A new rangatahi hub designed by the cohort themselves officially opens itsdoors with a celebratory game of basketball with the Prime Minister, Rt Hon.Chris Hipkins just twenty-four hours after the Budget.
Named, ‘Kimi Manaakitanga’ bycultural lead, Matua Tame Pokaia, the Play. Stay. Grow. Hub operates 24 hours 7days a week in Hamilton central city by Kirikiriroa Family Services Trust.
The pro-social pathway for youthbrings to life their ‘wishlist’ for a music room, art room, media/gaming room,Zen/zone-out room, pool table and outdoor basketball court featuring a fenceline decorated with graffiti art by rangatahi.
It seeks to reconnect rangatahi witha sense of identity and belonging, strengthen their feelings of security withinthemselves and cultivate more resiliency to meet the challenges of life.
“Within our region a number of ourrangatahi post-COVID have not been able to re-engage back in school which hasleft them quite disenfranchised within our community,” says Dr Nicole Coupe, CEof Kirikiriroa Family Services.
She believes the key to counter thedisconnection from the education system, employment and social interactions isby rangatahi being in the driver’s seat to determine their own solutions withwraparound support.
“We’ve involved our tamariki andrangatahi in thedesign of this programme so they have a voice and can govern itas much aspossible. We’re just there to enable that to occur.”
“They’re the leaders – they’ll workout what they need, how they need it, when they need it and why they need it.”
The kaupapa Māori service is partlyfunded through Hamilton Council’s crime prevention initiatives and backed byMayor Paula Southgate and Hamilton City Area Commander - Inspector AndreaMcBeth.
“I am thrilled that we are opening aninnovative, early-intervention hub that will work to support our youth. We area young city, and we want our rangatahi (young citizens) to be supported tothrive, and to reach their full potential,” said Hamilton Mayor PaulaSouthgate.
Hamilton City Area Commander,Inspector Andrea McBeth is excited to see this facility open to young people inthe community.
“Our rangatahi will know there is asafe place for them to go anytime of the day or night, if they are facingchallenging circumstances, need support or want to connect with their neighborhoods.”
This facility will also supportpolice to find suitable, supportive, and safe places to house young people whomay be at risk or in unsafe environments, and then offer wrap around services.
“We all want our young people tothrive. And we need partnerships to do this. This is an example of agencieswith mutual interests in our city, working together to create a space for ouryouth that they can enjoy, and that will support them to make positive choices,”Inspector Andrea McBeth said.
It’s been 23 years in the making forKirikiriroa Family Services as the organisation saved and scouted for the rightsite to start the service. The plan is for rangatahi to govern the management,maintenance, and future-forward focus of the kaupapa.
Dr Coupe says Kimi Manaakitangaoffers rangatahi freedom to create what gives them joy, a safe place to puttheir head down and rest, and opportunities for growth – whether it’s towardsemployment, back to school or improve their cultural connection.
“Success looks as simple as smiles onour rangatahi faces. Seeing them walking proud on our streets and not hidingunder hoodies. Engaging positively because they’re happy, healthy, and gettingwhat they needing the world,” she said.
The official opening starts at10.30am at 79 Norton Road, Frankton Hamilton.
Arrival of Dignitaries’
Arrival of the Prime Minister meet
Karakia/Mihi/Whakatau by rangatahi MCMychael Harris-Hill
Mayor of Hamilton – Her ExcellencyPaula Southgate
NZ Police Area Commander AndreaMcBeth
Kirikiriroa Family Services Trustboard chair - Toni Welch
Prime Minister – Right HonourableChris Hipkins
Waiata and Blessing of Building -Tame Pokaia
Finish with the formalities andblessing of Kai
Prime Minister and Dignitaries’ tomeet with rangatahi and engage in a game of basketball
Kirikiriroa Family Services Trust https://www.kfst.org.nz/
Is an organisation that buildspositive collaborative relationships with all, to focus on improved mokopunaoutcomes by continually improving programmes and developing new innovativeservices. Provide housing, strengths-based homevisits and education.