaves you mulling over it even when it has ended. Thank you!”
Other education resources have been developed in collaboration across the rainbow support sector. As part of the Rainbow Violence Prevention Network, we have also supported delivery of education resources to support rainbow family and sexual violence prevention. This has included hosting two webinars, and contributing to the development of New Zealand’s first primary prevention guidelines for practitioners. Similarly, as part of the Rainbow Support Collective we supported workshops and resource development for the Be There campaign, which aims to support the parents and whānau of trans, non-binary, takatāpui, queer, intersex, and rainbow young people to be more inclusive, affirming and safe.
Developing capacity across the rainbow support sector
A key part of our strategy is growing infrastructure and capacity across the rainbow support sector, so that rainbow organisations and groups are more sustainable, rainbow people can access support and affirmation, and rainbow expertise can be shared more effectively with government and service providers.
This year we worked with the Rainbow Support Collective to scope and seek funding for two coordinator roles, which have improved capacity for the sector to advocate collectively to government, and for rainbow organisations to share resources and support each other. One Collective member reflected:
“Previously it was necessary for already-busy staff from Rainbow orgs to voluntarily take on the additional work of coordinating meetings and any additional pieces of work for the Collective – having Coordinators has significantly freed up my capacity to instead be able to focus on contributing in more substantive ways, secure in the knowledge that the Collective and its aims are being supported by the people in these two roles.”
We also supported strategy, governance and planning across the sector, including developing the first strategic framework for the Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa (PATHA) with Point and Associates.