Watch this space ................................................................................................ 3
Changing the world, one story at a time ............................................................. 5
Another chance at life ........................................................................................ 9
Young voices .................................................................................................... 12
The young parent project ................................................................................. 16
Unlocking the future ......................................................................................... 20
A second chance at learning ............................................................................ 24
Auckland .......................................................................................................... 27
Doing nothing is not an option .......................................................................... 29
Trades course leads to challenging job ............................................................ 31
Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast ............................................................ 32
Regional round-up ............................................................................................ 37
Tips and links ................................................................................................... 41
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 1
Welcome to the June 2012
issue of Rise.
This issue is about unlocking potential – a theme
that lies at the heart of everything we do in the
This issue is about unlocking potential – a theme that lies
at the heart of everything we do in the social sector.
From backing people to find their potential in the workforce
to supporting young parents and their kids to do well, it’s
about helping people explore their possibilities and be the
best they can be.
In this issue of Rise, a young filmmaker has come up with an innovative way to inspire more
young Kiwis to make a difference in their lives and in their communities.
In Porirua, an innovative community organisation is giving people – and things – a new
chance for a meaningful and useful life.
A young man who spent his childhood in state care reflects on how his foster family helped
him realise his potential as he works towards a bright future in cutting edge robotics.
In Palmerston North, a community organisation has teamed up with Child, Youth and Family
so that troubled teenage girls gain ambitions and plans for the future. And, around New
Zealand, businesses and training organisations are joining forces with Work and Income to
give unemployed people, especially young people, skills and jobs in industries which need
them. This issue’s stories from the Auckland, Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast regions
showcase some of that work.
These stories also show the power of collaboration when it comes to unlocking people’s
potential. In different ways, community organisations, government agencies, businesses
and individuals have linked up to support people who need it. It takes skill and commitment
to work this way, and it can take time to get it right too, but there is no doubt it is the way to
Chief Executive, Ministry of Social Development
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 2
Watch this space
Imagine coming home to find
your robot had cleaned, ordered
the groceries and put them
away, paid the bills, and put the
dinner on. All you need to do is
kick a ball with the kids, and
have a hot shower before you
settle down for a meal.
If one day we all enjoy that kind
of technology in our lives, then
maybe 19-year-old Zak Quor will
have had something to do with
it. He’s an electro-technology
engineering student with some
big plans for the future. He’s also the winner of a William Wallace Award for young people
who have grown up in state care.
Zak is convinced that pretty much everything could do with robotic enhancement.
It frustrates him that so much effort goes into entertainment technology when we could
also be increasing the productivity of our lives.
“I’d like to live in Tokyo and be one of those brainiacs who build robots – designing the future
as it has been perceived for so many years.”
Like hover cars and house-bots?
“Exactly. Someone should hurry up and make that stuff – and it should be me.”
Breaking into Tokyo’s cutting edge robotic industry may seem like a big, far-off dream, but in
many ways Zak has already come further than that in his life.
At six years old, Zak was placed in care with the Dingwall Trust which runs a residence for
children who can’t live with their families. An inquisitive, intelligent child, Zak was still too
young to understand why he had to leave his mother, and unable to share his emotions with
“I had nothing and I couldn’t change anything. No one really cared about me. Then there
was a godsend, around my eighth birthday – a spark of hope.”
This turned out to be Ian Hart, who was working part-time at the Dingwall Trust. Ian saw
something special in the lonely, angry little eight-year-old who loved to build things, pull
things apart and figure out what made them work.
“He thought I had potential to achieve something great and I just needed support to get
there. He became my fill-in dad, my mentor and coach. He sets the bar and pushes me
beyond what I think I can do.”
Zak began to spend weekends and holidays down at the Harts’ family home near Hamilton,
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 3
loving both the freedom and family routines.
“It was lovely there and it is home now. A farm with a few horses and chickens. The Harts
have become my family and I love them.”
Fiercely independent and determined, when Zak was nominated for a William Wallace
Award last year, he was sure that others would need it more than he did.
“Cos I was sure I’d end up getting where I want to go even if I didn’t get that award. My life
success was going to happen anyway.”
And then, in one of those weird and sudden twists, life had another lesson for Zak.
“You know how it is, you are going along and working hard at your studies but then you can’t
pay the rent. I was living in some stink situations, moving around a lot. I was wondering if I
could handle it. And I wouldn’t talk to the Harts. It was my own fault. I was being
“Getting the William Wallace Award made me recognise the achievements of all the people
who have helped me get to where I am now.
“It made me realise that sometimes it is way cooler being not so independent; being able to
go to your family and saying ‘I love you’, or ‘I’m sorry’ and knowing that they will always
“I’ve been with them for 11 years and I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t had that
With the money Zak received from the William Wallace Award he moved into a university
hall of residence.
“It has definitely given me a better view. I’ve met people like me – nerds who want to do stuff
like me. And that’s just what Ian said would be good for me – study with the nerds and hang
out with cool kids.”
The short-term goal is to complete his Bachelor of Applied Engineering. The mid-term goal is
to spend time as a technician in the Navy. “That’s my version of an OE – in a challenging,
engaged, fun way.”
And then bring on Tokyo and the world of cutting edge robotic technology.
The William Wallace Awards honour remarkable young people in care by helping them
pursue their tertiary, vocational and leadership goals.
Nominations for the 2012 William Wallace Awards are open now.
To nominate a young person in care go to http://www.cyf.govt.nz/info-for-caregivers/what-are-
The William Wallace Awards are supported by the William Wallace Fund, the Vodafone
Foundation, GFS (the Girls’ Friendly Society) and Child, Youth and Family.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 4
Changing the world, one story
at a time
Here’s a story
It starts with a flashback to a small village on the West Coast.
There’s a wild beach and out in the waves there’s a teenager
on his surfboard. It’s a school day, but when the surf is
pumping it’s a no-brainer for this kid – surfing wins every
Cut to the present and meet Guy Ryan, international award-
winning filmmaker and social innovator. He’s a 26-year-old
on a mission to showcase people making a difference in their
communities and inspire others to do the same.
“Role modelling is a powerful thing. It influences our
attitudes, behaviour, and ultimately social norms.”
It’s not rocket science, he says. We tend to mimic what we
see people in the movies or on TV doing – whether they are playing out their insecurities on
reality shows or being innovative in their communities.
“Think of a society whose staple beverage is coffee as opposed to beer, and how much
more innovative and productive that makes society. And imagine if instead of reality TV
shows, we had compelling stories about grassroots community innovation and social
change. What would our communities look like?”
Guy is the force behind the Inspiring Stories Trust – a charity which believes that anyone can
make a difference. “And with the right knowledge, skills, tools, and inspiration that difference
can be massive.”
Inspiring Stories uses storytelling and film to showcase young Kiwis doing great things for
their communities. It starts this process with hands-on filmmaking workshops for young
people who are interested in film and media, linking them with other young people who are
making a difference in the community.
“They come in, learn a bunch of practical film and story skills, look at twenty-first century
issues and how young people can make a difference. They go away buzzing, having
sparked an idea for a film project about a young change-maker in their community.”
The films have included a documentary about a young Kiwi, Will Watterson, who ran a
nationwide campaign to end extreme poverty called Living Below the Line, a Northland
teenager who inspired her school and community to clean up and restore their local river,
and a South Island teenager striving though adversity to make something of her life.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 5
A national film competition themed Young Kiwis making a difference feeds into nationwide
community film screenings and an annual festival for change-makers, creatives and
entrepreneurs committed to community action and projects for a better world.
