Addressing at-risk youth issue

Request from Te Ora Hou for $50,000 a year funding.

Request from Te Ora Hou for $50,000 a year funding.

Gisborne has the country’s highest rate of at-risk youth (15-24 years).

This statistic was presented by Te Ora Hou manager Julie Robinson to Gisborne district councillors at a council meeting.

Ms Robinson cited a 2016 Treasury Report, which showed 28.7 percent of Gisborne youth were at risk of poor outcomes, which include jail time or a community sentence before the age of 34; had no NCEA level 2 by 23 years of age; had used mental health or addiction services before the age of 22; had spent five or more years on a benefit by the age of 34.

Under new management

Te Ora Hou has been in Gisborne for more than 17 years and is under new management.

As the new manager, Ms Robinson wanted councillors to know about the organisation’s significant change of direction.

Te Ora Hou works “with” youth, an important distinction as it involves them in the process for making their own lives better, she says.

Ms Robinson gave an example of an intermediate school student who was in a “wheelie” bike group, some of whom stole bikes, stripped them down and onsold them.

When the 11-year-old was suspended from school, he went and worked with Te Ora Hou for two weeks.

Using skills in a positive way

They used his skills to help fix club bikes and “his skills were incredible”, said Ms Robinson.

“Seeing the skills he had with bikes was a great way to use these in a positive way for himself and the community.”

Ms Robinson said they hoped to open a bike recycling station to get old bikes working again and given to youths who could not afford them.

The organisation had a wide focus, she said.

It was not just for youth in sports or employability but about people as a whole, and focusing on long-term relationship building and providing positive mentors to stay in their lives.

“Because some don’t have this at home.”

Te Ora Hou is heavily dependent on funding. Ms Robinson asked Gisborne District Council to consider funding the organisation $50,000 a year in the council’s 10-year plan from 2018 to 2028.

Te Ora Hou is based at the Skate Park in Grey Street and has a contract with the council to oversee the facility at particular times. It also has a focus on London Street and the surrounding nine streets.

Te Ora Hou was also looking at ways to create a revenue stream for itself, she said. This included a shop run by youth, with money made going back to them.

Gisborne has the country’s highest rate of at-risk youth (15-24 years).

This statistic was presented by Te Ora Hou manager Julie Robinson to Gisborne district councillors at a council meeting.

Ms Robinson cited a 2016 Treasury Report, which showed 28.7 percent of Gisborne youth were at risk of poor outcomes, which include jail time or a community sentence before the age of 34; had no NCEA level 2 by 23 years of age; had used mental health or addiction services before the age of 22; had spent five or more years on a benefit by the age of 34.

Under new management

Te Ora Hou has been in Gisborne for more than 17 years and is under new management.

As the new manager, Ms Robinson wanted councillors to know about the organisation’s significant change of direction.

Te Ora Hou works “with” youth, an important distinction as it involves them in the process for making their own lives better, she says.

Ms Robinson gave an example of an intermediate school student who was in a “wheelie” bike group, some of whom stole bikes, stripped them down and onsold them.

When the 11-year-old was suspended from school, he went and worked with Te Ora Hou for two weeks.

Using skills in a positive way

They used his skills to help fix club bikes and “his skills were incredible”, said Ms Robinson.

“Seeing the skills he had with bikes was a great way to use these in a positive way for himself and the community.”

Ms Robinson said they hoped to open a bike recycling station to get old bikes working again and given to youths who could not afford them.

The organisation had a wide focus, she said.

It was not just for youth in sports or employability but about people as a whole, and focusing on long-term relationship building and providing positive mentors to stay in their lives.

“Because some don’t have this at home.”

Te Ora Hou is heavily dependent on funding. Ms Robinson asked Gisborne District Council to consider funding the organisation $50,000 a year in the council’s 10-year plan from 2018 to 2028.

Te Ora Hou is based at the Skate Park in Grey Street and has a contract with the council to oversee the facility at particular times. It also has a focus on London Street and the surrounding nine streets.

Te Ora Hou was also looking at ways to create a revenue stream for itself, she said. This included a shop run by youth, with money made going back to them.

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