Big budget boost for He Poutama Rangatahi

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He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) has received a $26.5 million funding boost from Budget 2019.

HPR funds programmes that provide wrap-around support, tools, and guidance to help rangatahi aged 15 – 24 years who are currently not in education, employment or training and are at most at risk of long-term unemployment.

Stephen Ruddell, HPR Manager, says the extra funding will substantially increase the number of projects the team can support.

“We know that HPR is making a real difference to the lives of rangatahi in the regions. So far, results are promising, with nearly 1500 rangatahi on various programmes in Te Tai Tokerau, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay. This extra funding means we can support rangatahi outside these regions and extend the impact of HPR.”

There has been a strong demand for HPR since its launch in January 2018, when $13.275 million of funding was initially announced.

A further $13.275 million was allocated from the Provincial Growth Fund to expand the programme in February 2018, and the additional $26.5 million of funding from Budget 2019 takes the Government’s total investment to more than $53 million.

Stephen says that the challenges rangatahi face put the importance of HPR into perspective.

“The rangatahi we support often face complex issues like alcohol and drug use, gang affiliation, violence, a lack of quality housing and transport and criminal convictions,” Stephen says.

“HPR deliberately targets rangatahi facing the biggest barriers to employment, and prioritises support for innovative programmes led by local communities. It’s essential we work closely with our colleagues across the Ministry for Business, Immigration and Employment, along with a network of agencies to make sure support is targeted and funding is effective.”

“Ultimately, it’s about helping these rangatahi who are working hard to turn their future around,” says Stephen.

Eco Toa
Northland rangatahi on the Eco Toa programme, which gives students skills in pest control, weed eradication, riparian planting and forestry silviculture.