It is, as Guy puts it, a “kind of beautiful self-reinforcing model”.
Last year a Vodafone World of Difference Award gave Inspiring Stories the financial kick-
start it needed. This year the NZ Film Commission has come on board with the backing to
carry on its work.
From surf punk to social innovator
“I grew up in a tiny village on the West Coast of the South Island. I wasn’t really into learning
at high school – more of a practical learner than a classroom learner. And I wasn’t aware of
the issues people are facing – socially, economically or environmentally,” says Guy.
A career programme pegged Guy as a chalkboard artist, but luckily Guy’s grandfather
pushed him towards university, and the world opened up. Design and marketing degrees
led to the elite two-year Science and Natural History Filmmaking Masters Course at Otago
University. There he studied the power of storytelling and its ability to influence attitudes,
behaviour and social norms. At the same time, real life also had lessons to teach Guy.
“I started to meet all these seriously inspiring people,” says Guy. “People who were
passionate about generating social and environmental value, with a much deeper motive
than just profit.”
In 2009 Guy came across Bill McKibben, author, science communicator and founder of the
climate change movement 350.org, with his message about the need for grass roots
“We felt we had to do something,” says Guy. He and fellow student Nick Holmes organised a
team of volunteers and created the Dunedin Spring Food Festival – uniting 15,000 people
around local food sources and community resilience.
Later that year, Guy helped start another community project – a month long festival along
the West Coast to inspire community action to clean up the coast. A Day at the Beach saw
more than 1,000 school students plant 5,000 native trees and remove six tonnes of rubbish
from local beaches.
Carving the future
At the same time, Guy and Nick were filming a documentary. Carving the Future tells the
stories of four young Kiwis leading major projects for change in their communities. It earned
international acclaim, winning Best Film at the Colorado International Film Festival and
becoming one of three world finalists at the prestigious Wildscreen Awards – known in the
industry as the Green Oscars.
“The core message of the film is that one person can make a difference and that is the
challenge for audiences.”
When the film toured New Zealand in a series of community screenings, audience reactions
switched on a light for Guy.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 6
“It was inspiring, seeing how powerful that film was as a tool for kick-starting conversations
and community action.
“It moved grown men to tears. People were amazed by it. They had no idea there were
young people out there doing this kind of stuff.”
Guy self-funded 1,000 copies of the film and sent them to schools across New Zealand.
The reward is seeing emails coming in from teachers and students inspired to lead their
own community projects – a catalyst for youth-led community action.
Guy and some fellow film students also started up Splashroom Media – a film production
company focusing on solution-focused stories about people and change.
Guy is an optimist.
“I feel like the opportunity to make a difference is massive. There’s so much more merit in
being positive with a vision than being a pessimist – it’s crippling and depressing.
“Right now there are so many young New Zealanders out there leading and innovating in
their communities – and we just don’t hear about it. Imagine if we capture their passion,
vision and projects and share those stories in a compelling way throughout schools and
“If young people see other young people out there making a difference, and if they connect
with that, it’s more likely to shift their attitudes and what they are doing.
“It’s just having access to those positive role models, because once you see what is possible
your aspirations start to rise.”
Here’s another story…
It’s about Bellah, a South Island teenager. Her story is beautifully told on four minutes of film,
in Bellah’s own words, woven with dance and the incredible landscape where she lives. It
tells how Bellah turned her life around after a rough childhood reached crisis point in her
teens. Now she’s teaching dance and training as a youth worker. Her story has a personal,
but powerful message – take action: change is possible.
The story behind the story
It’s about Johanna, a 17-year-old from rural Murchison. She’s the one who packed her
camera, a tripod and lunch and cycled three-and-a-half hours to meet Bellah and capture her
story on film.
Johanna’s inspiration came from a weekend filmmaking and storytelling workshop, run in
Blenheim by the Inspiring Stories Trust.
Buzzing from the chance to connect with like-minded young filmmakers and inspired by the
opportunity to tell a story that makes a difference, Johanna left with an idea for a short film.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 7
Johanna’s film about Bellah took 10 weeks to produce. Her first-time film won the Supreme
National Award at the Inspiring Stories Film Competition last year. This year Bellah’s story is
being shown at community screenings and workshops around the country.
Who knows what it will lead to?
Find out more:
Inspiring Stories Youth Filmmaking Workshops
Inspiring Stories Film Competition – school, tertiary and open entries close 31 July
Festival For the Future – November 2012
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 8
Another chance at life
From a distance, it looks as if a circus
has pitched tent alongside the
But in fact the three gleaming white
tops come from a dismantled
Challenge service station in Rotorua.
Beneath their shelter, a not-for-profit
organisation called Mana Recovery
has set up shop.
Mana Recovery recycles everything
from trash to treasure. Its shop –
Trash Palace – sells everything from
1950s wireless radios to kids’ bikes and fine china teapots. Out the back, men in a workshop
are dismantling old televisions, computers and whiteware. The usable parts will be sold to
suppliers and repairers. The rest is sorted for recycling. There’s also a gardening business,
an arts centre and a nursery.
Robert, one of the men in the workshop, explains the 12 different types of recyclable metal
and plastic that he can now easily identify.
He’s an employee at Mana Recovery – and that’s the organisation’s true mission. It offers a
social service, training and work opportunities for people with mental health needs.
In one way or another, everything here is getting another chance at life.
Mana Recovery formed in 1996 to support psychiatric patients after Porirua Psychiatric
Hospital closed its long-stay wards. Originally known as Mana Community Enterprises, it
offered work-focused rehab programmes but found trainees struggled to move beyond the
programmes into paid work.
So it set up several small businesses based around recycling and sustainability in
partnership with the Porirua City Council and other local businesses.
Mana Recovery now employs 52 people, more than half with mental health needs. Each day
a further 100 people take part in hands-on work experience and the Riverstones programme,
which helps with life skills, social skills and confidence to be part of the community.
For general manager Elizabeth Coluzzi, running Mana Recovery is a long way from her high-
flying days as national operations manager at health care provider McKesson Asia-Pacific.
Yet she could not be happier. Seeing people’s lives change and gain purpose while turning
waste into treasure gives total satisfaction.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 9
“We need to be a well-run business to continue to achieve this for them. Everything here is
about sustainability – reusing, repairing and recycling – and our business model aims to
In fact, Elizabeth believes that all NGOs need to run like businesses.
“Too many put their hand out to continue operating. Money needs to be used wisely and
always with a return that we can measure.
“When I came to Mana Recovery nearly two years ago, we were in financial strife – more
than $112,000 in deficit.
“I canned expenditure, put in a good budget, looked at ways of reducing overheads – like
rationalising the properties we were operating from and where we could get savings.”
A one-off grant from the Ministry of Social Development’s Community Response Fund
covered the back rent and kept the organisation going while Elizabeth re-engineered the
business. It took a year to come right and Mana Recovery is now in much better shape.
“This is too important an initiative to fail.”
Stories of change
Joe is 54 and works in Mana Recovery’s metal dismantling unit, recovering precious metals
from TVs, microwaves and computers.
It is the first job he has had in his life.
Joe arrived at Mana Recovery’s trainee unit in 2008, where people with mental health
disabilities undertake rehabilitation and vocational training.
A year later he applied for a job at Trash Palace, where he has been for three years.*
“We have seen him change from being unable to talk to us to someone who comes to work
each day, proud of what he does and very much part of our team,” says Elizabeth.
