Ara Taiohi - Launch of New National Organisation to support people who work with young people» 17/11/2010, Posted by Site Admin
A new national umbrella organisation has been launched today to help people who work with young people (aged 12- 25) become more connected, effective and accountable.
New Zealand Aotearoa Adolescent Health and Development (NZAAHD) and National Youth Workers Network Aotearoa (NYWNA), have joined forces to create the new organisation, called Ara Taiohi. Their current memberships include more than 250 local and national organisations and networks representing thousands of people working with young people.
Unveiling the new organisation's name at the Involve youth conference at Auckland's Aotea Centre today, kaumatua Ruru Hona said the health and well-being of young people are its heart. ('Ara' means 'pathway to/for', and 'taiohi' means 'young people'). Speaking at the launch, NZAAHD president Trissel Mayor said Ara Taiohi would bring the youth sector together, raise the bar for service delivery, and provide a cohesive voice on youth development and youth issues. 'It will help us make the best use of resources, reduce duplication, and create something better and bolder to increase the well-being of young people in Aotearoa.'
While some of its roles are yet to be determined, Ara Taiohi will run Youth Week, an annual event to celebrate and promote young people; organise a national youth health and development conference; speak out on issues affecting young people and those who work with them; and provide training, information and support for members. Setting up a professional body for youth workers is also a priority.
NYWNA chair Rod Baxter said there are around 3000 paid youth workers throughout the country, as well as many volunteers who need better support, training and standards. 'Ara Taiohi is the best chance for youth workers to clarify their professional identity. Soon we'll be able to ensure our Code of Ethics is a living document that doesn't gather dust on our bookshelves.'
Mr Hona said Ara Taiohi would adopt a Treaty partnership that all Board members would be responsible for implementing. 'I hope this will give rangatahi Maori confidence that they will be treated equally and see their cares and needs brought more to the fore.'
Advertising for an executive officer will begin next week. Funding will come from a variety of sources including membership fees, government and philanthropic trusts. When Ara Taiohi is up and running, NZAAHD and NYWNA will both wind up.
Source: NZAAHD press release