Agencies network to support positive outcomes for rangatahi

Published: Nov 6, 2019 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020

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  • Hawke's Bay

Local and central government are successfully working together to improve the prospects of 16 to 24 year olds in the Hawkes Bay region.

Dean Taiti standing at a workbench.

Dean Tiaiti is grateful to be learning a trade thanks to help from a local and central government programme collaborating to find ways to help youth.

The Hasting District Council’s Mahi For Youth team funded through the government's He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) programme work with youth who need support to get in to employment, education, and or training.

He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) programme

Over the past two years they have connected with 317 rangatahi, helping 173 into employment, training or education. The Mahi for Youth programme has received $460,000 from HPR. The Mahi For Youth team has three staff or connectors who work with youth, employers and whanau.

One young person who has reaped the benefits of their support is Dean Tiaiti, aged 20. Dean had been off work in May last year when he came across a Facebook post talking about the council’s support. He emailed the Youth Connector, Ryan, who supported him to put together a CV, gain a driver’s licence and get a job as an orchard hand. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, Dean left that job and went back to a previous job, but again it didn’t work out so he reached out again to Ryan.

Several months earlier Sasha, the Employer Connector, had seen a job advertised at Lacquerland, a local furniture finishing company. The role had been filled but when that employee didn’t work out Lacquerland got back in touch to see if the Mahi for Youth team could help.

George Johnson at Lacquerland said working with Sasha and her team had made it a lot easier to find a suitable candidate. “On the first meeting the team came and looked at what we do. I was able to tell them the sort of person I need to make my business work better.”

The following day Dean, accompanied by Sasha and Ryan went for a site visit and he was offered the job on the spot. Three months in and George is pleased to report Dean is “working out well”. Dean had always wanted a trade and Lacquerland was keen to support him so Sasha in her role as the Employer Connector worked with a Hastings based Ministry of Social Development work broker to get a Mana in Mahi application approved.

The team then connected with Competenz (an Industry Training Organisation) to help Dean get his studies underway. Now Dean will spend the next three years working towards an apprenticeship in furniture finishing and is happy with the way things have turned out. With his first Mana in Mahi incentive payment he is stoked to have been able to buy his first car – and retire his skateboard on those cold Hawke’s Bay mornings.

“I had been struggling finding jobs but things are good now. I’m liking gaining the knowledge – it’s set me up for the next three years if not more.”