Hearing the youth voice in Matakana

Members of the Matakana and Rangiwaea Islands Rangatahi Advisory Group, from left, Mikaere Sydney, Michael Rolleston, Eunique Paki, and Areena Taingahue-Smith.

Ensuring that the youth voice is heard in the small community of Matakana and Rangiwaea Islands is the aim of a new initiative by Te Awanui Hauora.

The initiative has received a $10,000 grant from the government’s Small Communities Youth Grant Fund, which is aimed at ensuring young people get opportunities to grow and develop new skills and confidence, no matter where they live.

Te Awaroa Hauora chief operations officer Te Uta Roretana says a rangatahi advisory group has been set up to represent young people on Matakana and Rangiwaea Islands in the 18-25 age group.

“I asked them to look at leadership from a rangatahi perspective and to also look at how they can be involved at the decision-making level on the island, such as being part of governance groups. We’ve got them on a pathway to develop themselves and bring others on board so when they move on, there is somebody ready to take their place – some succession planning.

“They are our future and we need to be able to support them to carry us forward.”

Rangatahi advisory group spokesperson Eunique Paki says the group met with the islands’ community development project manager at the weekend to discuss projects rangatahi can be involved in, including their own idea to establish a community garden.

They are also planning more governance and leadership training. Eunique says many of the group are already involved at governance level on the island but are keen to bring others on board.

“Now is the time to bring them along with us and give them the confidence to speak their minds. Our voice is heard, it’s just about making sure it’s valued.”

The islands’ population is about 250, with 36 children attending the local school, 18 going to school in Tauranga, and another 18 young people in the 18-25 age bracket.

Eunique says the need to travel away from the island for their education is no real hindrance for them. “We have to travel off the island for everything, including groceries, so for us it’s not a barrier – it’s part of our way of living.”

Te Uta says living on the islands can be difficult for young people trying to find work, however.

‘It’s difficult if they want to get jobs in town because there is no regular transport. Many of them have to move off the island to get a sustainable income. We have jobs here, but they are casual and part-time so they can’t sustain a young person.”

Te Uta says the hope is that if young people develop an interest in governance and project development they might go away and train in some of the skills needed on the islands.

“We’ve got a bit of development going on around kiwifruit orchards so if we had somebody who was interested in accounting or horticulture for example, maybe as a community we could support them to further their skills in the hope they come home and share those skills. That would be a positive for us.”

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Implications and second class captains.

Posted on 09-08-2017 08:49 | By R. Bell

Any criticism aimed at this initiative is absolutely "race based" Number 8 is correct, if this had been a totally pakeha group, no comment. Captain second class simply cannot compute anything that aids Maori development, he still believes in total assimilation, but you guys proudly show what dinosaurs these people really are. As for "taxpayer money" what a joke, millions are spent everyday with no accountability, why question this one? I think we know. Robin Bell.

@ Number Eight

Posted on 08-08-2017 11:31 | By Captain Sensible

Another bully is now commenting on what he/she thinks I would or wouldn’t comment on! Do you have some special powers? If it is not democratic and discriminates against me or my family, then I will comment. At this stage, I don’t need your permission. As far as I know Bill English, Simon Bridges and the TCC mayor are not maori, yet my comments are not favourable towards them either.


Posted on 07-08-2017 18:17 | By Number eight

Had this article been about any one else but Maori youth eg Pakeha youth.Would the two captains have bothered to write there comments,somehow i doubt it very much


Posted on 07-08-2017 12:09 | By the roofer

Your showing a very bitter attitude towards someone who simply asked for accountability. It is taxpayers money after all. And so taxpayers should have a right to know how the money taken from them and given to others, is spent. There is nothing racist about asking such a question, and those bully tactics your using seems to be the way a certain race deals with people who ask fair questions.

@ awaroa

Posted on 07-08-2017 09:22 | By Captain Sensible

Seems the real bully has just revealed themselves !

the real one

Posted on 06-08-2017 17:52 | By Captain Sensible

Hmmm, seems the real bully here has just revealed themselves!

Ask the funder Capt KM

Posted on 06-08-2017 14:45 | By awaroa

If you’re after funding accountabilities, then ask the funder or get off your computer and find out. How is posting a comment on a Sunlive article going to give you the answers you purport to be seeking? Answer: it won’t. Which points to your real motive - which is to have a dig because they’re Maori and because you can. Loser.

@ awaroa

Posted on 06-08-2017 14:39 | By Captain Sensible

Show me where race was mentioned in either of my two previous posts. There’s a thousand dollars for the charity of your choice if you can! Can’t? What a shame.


Posted on 06-08-2017 13:54 | By Capt_Kaveman

how some attack the people who want accountability and justification rather than attack the problem itself

On that..

Posted on 06-08-2017 13:36 | By awaroa

Capt.Sensible.. you talk about accountabilities, am I wrong to think you are a Sunlive reporter? I was at a highly politicised event a few years ago. A (singular) Sunlive reporter was there. Capt.Sens just so happened to be the first to comment (not unusual) on the Sunlive article about the event. Only someone who was at the event could have made the comments you did. It’s not hard to put two n two together.. so talk about accountabilities.. leave these rangatahi alone. They are our kids. You always comment about race, never the issues. Get a life and some morals while you’re at it.

I agree with...

Posted on 06-08-2017 12:33 | By Me again

you number eight. Someone has taken their dummies away from them.

@ Number eight

Posted on 06-08-2017 10:36 | By Captain Sensible

18-25 year old are "Kids"? I think not. What is bullying about asking for an itemised list on how tax payer money is spent? Bullying is a tactic used by people so as to avoid what you advocate.


Posted on 06-08-2017 09:15 | By Number eight

That’s all most of these young people are and yet here we have two of the most redneck people on here having a go and picking on kids,you guys are nothing but bully’s of the highest order


Posted on 05-08-2017 21:07 | By Capt_Kaveman

it never stops does it


Posted on 05-08-2017 14:45 | By Captain Sensible

Interested to see an itemised account on how that $10K of taxpayer money is spent.