In another room, two women – Gael and Venice – have just finished making 200 conference
bags out of recycled billboard advertising skins for the Museum Aotearoa conference. Now
they are stacking heavy duty aprons, also made from billboard skins, to sell at the Porirua
Gael was on long-term ACC through a work-related injury before she came to Mana
Recovery a year ago. Now she has a full time role as Learning and Business Development
“She does remarkable work for us and has taken over our ReV product line. We make goods
out of recycled billboard advertising skins. She designs and makes them and has taught
Venice how to use an industrial sewing machine,” says Elizabeth.
The work is a completely new skill for Venice, who has gained a full-time work as a retail and
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 10
Every day, Elizabeth works with people who are getting a new chance to unlock their
potential and gain a sense of self worth, independence and purpose in their lives.
“When people are working here, they are earning wages that they have grown themselves
through our businesses,” says Elizabeth. “When I look at the people whose lives are
enriched by working in our businesses, I know we have to do everything we can to keep
*At the time of publishing poor physical health was keeping Joe from working, but his job is
there when his health improves.
Trash Palace and more
Mana Recovery runs eight small businesses focused on sustainability, training and
employing people who have barriers to work.
Trash Palace sells a treasure trove of recycled goods dropped off by people on their way to
the tip. Each week up to 2,700 bargain hunters, collectors and dealers visit the shop.
Business Recycling @ Mana Recovery collects paper and plastics from local businesses,
sorts it and sends it to recycling companies, mostly in New Zealand.
The Warehouse is a key partner in this enterprise.
Arts @ Mana Recovery rescues materials destined for the tip and uses them to make bags,
aprons, cat baskets, footstools and recycling bins. The workshops are fun, creative and
The Nursery @ Mana Recovery grows native plants for sale to the wider community and
landscaping contractors. The garden has therapeutic benefits for trainees, who can gain
horticulture skills and qualifications.
Grounds Maintenance, Gardening and Lawnmowing @ Mana Recovery provides mobile
services to local businesses and residents. Trainees gain landscaping and horticulture skills
E-Waste Metal Recycling Facility collects electronic and metal waste. It recovers valuable
metals and usable parts, and repairs electrical appliances for resale.
Contract Work @ Mana Recovery carries out jobs that might not be viable for local
businesses to do themselves. For example, assembling candles for National Candles or
washing out plastic cores for re-use by Cryovac Sealed Air.
Inorganic Collection Service offers Porirua residents two free collections of inorganic
materials each year.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 11
The people who know best what it is
to be young and vulnerable have
added their voices on how we can
do better for New Zealand’s
neglected, abused and
For six months, from September
2011 to February 2012, the
Government asked New Zealanders
to think hard and speak up about
how we can improve the lives of
More than 9,000 people and organisations had a say on the Green Paper for Vulnerable
Children, including 300 children and young people whose views were sought and put into
submissions by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.
At Child, Youth and Family residences, primary schools and youth groups, children and
young people were invited to take part in discussions, write, draw, answer questionnaires or
record their views on what is important to children and young people.
Deputy Children’s Commissioner Dr Jo Cribb said the contributions were outstanding:
“There were common themes – children and young people want to be respected, they want
to be loved and they want to feel like they have some control over their lives.
“They wanted their parents to ‘stop bashing them’ and for adults to respect them.
“They wanted to be listened to and for the adults in their lives to believe in them and their
abilities. They wanted to be with their families and feel safe.
“We were blown away by the Green Paper rap the young people at Te Maioha o Parekarangi
Youth Justice Residence produced – a great example of the powerful impact of giving young
people a voice on things that matter to them.”
At Te Maioha o Parekarangi, the young people wrote and performed a rap with important
messages for the government to hear. Local youth workers supported them, and former Split
Enz band member Mike Chunn helped the young people produce a good quality recording of
the rap. (The lyrics and links to the recording are on the following page.)
A good childhood is about feeling safe where you live and feeling cared for, respected and
valued for who you are, and what you think and say.
(The key message from Children’s Voices on the Green Paper, a submission from primary
school children as told to staff from the Office of the Children’s Commission.)
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 12
Turning voices into action
A team at MSD is now studying more than 9,000 submissions, working with other agencies
on the ideas and reporting to Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.
To make sure everyday New Zealanders had a voice during the submission period, Ministry of
Social Development staff took to the streets, markets and malls in a campervan. They visited 32
communities from Kerikeri to Invercargill hearing first hand from ordinary New Zealanders their
views, ideas and above all the importance they place on doing better for vulnerable children.
More than 2,000 people attended multiple community meetings fronted by Social
Development Minister Paula Bennett and Green Paper facilitators Sandra Alofivae,
Norm Hewitt and Murray Edridge.
In response to the key themes, the Government will release a White Paper and Children’s
Action Plan later in the year.
Thrive, belong, believe to achieve
Green Paper Rap by the young people of
Te Maioha o Parekarangi Youth Justice Residence
I’m a thrive, belong,
believe to achieve,
no limits aim high boy
reach for your dreams,
I spread my wings,
open them and fly,
I’m setting no limits
as I reach for the sky.
My dream is the making of who I am
I replace the words ‘I can’t’ with the words ‘I can’.
Salvation’s my plan, now I start to understand
what it takes to grow into a real man.
My head’s no longer hidden and buried
within the clutches and chains of the adversary
so I carry and lift my thoughts and head real high
with focus and determination in my eyes.
I was born to fight, bias to one side,
see I got no limits, got me reaching for the sky.
When I was on the street, all I think is ‘just do it’,
coz the crimes in the past were all opportunist.
See the crimes I did turned my life to a mess…
life’s simple, make a choice at that,
aim for the sky, then you never look back…
I’m a, thrive, belong, believe to achieve,
unlock life’s secrets with my skeleton key.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 13
Every place that I see, has its own misery,
straight up young homie, come and take a walk with me,
as I fly through these streets and change history.
Gotta act differently, first in your family,
it won’t happen suddenly, but when it does what a mystery…
Every night that I drop to my knees,
I’m begging God please,
can you set us all free
and send us back to our families.
Be healthy, be loved, be protected from harm,
have positive connection to achieve the strong.
I coming through from residence,
made the wrong decision
and now I’m missing out on the family’s presence
and its breaking my heart into a thousand pieces,
changing my mind.
I choose to take the right path
cos the drugs n’ crimes in my life aren’t making me thrive.
…never mind all the hate, let it pass with grace,
allow me to unlace our mind and faith.
Tell me what the kids need
to feel bright and young, healthy and strong,
to feel like they belong, stand tall,
got them answers for those rights and wrongs.
Maybe we will take each other to a place
where we can sing and love with grace…
I’m givin’ it my all and I’m not givin’ up no day
Yeah listen up,
I got a lot of questions on my mind…
Does it hurt when you die?
Do you know when I lie?
Can you feel my pain when I cry?…
Was this life meant for me?
I know there’s something out there, there’s gotta be…
I ain’t gonna give in easily…
Now it’s time to learn from yesterday, live for today,
over time I want it to be a better day.
I hate it when I see tears from my Mama’s eyes,
it makes me wanna rise and reach out for the skies.
I need to set my mind free,
set me free from this misery,
I need to get a J.O.B
would do just fine G,
so follow me
as I reach up for the skies...
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 14
*These lyrics have been abridged.
Full audio versions of the Green Paper rap written and performed by the young people of Te
Maioha o Parekarangi Youth Justice Residence are on:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG63gLOAZTo (short version)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGyL0e7Zcps (extended version)
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 15
The young parent project
Young mothers are reaching out to other teen parents
in Levin – unlocking their potential as leaders,
achievers in the community and good parents.
