Lakes Planning & Funding Newsletter

  Issue 18 - Jan 15  
Issue 17 - Jun 14 Issue 16 - Nov 13 Issue 15 - July 13 Issue 14 - March 13 

Issue 13 - Dec 12 
Issue 12 - Sep 12 
Issue 10 - Mar 12

Issue 9 - Dec 11  

Issue 8 - Sept 11  
 Issue 7 - Jun 11 
Issue 6 - Mar 11

 Issue 5 - Dec 10



New Zealand’s homelessness statistics are alarming. Approximately 30,000 New Zealanders are severely housing deprived, with almost half being under the age of 25. The level of rough sleeping, the most extreme form of homelessness, acts as gauge of a much larger issue  - in 2006, more than 80 people were sleeping rough in Auckland.

For the first time, Lifewise will host the annual Big Sleepout in Rotorua as well as Auckland. This year, Rotorua’s finest business, community and political leaders will be sleeping rough to put an end to homelessness in the city. Every dollar raised by Rotorua’s Big Sleepout participants will go towards ending homelessness in Rotorua.

Rotorua’s very first Lifewise Big Sleepout will support the work local agencies are doing to end homelessness in Rotorua for the Action Group To End Homelessness . The supporters include Lifewise Rotorua, Salvation Army, Department of Corrections, local youth community development agency Te Waiariki Purea Trust, Rotorua District Council and Community Facing Ministries, a church-based community housing initiative.

Stripped of their creature comforts and exposed to the winter elements, leaders and influencers from Rotorua’s business, community and political spheres will spend a night on cold concrete, receiving an insight into what it means to sleep rough. Participants are encouraged to blog and share their thoughts and experiences via social media. Onsite facilities are limited, but people will be able to continue to share during the night thanks to mobile power technology provided by Powerall and Eton, which recharge smartphones, tablets, cameras and other electronic devices.

All participants will be sponsored by friends, family and colleagues to go homeless for the night. Rotorua’s leaders have set an overall goal of raising $50,000 – crucial funds that are needed to get vulnerable homeless people in Rotorua off the streets and into homes.

Lifewise aim to be a ‘go-to’ organisation, through which media can access accurate, balanced and constructive commentary on issues including:

  • Parenting support
  • Good outcomes for children in care
  • Support for families under stress
  • Quality early childhood education
  • Neighbourhood and community development
  • Mental health and addiction support
  • Older persons’ care
  • Services for people with disabilities
  • Ending homelessness

Find out more at


Us Two - Whaiora and Kaiawhina

Mariana Waiti (32) of Ngati Pikiao, became addicted to heroin while living in Sydney. With the help of Rotorua Lifewise worker Barbara Hicks (65) of Ngati Awa, Mariana is one year clean and turning her life around. They both live in Rotorua.

I was born in Rotorua, and my roots are here, but I grew up in Sydney.

I was very good right up until I turned 18, and then I met boys, and then I got mixed up in the wrong scene. I got addicted to heroin. It was sex, drugs and rock and roll.  Everything I wasn't supposed to do.

I started on the methadone programme in Australia. You get your prescription every week and you go to the chemist every day to pick it up. I came back to Rotorua in 2007 because my family were here and I needed the support. I had none there.

I met Auntie Barb in 2010. I came to Lifewise through my drug and alcohol counsellors. I was taking care of my mum and my children at the time. It was really for respite; to give myself a rest.

Straight away, she was Auntie Barb. She was like another auntie. She has all the characteristics of an auntie - loving, caring, a teacher. She's a shoulder to cry on.

The most important thing she taught me were life skills; basic life skills. Even though I knew how to cook, she taught me how to cook and maintain our budget with good kai. She helped me stabilise my life.

She's given me a growling a few times for being naughty, but that was all right. It was a good growling, because I had a really bad attitude towards everything - life in general, people; anything they said to me was wrong and I was right. She told me just to tone it down and take things as they go, and that I'm not always going to be right. It took a while, but the message is through now.

She talks to me like my mother used to talk to me. She doesn't try to sugar-coat things; she gets straight to the point and that's important for me.

My mum died in 2011, and I relapsed. My uncle and auntie took my kids at that time, until I got better. I'm all over that now - I'm off the methadone. It was a year in August.

I thought I'd never be off methadone. Never in my life. I thought I'd be stuck on it for the rest of my life. Now, I want to have a job and a good relationship with my children.

BARBARA ON MARIANA/ When I first met Mariana, I actually felt sorry for her. She had a young family, and she was always crying for her babies.  Just talking with her made me look at her in a different way. She can be very grumpy, very judgmental, but once you get to know her, she's actually a lovely person.

My job is one-on-one with clients like Mariana. People come to us for free to prepare for rehab and they might come to us post-rehab. Then we have the mental health crisis clients - they might come in for seven days.

My work with Mariana involves practically everything, except showering.

