New funding to support Māori Wardens work with disengaged rangatahi

$1 million in Budget ‘18 has been set aside for Māori Wardens to support outcomes for rangatahi Māori that will enhance their education and employment opportunities.

“This fund will allow Māori Wardens in their regions to test innovative approaches to mentor rangatahi and provide them with the ‘soft skills’ needed to succeed in work or further education,” says Minister Mahuta.

“Māori Wardens have been operating at a grass roots level for over 150 years and their networks through New Zealand are deeply rooted within our communities. Their relationship with whānau and community members enables them to closely support rangatahi and their whānau.”

This fund targets rangatahi who are the hardest to reach and are most disengaged. The ‘soft skills’ that Māori Wardens will be building with rangatahi focus on shifting them from disengaged to engaged so that they can begin their employment and education pathway.  This could include rebuilding trust, influencing change, building confidence, identifying aspirations, and strengthening attributes.

It will support rangatahi (adolescents) aged between 15-24 that may not be in education, employment or training (NEETs).

“The target for this fund is the 28,400 Māori youth who are not in employment, education or training. Overall, Māori have higher NEET rates than other ethnic groups at 21.3 percent. This is unacceptable.

“A few Māori Warden Groups will run innovative pilot programmes in 2018/19. Learnings will support Māori Warden Groups nationwide to run their own programmes that are community-led with a whānau-centred approach.

“The pilot year will ensure that the funding is used effectively. We know small investments in targeted areas can, over time, create considerable benefits for everyone,” says Minister Mahuta.

While funding will be administered by Te Puni Kōkiri, the Māori Warden Project team will provide day-to-day support to all Māori Warden Groups running programmes from this fund.

This fund supports the Government’s priority of tackling youth unemployment and helping young people who are not in education employment or training.

For more information go to www.tpk.govt.nz