Partnership benefits taiohi Māori

A collaboration led by our Youth Justice group in Waikato and Bay of Plenty expands services for taiohi Māori experiencing drug and alcohol addiction.

Published on
18 Dec 2017
Whakairo for RA full

Services expanded for taiohi Māori

Rongo Ātea is a kaupapa Māori-based youth alcohol and drug service provided by Te Rūnanga o Kirikiriroa Trust in Hamilton. It is one of two kaupapa Māori-based residential centres for young people in New Zealand, the other facility being Te Waireka in Hawkes Bay.

A collaboration between Youth Justice, Te Rūnanga o Kirikiriroa Trust and three Midland DHBs has helped to guarantee the centre’s immediate future and expand its services to include taiohi Māori nationwide.

More options for young people in crisis

Regional Manager Youth Justice Waikato and Bay of Plenty Shaun Brown says there is clear demand for the centre’s alcohol and drug services.

“Previously, Rongo Ātea wasn’t used much outside of the upper North Island. The new services we have negotiated will hopefully be utilised well,” he says.

Shaun says that as part of a new agreement, Rongo Ātea will provide two acute admission beds for use in aiding appropriate placement for young people in crisis. Additionally, two social detox beds have been established.

“The emphasis here will be short term, two week acute detox preceding a Family Group Conference, so rangatahi can better take part in the process, improving their voice,” he says.

Suite of programmes offers options

Shaun says that Rongo Ātea currently provides a ten week residential programme, which will continue.

“However, from the start of the next financial year, a six month programme will be added, leading to a suite of programmes aimed at good outcomes for rangatahi. Participants in the longer programme may be able to graduate earlier depending on progress and overall wellbeing.”

Having high aspirations for Māori children and young people is one of our building blocks. We’re working closely with families, whānau, hapū and iwi via a number of initiatives to achieve the very best for tamariki Māori.

Photo credit: Te Rūnanga o Kirikiriroa