A strategy to answer community voice


In March, Te Rourou One Aotearoa Foundation hosted a group of our community partners at a hui in the Catlins. People came from all over Aotearoa to connect, collaborate, and learn from those who work with and for rangatahi. During the hui, we asked participants to inform us on the different ideas to approach three key areas; ‘What enables impact?’ ‘How do you measure success?’ and ‘What are the barriers to impact?’. By inviting everyone to ‘heart’ ideas they agreed with across these areas, we aimed to better understand the things that matter most to our community partners.

Enablers of Impact

Sustainable and Simplified Funding The need for ongoing, sustainable funding, alongside simplified funding applications and reporting is critical for reducing administrative burdens and ensuring programme continuity.
Collaboration and Networking A strong emphasis on collaboration, networking, and support networks beyond work, with relationships extending beyond transactional interactions is crucial for impactful work.
Authenticity and Responsiveness Authenticity in intentions, flexibility, adaptability, and responsiveness in co-designing programmes and actively using feedback pathways are vital for success.
Support and Resources for Staff Ensuring resources and support for staff, including capability building and creating supportive environments is essential for maintaining effective and motivated teams.
Youth Involvement and Cultural Values Involving rangatahi voice and embedding cultural values such as Manaakitanga, Whānaungatanga, and Mātauranga in all practices to foster a holistic and inclusive approach to working with young people.


Barriers of Impact

Funding and Resources The most significant barriers are a lack of ongoing, sustainable funding, general funding shortages, and insufficient resources, which hinder the sustainability of programmes.
Administrative and Structural Challenges Time-consuming funding applications, lack of administrative support, heavy workload, and arbitrary reporting requirements create substantial obstacles.
Lack of Youth Representation Boards lacking rangatahi representation can cause barriers to effective youth engagement and relevance of programmes. Active youth representation is crucial for ensuring initiatives address appropriate needs and perspectives.
Systemic and Social Issues Issues such as racism, mental health challenges, and a lack of trust and support from funders pose significant challenges.
Sustainability and Leadership The absence of a sustainable vision, strong leadership, and consistency in policies negatively affect long-term impact and progress

Measures of success

Rangatahi Wellbeing and Achievement Success is measured by the happiness, confidence, and overall thriving of rangatahi, including their ability to problem-solve and achieve personal goals.
Community and Collaboration A connected community and a collaborative environment where generations work together, and everyone has input are key indicators of success.
Long-term Impact and Healing Addressing intergenerational trauma and achieving long-term impact and healing within families and communities.
Engagement and Input from Rangatahi Ensuring active engagement and direct feedback from young people to measure the effectiveness and relevance of programmes.
Reduction in Barriers Success is seen in the reduction of barriers to support, including shorter wait times, easier access to services, and eliminating transportation and logistical issues.


So what are we going to do about it?

We’ve been working with the community in Invercargill for the past two years and our commitment to flexibility based on community need has been a guiding principle. We have spoken to those we work alongside, and we have formed a strategy which will guide us through the next three years of the Invercargill Initiative. The Invercargill Initiative 2024-2027 strategy

Our strategy focuses on addressing some of the issues raised by our community and helping to create a network of change in Invercargill. We’re moving away from one-year contestable grants towards proactive, ongoing partnerships to build connection, collaboration, and impact for rangatahi in the south.

Our strategy looks to Implement:

• A network of community collaboration

• A relational and trust-based approach

• Capability building and resource support

• Ongoing commitment

• Shared measurement

• Roundtable reporting

For more information on what we’ve done in Invercargill and our strategy moving forward, click here: https://terourou.one.nz/the-invercargill-initiative-strategy-2024-2027/


The Invercargill Initiative Strategy 2024-2027

Te Rourou is excited to share the evolution of our strategy for the Invercargill Initiative as we look to enable a network of change in Murihiku over the next three years.

From the outset, our commitment to flexibility and adaptability based on community need has been a guiding principle. By forging proactive partnerships, embracing a trust-based approach, and prioritising community empowerment, we hope to lay the foundation for meaningful change.

Our dedication to fostering relationships, breaking funding norms, and shifting power dynamics underscores our commitment to collaborative growth. Through capability-building initiatives and strategic networking, we aim to strengthen the fabric of the Murihiku youth sector.

Our strategy focuses on addressing some of the big issues raised by our community and helping to create a network of change in Invercargill. We’re moving away from one-year contestable grants towards proactive, ongoing partnerships to build connection, collaboration, and impact for rangatahi in the south.

The strategy looks to Implement:
• A network of community collaboration
• A relational and trust-based approach
• Capability building and resource support
• Ongoing commitment
• Shared measurement
• Roundtable reporting

Read our Invercargill Initiative 2024-2027 Strategy below

Supporting Māori Aspirations – Rangatahi back community with $180,000 in grants

Community initiatives supporting rangatahi in Murihiku Southland have been backed with $180,000 in funding, as selected by a group of young Māori tasked with making funding decisions on behalf of their peers.

Te Ōhaka Tīwhera is a collaborative fund supported by Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation in partnership with Community Trust South, Invercargill Licensing Trust (ILT), ILT Foundation, and Clare Foundation, and is led by ten local rangatahi (aged 14-20 years). The 2023-24 funding wrapped up in March and is the second cohort of funding, following $240,000 allocated in 2022-23.