It's budgeting, cooking, communication, support work, everything she wants - within reason. It's about teaching her to find a new circle of friends. I really enforce that: try and get a new circle of friends, try and get back with your family, because a lot of people here burn their bridges. I've always got a shoulder for her to cry on.

One of my favourite memories is teaching her cooking - Mariana loves cooking. When she came in here, her budget was very limited.

She had to learn how to cook with practically nothing. That's what I taught her and that's what she loves doing now. Seeing the progress Mariana has made is absolutely beautiful.

A lot of people relapse, so they have to come back. Mariana has been here four times. That's quite a lot for one person.  There have been difficult times, but you've got to learn to cope with those. If you can't cope with them, you're in the wrong job.  You've got to look at them as a person treat them as an adult, not a kid. It's about owning your mistakes and using them as a learning curve.

I was born in Whakatane and was brought up all over the place by my mother, because my mum and dad had parted. When I was 12, I knew what I wanted to do, and that was to have a family, and for them to always have a dad. By hook or by crook it was going to work. I finished school when I was 17, got married when I was 17, and my husband and I have been married 48 years.

I've worked all my life. I was a machinist in a jeans factory. I've worked in the kohanga, I worked as a cleaner at Rotorua Primary, I've worked in the catering business. I've done all sorts. But this is the best job of my life. You see progress in people. If I can see progress, it might be just an inch, I know I'm doing my job.


Working4Youth is an online resource providing notices, current events, projects, research & publications and networking for those working with and for young people in the Bay of Plenty.


Expressions of interests for W4Y roundtables
We are looking at a variety of ideas for holding the W4Y roundtables. We would like people to volunteer their knowledge and their time for the roundtable meetings. You would only have to hold one meeting at your place or at the Rotorua Youth centre. It is an opportunity to share your workplace vision, skills and knowledge. If you have any ideas moving W4Y forward and sharing information please contact working4youth "at"

Our World of Difference Fellowship is now open for applications

The Vodafone New Zealand Foundation is excited to announce that the World of Difference Fellowship 2015 is now open for applications. 

Vodafone NZ Foundation's goal is for all young people to live lives they value through engagement in meaningful learning. Towards delivering our goal, the Fellowship offers a 'step up' opportunity for an experienced youth health and development practitioner to invest in professional or personal development. This will allow them to enhance their leadership competence, and contribute to sector capability, practice or policy, improving the outcomes for vulnerable young people (aged 12-24 years) in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

The Fellowship, offered in partnership with SYHPANZ (the Society of Youth Health Professionals Aotearoa New Zealand), is for one year, to the value of $90,000. The focus is on supporting young people who are Y-NEET (not in education, employment or training) or those who are at risk of becoming Y-NEET. Fellowship recipients are invited to the World of Difference Hui and form part of the Foundation's incredible alumni network. 

We are looking for people who are passionate about being part of a movement of change. If you are ready to take the next step into a leadership role, to help lead change across communities, then we want to hear from you. 

For more information, visit our website here. To apply, visit the SYHPANZ website here, download the application form and email it to enquiries "at"

Applications close on the 14th of August, 2015 at 5pm. 

Nigel Latta's "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Raising Boys and Raising Girls"

Brought to you by Taupo Parents' Centre 

We're constantly being bombarded with people telling us that boys are in crisis, or girls are, or both. We hear an awful lot about the lack of male role models on boys, and the impact of pop culture on girls. We also hear a lot about Mars and Venus and all the latest 'brain science' which at first glance seems to be saying that boys and girls are so radically different we apparently come from completely different planets. What's really going on with our boys, and what's really up with our girls? In this entertaining, thought provoking, and informative show Nigel will give you the answers to all this stuff as he takes the audience on a ride through the business of getting boys and girls all the way through childhood, adolescence, and beyond, in a complicated world. 

When: Tuesday 8th September 7.30pm 
Where: Great Lakes Centre theatre, Taupo 
How: Early Bird until 25 August $30 per person. After 25 August $35 per person. Tickets can be purchased from: 

* Nicole McHardy at Waipahihi School 
* Parents Centre Music and Movement Classes (Mondays 10am) 
* Any Parents Centre course or event 
* Door sales on the night if tickets are still available 

Warning some language may offend

National Certificate Youth Work Level 3 - FREE Training

Are you currently practising Youth Work in a paid or unpaid position with a recognised Youth Work provider in the Central North island?


2 x Wananga Friday to Sunday
Marae based learning
Catering to meet your learning style
Student support throughout the wananga
Understanding 'The Fundamentals of Youth work", "Youth Development and Safety Management', 'Working with and Understanding Youth'
Assessments that are industry related
Opportunity to work with other Youth workers / sharing of experiences and skills

We have 'limited spaces' and will need you to enrol as 'soon as possible' to ensure you gain one of these places for our APRIL 2015 intake!  Don't delay and enrol now by registering your interest to kelley "at" or phone 0800 469 372.