Visioning a better future for our young people

Sep 4, 2020

This week, PARS’ partner Spend My Super features CEO Tui Ah Loo’s blog on how donor support is contributing to a better future for Aotearoa’s rangatahi.



The old adage, “The world is your oyster”, ought to be a reality that in the 21st century applies to all; especially our young people, for whom opportunity and a positive life experience are surely their birthright. The reality is of course far from that for many young people in Aotearoa New Zealand today, and the causes and reasons are by their very nature, complex.

In Aotearoa, we have a justice system characterised by inequity, risk and poor outcomes – especially for Māori – and the statistics make for sobering reading. Māori are 16% of the population of Aotearoa, yet more than half of all people in prison are Māori, and more than two-thirds under the age of 20 are Māori. At any one time, 9,400 Māori children have a parent in prison, and these children are 10 times more likely to end up in prison themselves. It is this unacceptable reality that drives us at PARS.

Here we subscribe to a “one size fits one” model of care: true success requires a blend of support options woven into unique solutions for unique individuals. In line with this philosophy, our rangatahi (youth) service, Te Ohomai Rangatahi (Awakening the Potential of Rangatahi), is a bespoke rangatahi-centred and whānau-inclusive service which successfully delivers a wide range of wellbeing outcomes to youth. According to one District Court Judge, PARS’ service is “the blueprint for the future”.

Today, we are focused on supporting rangatahi who are already in the system to get out and stay out. Into the future, we are committed to diversifying our service model in order to prevent Aotearoa’s young people from entering the system in the first place. Realising our vision of a living, thriving ecology of care that heals, restores and transforms lives, will mean that rangatahi have the skills and capabilities they need to self-navigate through life in the way they want, have a positive outlook on life and have the skills and resources they need to bounce back from adversity.

Our point of difference is not about how we can ‘fix’ our clients, but how we can support them to realise their full potential; intellectually, socially, emotionally and spiritually, as individuals and as valued members of their whānau and communities.

The positive difference we are making would not be possible without the support of our donors. Each and every donor contributes to improved outcomes not just for our rangatahi, but for their whānau, the community and ultimately, Aotearoa as a whole. Together we are creating transformational and sustainable change for our young people.

E hara taku toa
I te toa takitahi
He toa takitini

My strength is not as an individual, but as a collective.