Youth Horizons/Kia Puāwai began to consciously develop a bicultural kaupapa, or way of being, in late 2006 with our set up of the Te Hurihanga service in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton), a youth justice service that embraced the concepts of biculturalism within its framework. As that service grew its understandings of Te Ao Māori through the inspired leadership of its kaumātua Pita Te Ngaru, Youth Horizons/Kia Puāwai also grew its understandings as an organisation. Te Hurihanga, a pilot programme for the Ministry of Justice, closed four years later on 30 June 2010, leaving a living legacy for Youth Horizons/Kia Puāwai.
Youth Horizons/Kia Puāwai has a living Māori strategy, first launched and adopted on 3 February 2009. The intention of Youth Horizons/Kia Puāwai is that we are all well-equipped to work with Māori clients, their families and whānau, supporting them to achieve the best possible life outcomes.
By doing this we are also learning what principles need to be applied when working with all of the cultures represented within our services and within our organisation. We start with a deep commitment to our core relational values, we respect cultural norms, we value diversity, we celebrate the essential dignity of the family unit and we endeavour to work within the cultural paradigm of all those that we are honoured to work alongside. This commitment supports positive life outcomes for children, young people, their families and whānau.
The name Kia Puāwai was gifted to Youth Horizons/Kia Puāwai as the name to carry our commitment to youth and to whānau, now and into the future by Mr Maharaia Paki of Ngāti Mahuta and Sonny Karena, Kaumātua of Ngāti Hauā, Waikato.
The name Kia Puāwai was taken from a saying by Princess Te Puea Herangi.
“I te ohonga ake i aku moemoeā, ko te puawaitanga o te whakaaro.”
“When I awaken from my dreams, they shall be realised.”
Kaumātua also spoke of Kia Puāwai in the context of our work being:
Kia Tupu - To Grow
Kia Hua - To Fruit
Kia Puāwai - To Blossom