Launch streets ahead of hopes
Streets Ahead 237 has been launched as a charitable trust in ‘‘one more step in a long journey’’, founder Wayne Poutoa said after the opening last week.
‘‘This is another cog in the wheel which will help us to preserve the journey of our parents and their sacrifice,’’ he said after the January 25 event at Horouta Marae in Ascot Park.
‘‘ We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved . . . This has been four years in the making.
‘‘[ Under Maraeroa] we learned a lot of skills and learned how to become an organisation but we knew it was time for us to branch out.
‘‘This programme was never about us, it was always about our people.
‘‘ What started as a little organisation which started in Miranda St [Cannons Creek] can now grow into something a lot bigger.’’
Mr Poutoa said it was a great day and the large number of guests who turned out in support spoke volumes for the work Streets Ahead 237 had done since its inception in 2006.
‘‘While we were waiting [at the marae] for the guests to be welcomed in, I said to my wife, ‘The quality of our work over the last four years will be reflective of the calibre of who walks down that drive’, and we were amazed by how many people came,’’ Mr Poutoa said.
‘‘I said, at the end of the day there’s so much power in this room.’’
Minister of social development and employment Paula Bennett, Porirua City mayor Nick Leggett, former mayor Jenny Brash, Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi and National list MP Hekia Parata were among the dignitaries at the launch.
Ms Bennett offered support towards expanding the group and encouraged Streets Ahead’s leaders not to let bureaucracy get in the way of the work it is trying to do.
Mr Poutoa said the organisation’s main focus now will be supporting the interim board, chaired by Gregory Fortuin, in educating parents in governance so they can pass the knowledge on to youth.
Streets Ahead 237 is a youth organisation helping to strengthen families and build community by providing programmes and initiatives.