A new way of help­ing youth in trou­ble

The Northland Age - - Local News -

A new Tai Tok­erau youth re­mand ser­vice, Mahuru, which was launched at Kaikohe’s Ko­he­whata Marae last week, has been de­scribed as the call of the p¯ıp¯ıwha­rau­roa (shin­ing cuckoo) pro­vid­ing pos­i­tive path­ways and op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple who have of­fended.

Mahuru — Te Aranga o te Ao Marama, a unique ini­tia­tive be­tween Nga¯puhi Iwi So­cial Ser­vices (NISS) and Oranga Ta­mariki — Min­istry for Chil­dren, is a Nga¯puhi-led kau­papa Ma¯ori re­mand ser­vice de­signed to re­duce the risk of youth re-of­fend­ing through one-on-one care, cul­tural val­ues and tribal con­nec­tions.

Both or­gan­i­sa­tions have recog­nised an im­me­di­ate need for bet­ter ways to care for and sup­port taita­mariki in Te Tai Tok­erau, in­clud­ing those who whaka­papa to Nga¯puhi, to make more pos­i­tive life de­ci­sions and help re­duce their risk of re­of­fend­ing.

“This is an op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide an in­no­va­tive, be­spoke and val­ues-based re­sponse driven by our own Nga¯puhi val­ues, prin­ci­ples and nar­ra­tives,” NISS gen­eral man­ager Liz Mars­den said.

“As a new ap­proach, we can el­e­vate our own cul­tural prac­tices and net­works to help re­duce re-of­fend­ing and en­hance the op­por­tu­ni­ties for young Nga¯puhi to lead pos­i­tive lives.

“This is a pos­i­tive step for Nga¯puhi tak­ing greater re­spon­si­bil­ity of Nga¯puhi taita­mariki who have se­ri­ously of­fended, some­thing we have long ad­vo­cated for,” she added.

“It’s a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity, and one that we take very se­ri­ously.”

The name ‘Mahuru’ drew on the p¯ıp¯ıwha­rau­roa as the mes­sen­ger herald­ing spring and a change of sea­son, a time for new growth and begin­nings for taita­mariki, speak­ing of a jour­ney and awak­en­ing for taita­mariki to be sup­ported to make pos­i­tive choices.

Aroha Ta­here, Youth Jus­tice man­ager for Oranga Ta­mariki in Te Tai Tok­erau, said the min­istry was very ex­cited to be part­ner­ing with Nga¯puhi Iwi So­cial Ser­vices to sup­port ta­mariki on re­mand in mak­ing pos­i­tive life de­ci­sions and cul­tural con­nec­tions for their fu­ture.

“Mahuru en­ables us to keep more of our young peo­ple within their com­mu­ni­ties in Te Whare Tapu O Nga¯puhi, and with their peo­ple, in­stead of plac­ing them in Youth Jus­tice fa­cil­i­ties around the coun­try where they have no ex­ist­ing re­la­tion­ships or con­nec­tions,” she said.

Mahuru gave the po­lice, Youth Court and Ran­gatahi Court judges an­other op­tion to con­sider when a young per­son com­mit­ted a crime and needed to spend time away from home in a safe and stable en­vi­ron­ment while they awaited their court hear­ing.

Each young per­son would first be as­sessed in a range of ar­eas, such as the level and na­ture of their of­fend­ing, their men­tal health, and any con­cern­ing be­hav­iours. Care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion would be given when pair­ing taita­mariki and kaimanaaki to en­sure ev­ery­one in­volved would be safe, in­clud­ing taita­mariki, kaimanaaki, any vic­tim/s of their of­fence and the com­mu­nity.

NISS project man­ager (re­mand ser­vice startup) Aroha Shelford was very op­ti­mistic about the new Nga¯puhi-led ser­vice.

“Where pos­si­ble we want to con­nect young peo­ple with their cul­tural and tribal iden­tity to reignite be­ing Ma¯ori and Nga¯puhi as a pos­i­tive thing. Nga¯puhi tikanga is there­fore at the fore­front in the de­liv­ery of this ser­vice,” she said.


Al­lan Bore­ham (mid­dle), flanked by Min­is­ter for Youth Peeni Henare (left) and Youth Court judge Greg Davis, makes his way on to Ko­he­whata Marae af­ter ac­cept­ing the chal­lenge.The Mahuru work­ing group from Oranga Ta­mariki and Nga¯ puhi Iwi So­cial Ser­vices at last week’s Mahuru launch — Aroha Ta­here (left), Aroha Shelford, Keryn Bristow, Liz Mars­den, Parani Wiki and Kela Lloydd.

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