Violent deaths in Kapiti succeeded by plan to help young MaoriBy Alan Tristram
The Kapiti Coast Council will get $40,000 from a Ministry of Youth Development fund to help develop the prospects for young Maori.
The programme is a beacon of hope following outbreaks of drunken violence in the Paraparaumu shopping area which led to the deaths of two young Maori men.
The Ngā Kākano (The Seeds) programme was initiated from a series of hui held by family and friends of Sean Strongman-Lintern and Izak Millanta who died tragically in the 2012 killings in Paraparaumu.
The hui looked at what could be done to prevent such tragedies happening again — and alcohol was identified as a major factor that needed to be addressed.
Of the 30 councils which received money from the Youth Development Partnership Fund, Kāpiti Coast District Council was awarded the third highest grant.
The Kāpiti programme comprises three seedling projects — Kia Tū Rangatira, Te Rau Te Rangi and Te Mana Taiao.
Kia Tū Rangatira aims to develop strong leadership for Ngā Kākano which will help communities better understand young people and respond to their needs.
The project focuses on helping Kāpiti Coast’s young people design, plan and implement solutions to community issues. This involves training to develop mentoring and other skills, and participation of tamariki in decision making at both project and community levels.
Participants are learning how to mentor other young people and become strong voices for youth heard by community, Council and service providers.
Te Rau O Te Rangi will oversee the organisation of three youth-led events to celebrate Tamariki Māori.
Two of the events will be small-scale and will focus on the cultural, social and artistic needs of young people.
Onbe of them, Te Mana Taiao, is a tikanga-based project which aims to reconnect young people with their local history, environment and identity as Māori.
It is based in local recreational and cultural places such as river, sea, reserves and marae and focuses on development of confidence, self-esteem and communication skills to create positive role models and peer relationships.
The other event will be a large-scale festival to promote positive whānau and community and celebrate being Māori in Kāpiti.
Those involved in the programme continue to meet regularly, talk to peers and develop themselves to help the generations to come.
“I’m born and raised in Kāpiti and would love to build a better future and support for my tamariki,” says Ngā Kākano member Matt Kerr.