In a town with the country’s third highest rate of teen
pregnancy, 25-year-old Faith Watters is one of six
young mothers in a trained peer support team to help
others facing the challenges of teen parenthood. She’s
also the co-ordinator of a young parents’ group which
meets every week at the Levin Early Years Hub.
Standing in front of a room full of young mums on a
sunny April day, Faith radiates humour and confidence.
The young parents’ group is planning a day out. The
options are being thoroughly debated – and skillfully
facilitated by Faith. In two years the group has morphed
from a weekly get-together to being part of and even
leading several high-profile community events.
Faith is a little older than most of the young women in
the room, but like many of them she was a teenager when she became a parent – pregnant
at 17 and a mum by 18. It was a hard time and Child, Youth and Family had to step in.
“Now I have a passion for helping young parents. I don’t want that to happen to others.”
The young parents’ group and the associated peer support team are part of Levin’s Young
Parent Project – a community-driven response to the needs of young parents in Levin and
the Horowhenua district.
Teenage mothers account for 12 per cent of all births in the district – the third highest in
New Zealand and significantly above the national average of 7 per cent.
The Horowhenua Council’s Youth Development Strategy lists teen pregnancy as a social
issue for the district. But Jacinta Liddell, who created and led the Young Parent Project, gets
quite passionate about that point. Young parents feel judged enough without being labeled a
social problem, she says.
“With the right support they can develop as awesome youth leaders and parents. In fact,
dealing with the challenges of parenthood contributes to their maturity. We always come
from that perspective.”
Jacinta leads Levin’s Early Years Hub, a Ministry of Social Development funded initiative that
provides a focal point to help vulnerable young families reach health, education and social
support services. In 2009, when Barnardos took on the Early Years Hub contract on behalf
of the Levin community, one of the first things Jacinta did was to begin a careful and
inclusive conversation with the community, families and service providers. That was the
beginning of Levin’s Young Parent Project.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 16
Four teen parent champions were recruited – Faith was one of them. They collected the
stories and experiences of Levin’s teen parents into a booklet, asking them about the
support they’d had and what they needed. From that base grew the young parents’ group,
initially run by the four teen champions then handed over to young parent co-ordinators.
Things have moved steadily in the past two years. The group meets each week, organises
outings and trips. It leads Levin’s annual Teddy Bear’s Picnic, and organises community
events for Children’s Day, the Health Expo and the annual Youth Expo. One of its members
is on the local Youth Council.
“It is high profile youth parent leadership,” says Jacinta. “I feel very proud of them.”
Jacinta says it’s important to get a balanced message across to the community. The
message is not to become a parent young, but “if you do, your life is not over. You can still
achieve and be a good parent. There is plenty of support here.”
The project took another step when a young parent peer support team was created after
more community discussion.
Six young mothers, aged between 17 and 25 years, were trained to be a listening ear and
support person. They are not counsellors, but they know what help is out there for young
parents, they share common experiences and are linked into positive social networks.
Jacinta is the team coach. The young team can also turn to mentors in the community for
Levin’s service providers keep profiles of these young women to offer to young parents.
A youth pastor and mother of two children, 24-year-old Adrienne knows how hard it can be to
raise kids even when planned with a supportive husband. She’s excited about supporting
other young parents and children.
“I love it because it is about working with each person on what they want. It’s not prescriptive
and it doesn’t treat them as a problem that needs to be fixed.
“It’s about saying: ‘What do you need to be a good parent, to keep on dreaming and become
the person you want to be. Kids won’t grow up to have aspirations if they don’t see it role-
modeled by parents who have dreams and ambitions for their own lives.”
Zoe, aged 21, is mum to three-year-old Brock and passionate about helping others facing
the hurdles she herself encountered. As a peer supporter, she introduces young mums to
the young parents’ group, a parenting programme and Playcentre.
Zoe works three days a week as a gardener and is starting up a music group as a peer
support project. She says people are too quick to judge young parents: “One of my goals is
to change that because that is what stops young parents getting involved in groups.”
Being a young parent doesn’t automatically mean you are going to be a failure, she says. “I
like to show that being a young parent with goals and ambitions is a positive.”
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 17
At 17, Aisling is the youngest member of the peer support team. She’s mother to two-year-
old Rhiley and is finishing high school with plans for beauty therapy study next year. “It’s
hard work, but I have this determination to do this for my son so that I can support us.”
She’s keen to help other teen mums who want to go back to school. “I show them they can
do it, even though there will be times when they want to throw it in.”
As a peer support parent, she’s organising swimming lessons for babies and pre-schoolers
of young parents.
For Natalie, being a peer supporter means a chance to give back – whether that is sharing
experiences, listening or going along to midwife appointments.
“It’s cool. When I was pregnant I had a lot of help at a home for young parents, so it is
rewarding to give back in the way that I was helped.”
Natalie, who became a mother at 18, is focusing on raising two-year-old Ollie and plans to
join the Police – an ambition she’s had for a long time.
As well as talking and listening, peer support means 24-year-old Shannon has found herself
helping young mums sort out transport problems, move house and bringing them to get
support at the Early Years Hub.
A teacher aide and mother of one-year-old Nevaeh, she says she has to walk a fine line
being a listening ear and not giving advice.
“At the end, I’m there to support them whatever their choices are.”
Faith has her work cut out as a mother of three, a peer supporter, the co-ordinator of the
young parents’ group and running the group’s Facebook page – and that’s all good.
She’s making plans to study social work and carry on doing the sort of thing she is now –
only with more knowledge.
In the meantime one of her biggest challenges is learning to say no, “which can be hard
because I do want to save the world.”
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 18
The Teen Parent Project is one of the first initiatives to receive funding through a new
Barnardos/SKIP partnership backing community innovation that supports parents in creative
and sustainable ways. Other projects funded include spreading the SKIP parenting
messages through home-based Skipaware sessions, engaging with every new dad in
Marlborough and building support for isolated parents in rural Canterbury.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 19
Unlocking the future
With growing numbers of girls falling through the gaps in the
Palmerston North suburb of Highbury, a community social
service has joined forces with Child, Youth and Family – with
Self-conscious giggles escape from a group of teenage girls
as their self-defence instructor demonstrates a get-away
The instructor, Brad Rapira – a community development
worker with Te Aroha Noa Community Services – is showing
them how to escape when someone is on top of them. He is
unperturbed by their awkwardness.
“Your turn now,” he tells them matter-of-factly. “This’ll give you the confidence not to freeze.”
And sure enough, within minutes the girls are flipping each other like professional wrestlers.
It is a sign of major progress – not their athletic skills, but the fact that they are participating
and keen to learn. The 12 to 17-year-olds are part of the He Ngakau Noa programme for
disengaged teenage girls in the Palmerston North suburb of Highbury.
Ask them what they were up to before the programme and the answers are the same:
sleeping, eating, watching TV. They were not at school. Often there were problems at home.
Some were drinking and taking drugs. Lacking the skill or maturity to deal with their
difficulties, most were ‘acting out’ – behaving antisocially and getting into trouble.
He Ngakau Noa is a teamed-up community response to the increasing numbers of Highbury
girls coming to the attention of Youth Justice and Child, Youth and Family.
It arose when both Child, Youth and Family Manawatu and Te Aroha Noa Community
Services found that while resources were
there to help boys, there was little on offer
Their joint response – He Ngakau Noa – started in April 2011 with an initial group of six girls
that grew to 11.
