Small Communities Fund – Te Awanui Hauora, Matakana Island

23 October 2017

In 2017, Te Awanui Hauora was awarded $5,000 from the Ministry of Youth Development’s (MYD) Small Communities Fund.

Read the Minister for Youth’s announcement here.

The funding was to support young people to participate in leadership opportunities aimed at co-designing community services and activities on Matakana Island.

Te Awanui Hauora is the sole provider of health services for both Matakana and Rangiwaea Islands. It approached the young people to form a Rangatahi Advisory Group that would plan and lead initiatives for the benefit of Moutere Taiohi (young islanders). The funding supported the establishment of the Rangatahi Advisory Group which is made up of five individuals who represent both islands. They are Areena Taingahue-Smith, Gary Ngatai, Eunique Paki, Michael Rolleston and Mikaere Sydney.

Regatahi Advisory Group

L-R: Eunique Paki, Mikaere Sydney, Michael Rolleston, Areena Taingahue-Smith and Gary Ngatai

The funding was also used to enable the young people to receive training on governance, how to run a board and what involvement is required when serving on a board. The main objective is for rangatahi to be involved in the island communities at a governance level and the young people believe that rangatahi-planned and rangatahi-led initiatives will help them to achieve this goal.

Not only will all rangatahi gain leadership, mentoring and volunteering skills, they will also gain the confidence they need to stand and speak while sitting as representatives on boards they have identified in their communities. They have already had a number of successes in this area and have placed rangatahi representatives on a number of Boards:

  • a rangatahi representative sits on the Community Development Project Steering Committee
  • another sits on the Community Recreation Club board as Treasurer;
  • one sits on the Te Kohanga Reo board as Treasurer
  • two rangatahi sit on the Matakana Island Maori Wardens Board
  • a rangatahi representative sits on The Western Bay of Plenty District Council

They are currently in the process of organising for a rangatahi representative to sit on the Te Awanui Hauora Board.

Recently, the Rangatahi Advisory Group planned a wananga with the local Community Development Project Manager and the older Rangatahi - the Tuakana Roopu. They put four questions forward for discussion. These questions were around the future dreams and aspirations of the rangatahi, the community and the Islands in the future and prompted ideas for future programs and initiatives. During this wananga, over 70 ideas were generated and now the Rangatahi Advisory Group and the Tuakana Roopu will work closely together to prioritise and initiate some of these.

The Rangatahi Advisory Group is attending various meetings and events on the Islands and around Tauranga. This is helping them to see the bigger picture of what’s going on around and outside of the Islands as well as keeping them engaged with their Iwi. They have also recently secured a ‘Hub’ – a place where they can gather socially.

For a group formed only in recent times, they have already accomplished so much. We’re looking forward to seeing what else they can achieve!