24 Nov 2021
Photo of students at Manurewa High School

The initiative has been co-designed with whānau for whānau (students at Manurewa High School pictured).

A programme that’s been supporting rangatahi and whānau in South Auckland’s Papakura for the past six years is now being brought to life in Manurewa. The initiative, which has been co-designed with whānau for whānau, will provide support to navigate an ecosystem of services and wellbeing goals to enhance the community’s lives.

Papakura’s programme - Kootuitui Ki Papakura - began in 2015, after a collaboration between Westpac and the Middlemore Foundation created the initiative and now Manurewa will have its own programme.

Since then, thousands of children from low decile schools in Papakura have received help with the tools and resources they need to support their health and education. A recent evaluation has shown Kootuitui delivers $13.8million of value to Aotearoa each year, with a 1:11 social return on investment ratio. That means for every dollar invested, the community is getting back $11 of value.

Westpac Money Skills Workshops teaching financial capability and access to Chromebooks for digital immersion learning are just a couple of the offerings to the community. And now Ngaa Tai Tini - a whānau-led initiative - is aimed at breaking the cycle of chronic poverty in Manurewa.

“One third of residents in Manurewa are under the age of 20 and we want to reach out to those people, and the whole community, to strengthen generations to come,” says Jason Lock, Westpac’s Head of Operations and Contact Centre.

“We all need to work together to break the cycle of chronic poverty and Westpac can do its part by building the community’s skills in financial capability and addressing the issues that can alleviate toxic stress.

“Our collaboration with the Middlemore Foundation and Ngaa Tai Tini can address issues like food security, basic health support, warm dry housing and debt management, which is why this partnership is so important to us as an organisation.

“Westpac’s Managing Your Money volunteers help communities build skills across digital platforms and in financial capability. We also create pathways for school leavers by providing internships and school leaver’s programmes for those not attending universities,” Lock says.

Westpac has entered a three-year community sponsorship with the Middlemore Foundation to reach out to Manurewa and have become the exclusive partner of the financial capability component of the initiative.

Project Director of the Ngaa Tai Tini initiative, Faye Langdon, said the team is privileged to be part of the partnership with the Middlemore Foundation and Manurewa community.

“This initiative, which has been co-designed with whānau for whānau, will build on the community's strengths, while also building new skills and alleviating stress, to open up new pathways and opportunities going forward.

“Westpac has become a key partner to support this initiative and they have taken the lead on co-designing specific financial skills to share with the community,” Langdon said.

Principal of Manurewa High School, Pete Jones, said Ngaa Tai Tini will help provide much needed resources and expertise to enable the school to better connect with, and support, rangatahi and whānau.

“We believe this initiative will alleviate problems and barriers, while building skills and mana to enable both our rangatahi and whānau to Piki atu ki te rangi - aim high, strive for excellence," Jones said.

Manurewa has also been front of mind for the Westpac NZ Government Innovation Fund, which has invested in the Manurewa High Business Academy programme to help prepare rangatahi for their future in work. This programme is designed to prepare young Māori and Pacifica for their future in work – offering training and paid work experience in areas such as technology.

Westpac’s Igniting Futures recruitment initiative also offers school leavers work and training opportunities to upskill, which is aimed at those not attending university.

Everyone involved in these programmes believe targeting rangatahi from an early age is a way to change the course of generations to come.

The overarching goal is to grow wellbeing, financial security, healthy living standards and independence within Aotearoa’s communities.


How Ngaa Tai Tini will help break the cycle of chronic poverty

Whānau navigators (kaiaarahi) will support whānau and rangatahi to receive the right support in the community. This will include building pathways to wellbeing and providing holistic wraparound support in these three main areas of focus:

  1. Alleviating toxic stress by addressing food security issues; social and emotional support; basic health support; safe, warm, dry housing; and debt management. If these basic needs are addressed, it will create the mental bandwidth to engage in the next stages.
  2. Building skills and mana for future development. This will include developing financial literacy skills, soft skills, digital skills, mentoring, creating access to CV building tools and driver's licences.
  3. Creating pathways into internships, academies and business collaborations for professional opportunities.

The first year of the initiative will employ kaiaarahi to support 20-30 whānau and students, with that number growing to 100 families in year two and 200 families in 2023.


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