Language: English | Māori

Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi is guiding Christchurch rangatahi into adulthood

It’s an important time in a person’s life when making the transition from adolescence to adulthood. For some people, this is a difficult time. However, one Christchurch organisation – Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi  - is standing by to offer support and guidance.

The youth development agency works primarily with Māori and Pasifika young people, but not exclusively. It aims to provide programmes and activities creating positive opportunities for young people on that transitional journey.

Te Ora Hou General Manager Jono Campbell says its core focus is to support the transition of young people into healthy adulthood, rangatahi tu rangatira.

Te Ora Hou – the only Māori youth development agency in Christchurch – focuses on life-changing work for young people. Its staff are on the ground providing support to enhance mana (worth/value) and facilitate the growth of a person’s capacity, confidence and competence.

Mr Campbell says its programmes continue to flourish with help from several organisations, including the Rātā Foundation.

Programmes range from an Alternative Education School and Wrap-around social work services (focused on Maori/Pasifika young people and their whānau) through to Whānau Ora Navigators and primary health services for Māori, particularly rangatahi Māori.

“Funding from Rātā has allowed our programmes to continue, and we have developed successful ways to engage with whānau, which is important for rangatahi,” Mr Campbell says. 

“We hold whānau nights in Te Kaupapa Whakaora, the alternative education centre, so that people can become familiar with the space and we can start building our relationship with them.

“When you go to see whānau, and you see how they do, you can see what they value. It gives us a much better picture of what is happening for that young person in their life.”

Te Ora Hou’s expertise focuses on helping rangatahi navigate the barriers they may face in their lives, including; addictive behaviours, low-wage employment, and lack of direction, purpose, and hope.

The organisation provides a heart or a home – and the Rātā Foundation has been a big part of that.

“In 2015, we purchased a site at Windermere Road thanks to a significant investment from Rātā allowing us to put on-site buildings, a wharenui, an administration block, and a chapel,” he says.

“We have created spaces that our whānau and rangatahi can use on a daily, weekly basis.”

Te Ora Hou’s vision is that its youth work continues to be based on building connections and relationships in a positive youth development framework helping to assist rangatahi in transitioning positively into adulthood.

“We hope those young people we focus on whose lives have become “unwoven” by their circumstances can be supported to become “woven together” again as their connections with their whānau and community strengthen,” he says.

Chief Executive of Rātā Foundation Leighton Evans says, “organisations like Te Ora Hou are effective, operate with integrity, and advocate and champion young people and all communities. This is evidenced by their continuing commitment to this work despite the ongoing challenges in the NGO sector.

TOH has a well-established track record and remains the only Maori youth development agency in Christchurch.

For more information on Te Ora Hou  visit -

Funding for Te Ora Hou came under our Support Focus Area - Supporting positive youth development for young people/rangatahi. 

To find out more about our Support Funding Focus please visit -