The programme explores:
communicating rather than lashing out or running away
what a healthy relationship looks like
their family and its strengths
their own strengths and self-belief
hygiene, sexual health and self-defence
forward thinking, possibilities and planning for the future
getting back into learning and education.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 20
Dreams and plans
Dream boards filled with images and text help each girl visualise what she wants to achieve
in her life, and one-to-one time is set aside each week to work on plans to make that
In a teenage way, the girls are animated when you ask them about their future. Regardless
of the career choice, their ambitions and dreams go well past staying home and watching
“I did want to be a midwife – but midwives are all old.”
“Hey! My cousin is a midwife and she isn’t old!”
“I want to be a crime investigator.”
“Or work in child care.”
It is evident that the programme’s personalised approach is going down well:
“They listen and they don’t just tell us what to do.”
“It’s about us and what we want to achieve.”
So, what do they feel has changed in their lives?
“I’ve stopped getting into trouble and I’m a better person than what I was.”
“I’m not running away and I’m getting an education.”
Bruce Maden, Chief Executive of Te Aroha Noa, is delighted by the successes he sees.
“It’s great to see marginalised young people get inspired and have dreams and desires.
“One girl previously on the programme is now at UCOL and she has come back to mentor
the girls currently on the programme. It shows the young women that they are part of the
community and have a role to play.”
Donna MacNicol, Site Manager of Child, Youth and Family Manawatu, is also thrilled with the
“These young women are not just ‘kids not going to school’. They are onto-it young women
who have not been engaged before now. In this space, they feel safe and confident. For the
first time they have a voice and He Ngakau Noa is teaching them how to use it.”
Both organisations are enthusiastic about working together.
“What we can achieve in partnership with Child, Youth and Family is greater than what either
of us can achieve on our own,” says Bruce.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 21
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 22
“I believe Child, Youth and Family in Manawatu and Te Aroha Noa Community Services are
modelling what will be a significant future trend in innovative social service practice in
Donna agrees that good collaboration is the key.
“With the social workers at Te Aroha Noa and He Ngakau Noa, we are learning new ways of
working that fit within a statuary model. And now we have an outstanding local resource.
“Te Aroha Noa staff are professional, committed, innovated and talented. The girls are
engaged and enjoying the programme. I can’t speak highly enough about their progress.”
Bruce and the team are now looking at ways to increase the number of girls on the
programme, developing a boy’s programme and including the wider education system.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 23
A second chance at learning
At 17, Zara hadn’t been to school for three
“I wasn’t doing anything. I was just basically
getting drunk and wasted every day.”
As Zara swung between a benefit and casual
hospitality work, her Work and Income case
manager linked her with a course run by the
YMCA in downtown Willis Street, Wellington.
Education Pathways, run by YMCA Greater
Wellington, is for unemployed young people
who have dropped out of school early. The course helps them get NCEA Levels 1 and 2, find
jobs or get into further training.
And it goes further than that.
“You can’t study if your life is in a mess,” says YMCA education programme manager Lisa
YMCA Greater Wellington Chief Executive Simon Jackson agrees: “We teach young people
NCEA unit standards so they can get a job or go on to further education. But to make that
work, we have to help them take care of the basic necessities of life first – food, housing and
safety. They’re not going to learn if they’re hungry or living on the street.”
Lisa spends a lot of time helping young people on the course sort out their personal
problems. Last year, while the rest of New Zealand was enjoying the Rugby World Cup
opening gala, Lisa was spending a traumatic night re-housing five young people to keep
The Education Pathways programme is funded by the Tertiary Education Commission. Last
year three-quarters of its young students moved into work or further training.
Currently there are 24 young people on the Wellington course. There are 20 similar courses
run by the YMCA throughout New Zealand.
Zara is now 18 and has been with the YMCA course since June last year. She doesn’t drink
much anymore and she’s gained some much needed weight. And after four years away from
education she’s now learning with a vengeance.
She wants to develop her cooking skills into a career: “I want to go to Weltec and do the
culinary course there. By the end of that I’ll become a sous chef. I need Level 1 and 2 NCEA
to go there and I’m doing Level 1 now.”
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 24
Rangi went from school to school, but he just didn’t fit in. So he left.
“The last couple of years I stuffed around, hanging out on the streets. I was doing a course
at the Wellington Professional Bar and Restaurant School, but then I got into trouble with the
“Since I came to the Y course in late 2011, I’ve stayed completely out of trouble. I want to
get my NCEA out of the way so I can go to university before I’m 21.
“The tutors are cool. If you ask for help, they’ll show you how to do it. You work at your own
pace. The minimum you can do is one book a week and I try to do one book a day.”
“I’ve pretty much started over again with a new life, new friends.”
Rangi aims to finish the Professional Bar and Restaurant School course, do a business
degree and start a small hospitality business.
Hope dropped out of secondary school after two years, unable to concentrate because she
always felt so tired. A year ago she was diagnosed with lupus, a disease in which the
immune system fights against the body.
She tried the Central Regional Health School for students with health needs, but left
because she felt she didn’t fit. “I spent a year roaming the streets,” says Hope.
At the YMCA’s Education Pathways programme she feels at home. The atmosphere is
relaxed and she’s with other students of her own age who want to improve their education
and job prospects.
“It helps my mental stability because I’m out of the house and around people who want to do
something with their lives. I can learn while being sick – I just have to sit down and take a
break now and then.”
Medical treatment is now making Hope’s condition more stable and she is planning a future
in electronics or reception work once she finishes Level 2 NCEA this year.
Hayley went through the despair of depression, then struggled when she went back to
school after months in hospital. She was dropped back a year and put in the learning
support unit to finish NCEA Level 1.
It reminded Hayley of how she felt after being sectioned under the Mental Health Act – the
feeling that she had no say over what was happening to her.
Some friends at the YMCA Pathways course showed her the set-up and she enrolled herself
in March last year.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 25
“The people I meet here, everyone has a story. It’s awesome because we can all learn off
Hayley says with the support of her tutors and parents she has gained control of her life,
confidence and independence. She has a weekend job, has completed NCEA Level 1 and is
doing Level 2 this year.
“If I was giving someone advice in my situation, I’d tell them don’t look back. Look for
opportunities. Keep opening those doors for yourself.”
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 26
The work connection
When it comes to finding work, it’s good to be well connected.
And when it comes to fostering young people into good careers,
a close link with local employers is an essential ingredient.
With almost 40 per cent of Auckland’s population aged 25 years
and under, helping young people reach their potential in work,
education or training is a vital focus for Work and Income.
The labour market team works hard on strong relationships so
that it knows exactly when local employers need staff and what
qualities and skills they are looking for.
Regional Labour Market Manager William Ulugia says success depends on listening and
understanding employers’ needs and matching people that fit the bill.
For example, in October 2011 the labour market team approached telecommunications
contractor Visionstream about recruiting for its 2012 apprenticeship programme.
Visionstream currently engages over 1,000 local staff and contractors, and has a strong
focus on the development of its people.
“We knew we had a number of young people perfect for the opportunity. We were keen to
work alongside Visionstream, fostering young people into sustainable careers.”
Work and Income delivered presentations to prospective candidates and held interviews
throughout Auckland, before presenting a shortlist of 25 candidates for Visionstream to
In a company that recognises people are the foundation of its success, training and
development manager Sila Auvaa says Visionstream was struck by the calibre of the Work
and Income candidates.
Out of 15 people chosen for the Visionstream apprenticeship programme, nine were
referrals from Work and Income.
