November 2015: The Carlson - Ryan whānau were facing these realities. With one son at University already, they wanted to ensure that their youngest boy was given the chance to help direct his own future pathways.
Having heard of Te Arawa Whānau Ora's new focus on rangatahi development, they reached out to the Collective for advice and guidance on how to support their 17-year old son Te Moana.
The whānau was able to access Te Arawa Whānau Ora's Whānau Direct programme which supports families to access resource in a timely way, when it most matters most, with the intention of making a positive difference for families.
Our goal was to continue to support our son, so that he could stay focused and we wanted to ensure that he was able to participate in activities outside of school.”
"Most importantly we wanted Te Moana to have a plan for his future", explains Te Moana's mum, Tina.
The idea was that once Te Moana had developed his plan, his whānau would be able to support that plan.
"The plan we developed together was focused on Te Moana's future, which was really important for us because next year he wants to make sure that he is prepared for University", explains Tina.
Together, Te Moana's and his whānau worked with their Te Arawa Whānau Ora paeārahi to construct and shape his goals for the future as well as detail how he would work to achieve those goals.
Key to his plan was his love of waka ama and his desire to represent New Zealand at the World Waka Ama Comps in 2016. Te Moana also wanted to compete in at the Trans-Tasman Gubbi Gubbi Waka Ama Competition in Australia. Te Moana also committed himself to achieving NCEA Level 3. Looking to next year Te Moana also focused on preparing for a conjoint Bachelor of Health Sciences and Bachelor of Arts at University.
Te Moana's Mum and Dad committed themselves to supporting their boy’s goals and appreciated the importance of the sport of waka ama and this sport’s community.
"We knew this might be his only opportunity to compete at this level. We've made it a priority for our whole whānau", says Tina.
Having a plan helped greatly and the rewards have been significant.
In September, Te Moana competed at the Trans-Tasman Gubbi Gubbi Waka Ama Competition in Australia and achieved a Bronze medal with a W6 team. October saw him compete in the Sports Waikato Secondary Schools Long Distance Waka Ama Competition, where he achieved 1st 8km, in a mixed W6 team.
Most recently Te Moana has been recognised as a Rotorua Young Achiever for Western Heights High School and is also a recipient of a Te Arawa Rangatahi Award 2015.
Te Moana has applied for accommodation and enrolment entry at Auckland University and he continues to work hard at school, meeting leadership commitments and completing internal assessments, before readying himself with exam revision for Level 3 NCEA exams.
Importantly his goal of competing at National Waka Ama Sprint Championships is still in place with training and attendance at competitions set for the coming months.
Having this Whānau Ora resource available to Te Moana gave us confidence that he had support and was a way to help him develop and clarify his plan. He's begun the process of creating a pathway, which will allow him to achieve his self-determined, self-defined goals. Most important is that we know we have the support of Whānau Ora to help him make those dreams a reality."
Why Te Arawa Whānau Ora Works
Te Arawa Whānau Ora has been successful because it ensures whānau are able to determine their own goals and are given positive support to achieve them. Te Arawa Whānau Ora will work with groups, whānau and individuals to support them to become successful.
Te Arawa Whānau Ora works because it puts whānau in the driver’s seat, they define their own goals and make their own decisions. Te Arawa Whānau Ora has helped over 1500 individual whānau members over the last year. If you would like to know more please contact us.