News Item

June 2020

Te Rito o te Harakeke - An enduring community structure of support for rangatahi transitioning from the Rangatahi Court

The New Zealand Law Foundation has long been a champion for youth justice initiatives.

Now, the trustees welcome a new report from the Henwood Trust suggesting a community mechanism to further support rangatahi in a whanau setting capturing more resources for those appearing before the Rangatahi Courts.

Judge Heemi Taumaunu said, “Perhaps the greatest challenge for rangatahi programme providers will be for them to design and implement successful transitions for the young person at the end of the programme, back to the young person’s whanau and community. This will involve the development of a successful career and educational pathways for the young person. The Henwood Trust project represents a comprehensive attempt to design and implement such a community based framework.”

The new report outlines opportunities for communities to become involved. The long term goal is for communities to run their own structures with their own vision supporting individual rangatahi. The Henwood Trust contracting with Tukaha Global Consultancy Limited, supported by Oranga Tamariki, will together soon explore ways of implementing this initiative in up to six Rangatahi Court communities.

In researching this project, the Henwood Trust engaged extensively with stakeholders and communities supporting these rangatahi. There was complete agreement that there was a lack of effective resources for this group. The communities were unanimous in their support that a project designed to fill this gap would make a major difference to the lives of rangatahi and their whanau and strengthen its community at large.

A local community structure would enable these resources to be captured in a consistent and organised way. Such a structure would reflect local strengths, engage local business people, cultural and community experts for the benefit of these rangatahi to build a positive life away from crime.

The Law Foundation looks forward to this research being taken up and providing a solid foundation to support our rangatahi.

The Law Foundation provided $87,000 towards the research supporting this project. Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children, also supported and funded this project.