They started their three-year paid telecommunications technician apprenticeships in March,
learning to maintain and optimise internet connections and phone lines.
“It’s definitely exciting, and we were really champing at the bit to get into it,” says apprentice
Liam Atkins. “This is about doing something that’s not just a career, it’s a lifestyle.”
After an initial two-week induction at Visionstream’s premises in East Tamaki, the
apprentices were buddied with owner-operators contracted to Visionstream to train on the
job. Ultimately they will gain the qualifications and skills to go out on their own as owner-
operator contractors with Visionstream or any other telecommunications company.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 27
Sila says demand for Visionstream services is expected to go up and up. “Right now, we do
around 1,000 tickets of work a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”
Apprentice Michael Stuart says the hands-on work and learning has opened new horizons.
“One of the biggest things was finding out what you can actually do. You just don’t get these
kinds of opportunities every day.”
1.5 million people live in Auckland – around one third of all New Zealanders. By 2040,
Auckland could reach a population of between 2.2 and 2.5 million.
Youthful population. People under 25 make up almost 40 per cent of Auckland’s
population rising as high as 52 per cent in some areas.
Diversity. More than one-third of Aucklanders are overseas born, representing 180
different ethnic groups and the world’s largest Pacific Island population.
Economic powerhouse. Auckland’s dominant position in New Zealand’s economy is
clear, contributing 35 per cent of New Zealand’s GDP.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 28
Spotlight on Child, Youth and Family Auckland
Doing nothing is not an option
Rewards can come at any time in Jasmine Levien’s job
as a work broker in Warkworth’s Community Link.
Like an 18-year-old client bounding into the office after
weeks of knocking on doors, with the news that he’d
found an employer willing to give him unpaid work
Or the employer who got to know that teenager and
subsequently took him on as a paid employee and
And the phone call to say that things were going great
with the 18-year-old, working hard, earning for the first
time in his life and looking forward to becoming an
Jasmine believes clients have the potential to find
rewarding work. She encourages clients to see it too, focusing on what they can do rather
than what they cannot.
“When I am faced with a challenge, I don’t give up,” says Jasmine. “Whatever it takes, I’ll try
and do it. I get a lot of satisfaction from helping clients turn their lives around.
“It’s about listening to what their values and their barriers are, building rapport, gaining their
trust, slowly but surely removing obstacles and turning their negatives to positives.”
It might be as practical as getting a driver’s licence or a car fixed – transport is an issue for
many in the rural community. Or it might be opening people’s minds and building their
confidence about work.
“After a long time without work, I think sometimes people can feel their situation is hopeless.
It’s about showing them they have something to offer, and that work can lift them up from
Unemployed young people are a special focus for Jasmine. Her own experience of hardship
while growing up has given her an understanding of people facing disadvantage and made
her more determined to make a difference in young people’s lives.
It has also left her with the belief that doing nothing is not an option.
“I was very self-motivated and worked from a very young age. Now
I work very hard to help youth clients into work, training or courses such as Limited Service
Volunteers,” says Jasmine. “Or I encourage them to find work experience, because that is
great for learning skills and proving to employers that they can work.”
Warkworth Community Link manager Bev Hall says Jasmine is an extraordinarily successful
work broker. “She simply does not give up on people. She looks to strengths, and is not
interested in deficits.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 29
Spotlight on Child, Youth and Family Auckland
“Employers trust Jasmine and her matching skills, and come back time and time again when
they need our recruitment services,” says Bev.
Jasmine says she invests a lot of energy into good relationships with local employers. “You
have to ask the right questions and make sure you provide the right people, with the skills
Jasmine is quick to acknowledge her skilled colleagues in the Job Search Services team.
“Without a great team my job would not be possible.”
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 30
Spotlight on Child, Youth and Family Auckland
Trades course leads to
It takes a special kind of person to work in a
prison. You have to be on the ball, confident
and trustworthy in a high pressure
It was an astute employer who spotted that
potential in 20-year-old Michael Te Paki during
the work experience segment of a property
maintenance course for unemployed young
The eight-week course is funded by Work and
Income and run by Spotless Facility Services. It aims to help trainees into a job with Spotless
or one of its subcontractors after completing the Certificate in Basic Residential Property
Michael is now working as a facilities technician at Auckland’s Mount Eden Corrections
Facility. He is part of a small team from Spotless Facility Services, which holds the building
maintenance contract for the prison. Supervisor John Dobbie manages the team and says
the prison is a high pressure environment, where staff need to be alert and self-assured.
“Michael came into the prison environment for work experience and showed drive and ability.
We were keen to employ him in a permanent role,” says John.
Spotless training and community engagement manager Shelley Stevens says the
organisation started delivering the course because it wanted to help unemployed people gain
new skills and work towards achieving a nationally recognised qualification. All of the eight
Work and Income clients on Michael’s course were placed into work.
Michael says he loved the course because it introduced him to a range of trades and new
skills. “My goal had always been to get into the building industry and I feel I am on that
career path now.”
“It was a bit daunting to start work in a prison but my workmates were really welcoming and I
quickly got used to it,” he says. “The inmates realise that we are here to make their life
easier, so that helps.
“No day is the same, and that is one of the things I really enjoy about the job,” says Michael,
who works on a range of maintenance tasks to keep the building in good condition. He also
accompanies tradespeople on specialised maintenance tasks throughout the prison, which
houses about 1,000 male inmates.
Earlier this year, Michael and his partner became parents for the first time. “It’s great to be
working and providing for the family,” he says.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 31
Spotlight on Child, Youth and Family Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast
Nelson, Marlborough and
Yes to youth
Most people in work can remember the
person who gave them their first break or help
to get a job. It can be a life-changing
Getting that first job can be tough for young
people, especially when jobs are scarce.
Regional Commissioner Lynne Williams says
the goodwill of communities and local
businesses is crucial to get more young people into jobs.
To get young people started in work, a youth specialist team was established in
Nelson in February. The team works with all 18 to 21-year-olds on unemployment
benefit, including regular phone calls, individual meetings, group seminars, training
Sites across the region also took up the challenge to get more young people into
training or work.
Motueka focused on linking young people with local employers, while Buller launched
a campaign to get 18 to 24-year-olds into training.
Marlborough’s Yes to Youth campaign saw the Chamber of Commerce teamed up
with Work and Income to challenge and support local employers to give young
A break into work
With redundancies and limited opportunities in the local job market, 20-year-old
Aurora Blackmore-Adair says it was discouraging trying to find good, lasting work.
After applying for job after job she saw a customer service position advertised with
Blenheim’s new wine outlet, Wino’s.
Owner Clive Macfarlane said Aurora was up against a lot of competition. She was
bubbly and presentable and Clive knew she’d be a great people person. But she had
no experience, and that was a hurdle for a new business on its own learning curve.
However, that issue was overcome with Work and Income’s skills investment subsidy
which supported Aurora to train on the job. She studied intensively and quickly
attained a Bar Manager’s Certificate.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 32
Spotlight on Child, Youth and Family Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast
“I’ve learned a lot in a short time and I love it. Coming from a farm where I was more
used to being around horses than recognising the bouquet of a superb chardonnay
has meant that I have been on a huge learning curve.”
Clive says that as a new business getting the subsidy definitely helped. “We are all
learning and having the wage subsidy as we get up and running is a bonus,” he said.
That’s a sentiment echoed by Blenheim natural beauty products company The
Honey Collection. General Manager Georgia says the Skills Investment Subsidy
helped them hire a young staff member, Teri-Anne Clement.