Over the past 12 months, the rangatahi have distributed funds for creative and innovative projects or initiatives which support rangatahi to connect with their culture. The group allocated funds to the following initiatives:

·       Murihiku Māori Rugby Charitable Trust – Supporting wānanga and travel for rangatahi Māori rugby players in Murihiku

·       Te Oriori Trust – He Taura Here, a youth-driven initiative aimed at increasing Mātauranga Māori through marae wānanga

·       Active Southland – Rangatahi Leadership Group to provide Māori and Pasifika rangatahi with the tools to succeed within their chosen sports

·       Te Wharekura o Arowhenua – Visit to Waitangi for the Waitangi Day celebrations to learn firsthand the significance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi

·       Te Oho Mana – Building connection and sense of identity by providing mentorship and learning in te taiao

·       Ka Taoka i Tuko Iho – Supporting Māori aspirations through sport

·       Atuitui Charitable Trust – Providing opportunities for cultural exposure and involvement through traditional dance and music

·       Southern Queens Boxing – Delivering boxing training, mentorship, and enabling rangatahi to find their identity

Te Rourou Community Catalyst Mandy Smith says this round of Te Ōhaka Tīwhera highlights the diversity of the decisions made by rangatahi, who support tried-and-tested initiatives while boosting new, innovative programmes.

“By interviewing each applicant in person, the panel of 10 rangatahi gauge the successes of existing programmes; what’s working and what they will need to continue, but they’re also quick to support new kaupapa they see as having potential. There is a lot of kōrero and thought going into those decisions,” she says.

Traditional Māori sport proving popular for Southland youth

A traditional Māori sport is securing its place among mainstream sports in Murihiku Southland, thanks to local organisations looking to support the aspirations of rangatahi Māori.

Kī-o-rahi has proven popular across Waihōpai (Invercargill) and the wider region, with around 14 secondary school teams and 10 primary school teams participating in a new interschool tournament.

The sport was identified by rangatahi as a way to better connect young people to te ao Māori. The rangatahi, who lead Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation’s Te Ōhaka Tīwhera fund, decided to create Kā Taoka I Tuku Iho Charitable Trust to support Māori sports in Murihiku.

“Kī-o-rahi was already popular with our rangatahi Māori, but they wanted to see it grow. They didn’t just want to play once a year to celebrate Matariki, they wanted it to be a regular option for everyone, alongside rugby and basketball,” Te Rourou, Community Catalyst Mandy Smith said.

“They decided they wanted to create the trust and allocate some funds to kickstart it. They made all of the decisions, and the community fully backed them. We see it as a huge step forward in elevating rangatahi voice and supporting Māori aspirations.”

A collaboration between Kā Taoka and Active Southland was soon formed which saw the game spreading far and wide.

“It grew much more quickly than we expected it to,” Active Southland Rangatahi Advisor Greg Houkamau said.

“It’s been really surprising for the team how fast it has grown; it’s just taken off. It’s a fun sport, everybody’s got a role to play, and it introduces te ao Māori concepts, and te reo Māori in a fun way.”

Kā Taoka has the potential to affect big impact on Māori sport and further supporting rangatahi, he said.

“It’s something we are already expanding on, including looking at bringing in tapu ae. For me, I’m learning as well, and just getting amazing feedback from our rangatahi and our hapori as well.”

“Our priority for 2024 is amplification and how we integrate it into curriculum. That integration is critical.”

Access to transport boosts academic success in Southland

Young parents in Southland are driving towards academic success, after an innovative transport solution was put in place to address transport barriers.

Parents attending Murihiku Young Parents Learning Centre (MYPLC) have benefitted from a grant provided by Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation to address some of the financial challenges faced by wāhine living rurally.

As the only teen parent unit in Southland, some young parents must travel large distances to receive the support they need, and transport is one of their greatest barriers, says MYPLC director Kim Scott.

“Our rural students were averaging just two days per week before this grant, and three of our students stopped coming due to transport barriers…now, our rural wāhine have the highest attendance rates amongst our young mamas,” she says.

MYPLC has utilised the two-year grant as an incentive for rural wāhine to attend education at the centre, covering the costs of their petrol, and assisting with car maintenance, insurance, and in acquiring appropriate licensing.

The increase in attendance also saw an upswing in academic achievement, with more students gaining NCEA qualifications and receiving subject excellence and outstanding industry awards, which showcases the programme’s success, Scott says.

“Our rural students took out five of our nine special awards at the end of 2023, and one also won the Academic Award for 2023. The grant made them feel valued, it showed them that others valued them and their learning. The engagement of these students because of others’ support and belief in them has been phenomenal and an unexpected benefit of this grant.”

Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation Community Catalyst Stac Hughes says the impact of the grant highlights the importance of breaking barriers for young people for them to succeed.

“This is an amazing result achieved by a simple helping hand being given to these young parents. By breaking down transport barriers, these wāhine will be set up for their own future and the future of their tamariki,” he says.

Hughes says MYPLC is just one of many organisations facing transportation barriers in the Murihiku community, and Te Rourou is committed to exploring ways to address those inequities in order to create greater connections for rangatahi.

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