Case for Change Highlights Waikato Rangatahi Strengths and Opportunities

A major report from the Waikato Wellbeing Project (WWP) shines light on wellbeing for rangatahi (youth aged 15-24) in Hamilton | Kirikiriroa.

The report is the culmination of nearly two years’ work by the WWP, to facilitate insights into the root causes of rangatahi wellbeing in the Waikato. It brings together data collated by Te Ngira at the University of Waikato, learnings from other regions and the lived experience of local youth and youth supporters, captured through face-to-face interviews and workshops.

The Rangatahi Opportunity Project was led by a small team of dedicated rangatahi, supported by a design thinking expert. The project sought input from more than 95 collaborators, undertook face to face interviews from 25 rangatahi and 12 youth advisors and held a Co-Design Hui with more than 50 rangatahi to capture ideas, concepts and lived experiences.

Insights captured include the vital role of kaiārahi |mentors to support Rangatahi, the desire of many Rangatahi to give back to their community and how unprepared many Rangatahi feel when leaving school.

Rangatahi also consistently reported needing a strong sense of belonging to thrive and how their strengths and cultural identity needs to be recognised and supported in education and employment spaces. The work also highlighted structural inequities within education, social systems and employment which act as a barrier to some Rangatahi thriving.

As well as insights, the Case for Change sets out priorities for action for everybody with a role in youth wellbeing in the Waikato and shares potential breakthrough ideas which could help make a positive difference. The insights and breakthroughs developed were guided by our manu taki- wellbeing leaders who have volunteered to help guide and navigate our mahi.

About 100 people from across the rangatahi sector gathered in Hamilton on the 26th of October to celebrate the mahi of The Rangatahi Opportunity, share the Case for Change, the opportunities for change and hear more from Rangatahi. The event celebrated Rangatahi achievements, shared stories and showcased a variety of different opportunities that enable our young people to thrive.

Following feedback, a final report will be issued in late November.

The Rangatahi Opportunity was funded through the generous support of WEL Energy Trust, Waikato Regional Council, the John & Glennis Gallagher Foundation and the Ministry of Education.