The company needed help to meet a sudden increase in demand from Korea, but
the products had to be prepared and dispatched before payment would come
through. The subsidy meant the company could afford to employ and train Terri-
Anne in the interim.
“Teri-Anne was so polite and keen to work and learn. She has changed the way I
think about hiring young people,” she said.
Far reaching. Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast is the largest Ministry of Social
Development region in the country, stretching 69,239 square kilometres from the rugged
Westland coastline, around the top of the South Island to the east where the mountains
almost reach the sea at Kaikoura.
Working together. The region has five Community Link Centres, three Heartland Centres
and two Work and Income Service Centres, all of which deliver Ministry services. The
Stoke Community Link Centre is dedicated to senior services across Nelson, Stoke and
Care and protection. There are 37 Child, Youth and Family social workers in eight teams
across Nelson, Blenheim and West Coast. A co-ordinator is based at each site. Five part-
time social workers dedicated to care and adoption work across the region.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 33
Spotlight on Child, Youth and Family Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast
He has the eye of a talent spotter, the resolve of a determined dad and a way of bringing out
the best in young people.
In his many years of employing young people, Sport Tasman’s facilities manager Brent Maru
has had some extraordinary successes.
“I often reflect on the influences that I have had in my life and I am full of appreciation of the
many adults who gave me opportunities.
“My mother was community minded, and through my younger years I was mentored and
given opportunities by community leaders who held similar positions to the one I am lucky to
“I guess I am repaying this investment to our next generation – and it comes with many
benefits. Young people have a raw energy that is often bursting at the seams; they question
and they have a lot of fun.”
Brent says a strong partnership with the Ministry of Social Development enables Sport
Tasman to invest in young people – not only through funding but a day-to-day working
relationship with staff who support the process.
Over the past 18 months, Sport Tasman has employed 20 young people with the help of
Community Max and Taskforce Green funding. All those young people gained first aid
certificates and customer service awards. Sixteen of them are no longer Work and Income
clients. Several still work at Sport Tasman, with others heading to tertiary education, other
jobs or overseas.
At a Work and Income Seminar late last year, Brent arrived once more to invite applications
from 18 to 24-year-olds to work on a Taskforce Green programme at Sport Tasman. The
six-month opportunity attracted more applicants than the organisation could employ.
Concerned about how rejection can impact on confidence and motivation, Brent wrote a
personal letter to every one of the unsuccessful applicants, explaining why they hadn’t made
the list, suggesting next steps in their work search and suggesting organisations they should
approach for work.
Brent has a gut instinct for employing young people with promise.
Nineteen-year-old James McPherson had been doggedly job hunting for two years when he
successfully applied for Taskforce Green at Sport Tasman. He was hired for a project to
encourage more people to get active in recreation. James sacrificed his dreadlocks and
turned off his heavy metal music (at least during work hours) to work at the Saxton Field
sports and recreation complex.
Brent’s instincts did not let him down with James.
“James has the biggest and strongest worth ethic I have ever seen. He is always on time
and if you ask him to do something – he’ll do it way further than your expectations.”
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 34
Spotlight on Child, Youth and Family Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast
James’ Taskforce Green project has ended, but Sport Tasman has found enough money in
the budget to keep him on.
He now has a National Certificate in Recreation Level 3 and says he’s keen on a sports-
related career – maybe coaching.
Fresh youthful ideas and energy are just what Sport Tasman needs, Brent says.
“Some young people come in with low confidence and are a bit uncertain, but it is amazing
how quickly they catch on. We hired a person like this a while ago and within a few days,
she was leading a seniors’ activity group, with people looking to her for direction.”
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 35
Spotlight on Child, Youth and Family Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast
Long path back to work
Ongoing severe pain can make even the most determined of people lose hope. But dogged
perseverance – and a bit of help – has given one man a new lease on life.
David was 49, supporting a wife and six children when he came onto Sickness Benefit in
June 2008, suffering a long-term lower back injury after falling down stairs some years
Physiotherapy gave no long-term relief from his back pain, which debilitated him to such an
extent that he was eventually forced to give up the business he had owned for 16 years.
Throughout 2010 his pain increased to the point where he was unable to sleep or focus on
anything. None of the treatments he received alleviated the pain. Feeling powerless to
change his situation and seeing no ‘light at the end of tunnel’, he began to take anti-
It was while on holiday in Australia in 2010, a friend told him to see a Sydney doctor, who
gave him a different type of steroid injection. It was the first effective pain relief he’d had.
“It was the first time in ten years that a doctor had given me hope. He told me I was wasting
my life and that he thought I should get my spine fused and get back into the workforce,”
Back home, Work and Income told David about the Providing Access to Health Solutions
(PATHS) programme which can help people remove their medical or psychological barriers
to getting back to work. There was no doubt this is what David wanted. He even turned up
with an employer who said he had work waiting when David was fit to start.
The PATHS Medical Advisor considered that as the steroid injections had given him some
relief, there was a possibility that David’s recovery lay in the field of neurology. He
recommended that PATHS send David to see a Christchurch neurosurgeon about surgery.
PATHS paid for David to go to the appointment. To David’s enormous relief the specialist
said ‘I can help you’, giving him an 80 per cent chance of full recovery. After years of putting
up with the pain of his injury, David says he was happy with those odds.
Because David’s initial injury was covered by ACC, PATHS Health co-ordinator Jo Perrett
approached them about the recommended surgery. ACC funded the operation, while PATHS
paid for the post-surgery rehabilitation costs.
In January this year David returned full-time to the workforce with a Work and Income skills
investment subsidy, supported by the same employer who came to the initial interview.
“There may be other people out there who are living with injuries but don’t want to give up.
My advice is do your research, question your doctor, ask to see specialists and ask whether
the PATHS programme may help you.
“This has been a lifesaver for me and ultimately the cost of the surgery versus the cost of a
long-term benefit has saved the country money too,” he said.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 36
Partnership: An employment and training open day at the
Otago Corrections Facility highlighted ways for Work and
Income to work with Corrections to source work experience,
training and full-time jobs for inmates in the local dairy industry.
Labour forecasting is underway to make sure vineyards and
orchards get the staff they need for harvesting. Work and
Income works closely with local orchardists and viticulturists to
help supply seasonal workers.
Adventure Southland has teamed up with Child, Youth and Family Invercargill to provide
young offenders with outdoor activities they can complete for their community work hours.
The programme aims to grow confidence and self-esteem, and develop an appreciation for
what it means to be a positive part of a community.
Young women in the Murawai Unit of Te Puna Wai o Tuhinapo
Residence are learning to consider the needs of others through
a unique project involving chickens. The girls are responsible
for every aspect of the chickens’ care. Money from the sale of
eggs is used to sponsor children in need in Africa and South
Basebook: Work and Income is using Facebook to connect
clients to registered job and training opportunities. Clients are
contacted by a staff member if they 'like' an opportunity.
Christchurch schools damaged in February’s earthquake took part in an initiative to ensure
young people continued meaningful activities. The half-day classes caused childcare
problems for some families. The Ministry of Youth Development co-ordinated of out-of-
school activity hubs providing sport, drama, dance and arts activities.
Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast
The Cellarhand Industry Partnership sees Work and Income’s
Blenheim office and the regional labour market team working
with the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and a
number of local wineries to provide training for cellarhands.
Fifteen people completed the four week course in March and all
who graduated gained full-time employment at Marlborough
wineries. In a nice twist, two graduates from the previous year’s
training were involved in delivering the training in 2012. If you
would like to know more about Industry Partnerships please
contact Lana Haruru (03) 989 7071.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 37
Working together: Child, Youth and Family, Work and Income and the Department of
Corrections are moving to work more closely to improve results for clients. The agencies are
making local action plans, using milestones to measure the success of joined-up work with
Tokelauan unemployment is the focus of an innovative
programme in Porirua after research highlighted ways to help
Tokelauan New Zealanders engage with local job
opportunities. The 13-week programme aims to get 60 per cent
of participants into work.
Kilbirnie Community Link now has 80 per cent of its
unemployment benefit applications made online, creating more
time for work with clients on upskilling and jobseeking.
Young people in Child, Youth and Family homes and Epuni Residence were mentored by
Hurricanes rugby players as they competed in the region’s first ever inter-home touch rugby
competition in Porirua.
Child, Youth and Family Wellington took part in the Wellington Parenting Expo where
families learn about community services to help raise happy and healthy children.
Young offenders are giving back to the Manawatu community
with a new initiative by Child, Youth and Family, Life to the Max
and local businesses that offers opportunities for young people
to complete their community service.
Youth mentoring: Work and Income has contracted
Employment Plus to mentor Limited Service Volunteer and
Outward Bound participants. Aims include preparing young
people for attendance, helping them with post-programme
plans and profiling them to employers.
Sole parents in Kapiti, Levin and Masterton are getting new support to return to work. A trial
programme offers refresher training in office systems, and covers childcare, financial support
and ways to cope when children are sick.
Flaxmere Community Link won Work and Income’s National
Youth Challenge in March by reducing the number of
registered youth unemployed to zero.
Stage Challenge attracted hundreds of secondary school
students across Hawke’s Bay. An Aotearoa Youth Network
member presented the Spirit of the Stage Challenge award.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 38
Family and Community Services reported back to communities on the needs highlighted at
Community Response Model meetings. These will form the basis of future funding.
Young people’s mental health needs are discussed at free seminars for Child, Youth and
Family staff and others working with young people. Sessions are offered by The Werry
Centre, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Hawke’s Bay DHB, Te Korowai-Whariki
and Capital Coast District Health Board.
Community Links: Work and Income has opened a further 12
Community Links this year. All sites have kiosks for visitors to
access a wide range of online services. More information can
be found at http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/online-services.
Working Together Workshops are underway: Child, Youth and
Family and Child Matters invite people and organisations who
work with children and families to attend and discuss how to
keep local kids safe. Child Matters invite local agencies and
professionals to attend and discuss how to keep local kids
Ministry of Youth Development’s Aotearoa Youth Voices network members in Auckland are
involved in Stage Challenge this month, volunteering and presenting awards.
Coca-Cola Careers Expo: From 7 to 9 June StudyLink is involved in the largest careers expo
in New Zealand.
Bay of Plenty
NZ Kiwifruit Growers and the Ministry of Social Development
appointed an employment co-ordinator as the impact of the
vine-killing PSA disease spreads. Employment co-ordinator
Marty Robinson says the focus is on finding alternative
opportunities to keep kiwifruit workers in the Bay of Plenty.
Limited Service Volunteer programmes aim to increase the
number of young people entering work or training by improving
their self-discipline, confidence, motivation and initiative.
Thirteen young Bay of Plenty people proudly marched out from
Burnham Military Camp in March.
Eighteen groups of young people received Ministry of Youth Development funding for youth-
focused community projects. A panel of nine young people from MYD‘s Regional Youth
Advisory Group recommended the 18 projects from 45 applications.
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 39
Taranaki, King Country and Whanganui
Extreme weather events in South Taranaki and Whanganui
have kept social services busy. Child, Youth and Family staff
contacted all South Taranaki caregivers to ensure they and the
children in their care were safe; Work and Income case
managers worked in Patea and Waverley providing emergency
assistance; and a Welfare Recovery Advisor was appointed to
reach people who most needed help. Teams of workers funded
by the Enhanced Taskforce Green programme completed
clean-up work. South Taranaki District Council, local iwi,
agencies and volunteers all provided a helping hand in the
Community Link Hawera is taking shape at the former Work and Income site with building
due for completion by the end of June. Several government agencies and community
organisations have registered interest in becoming a partner in the new Community Link.
Northland Working, Northland PRIDE campaign has been
encouraging Northland businesses to take on one more
employee. Thirteen people were promoted in a Help young
jobseekers find work feature in the Northern Advocate. So far
six have gone into work or training. In a slow labour market,
this campaign is proving to be part of an effective toolkit to help
jobseekers find work.
Family Violence – It’s not Ok in Whangarei: Work and Income
joined with Barnardos, Plunket and other agencies in a public awareness campaign using
sports stadiums and public buses, and workplace resources including a mini booklet with
local contacts. The campaign promotes key messages to keep kids safe: Children are our
Rangatira – It’s not Ok to hit your kids. Family Violence – It’s not Ok in Whangarei.
Ngati Maniapoto Marae Pact Trust, a key Child, Youth and
Family provider, held an open day at its Waitomo farm in April.
The Trust offers health, social, educational and cultural
programmes for whänau in the King Country. Whänau,
supporters and community had the opportunity to visit and see
rangatahi in training, meet tutors, youth mentors, social workers
and health workers as well as key Child, Youth and Family
Workchoice Day was hosted by Work and Income, Child, Youth and Family and the
Hamilton Contact Centre for secondary school students to explore careers in the public
StudyLink which administers student allowances, loans and benefits is co-locating with the
Employment Zone to enable clients to access the information and support they need for
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 40
Tips and links
Download past issues of Rise from the Ministry of Social Development website.
Inspiring Stories Trust
The Inspiring Stories Trust is creating opportunities and inspiring young
New Zealanders to make a difference in their communities.
Find out more about:
Inspiring Stories filmmaking workshops for young people
Inspiring Stories national film competition – school, tertiary and open entries close 31
Festival For the Future – November 2012
Green Paper for Vulnerable Children
Learn more about the development of a Children’s Action Plan to improve the lives of New
Zealand’s most vulnerable children.
Visit the Children’s Commissioner’s website to read children’s and young people’s Green
Find out more about the rehabilitation and vocational training services provided by Mana
Recovery in Porirua for people with mental health needs.
William Wallace Awards
The William Wallace Awards honour remarkable young people in care by celebrating their
achievements and helping them pursue their tertiary, vocational and leadership goals.
Nominations for the 2012 William Wallace Awards are open now. To learn more or nominate
a young person in care go to:
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 41
Early Years Hub
Early Years Service Hubs are a Ministry of Social Development-funded initiative to provide a
community focal point to help vulnerable young families reach health, education and social
services. They support families to ensure children have the best start in life. The hubs are
run by contracted providers around the country. In Levin, the Early Years Hub is run by
Barnardos New Zealand.
YMCA Education Pathways
Education Pathways, run by YMCA Greater Wellington, offers alternative education and
support for unemployed young people who have dropped out of school.
PATHS is an employment programme for people on either Sickness Benefit or Invalid's
Benefit who want to work, but need support from health, employment and community
services to achieve their goal.
PATHS is provided through partnerships between:
Work and Income
District Health Boards
Primary Health Organisations
Community Mental Health Non-Government Organisations.
Te Aroha Noa Community Services
Learn about the He Ngakau Noa partnership that is helping teenage girls in Palmerston
Rise welcomes your feedback, suggestions and story ideas. To contact Rise, or to be added
to the Rise mailing list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rise Issue 19 – June 2012 42