Initiate Rangatahi Programmes – my journey

By Dakota Rolleston (Initiate Rangatahi Candidate – Youth Connector @ The Development Hub.

Why is it that often when we get an opportunity to do more with our lives, we struggle to get on board?

The road to adulthood… How do we go about it? What steps do we need to take and why don’t I know all the answers?

As youth, we are not as ‘put together’ as we may seem. There are times we feel we have done well at this and failed miserably at that. However, when you’re on a journey to discover yourself, its best done with people who can guide you along the way. That’s where The Development Hub’s Initiate Rangatahi Programme has made such a difference, and helped me get on track and set some big, hairy audacious goals.

Early this year I was selected for the Initiate Rangatahi Programme along with 11 other young wahine. We met at 100 Queen St East, Hastings – the office of The Development Hub – and we were connected as a group. We were met by a team dedicated to helping us to develop ourselves, personally, professionally and ultimately into employment. And man did we all want jobs!

Instantly we were surrounded by encouraging people in a comfortable environment where you felt like you belonged, you were heard, you were seen for all your strengths and all your challenges! And it was the help with the challenges, they call them barriers, where we could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The Development Hub offered services and knowledge that made us realise there was more to job searching than what we already knew. They made us see that we could have careers, meaningful ones, doing jobs that we loved and that we could be valued members of businesses and our community. All of the activities benefited us as young women and broadened our minds to the world of employment, buying our first homes, and nailing our lives!! We instantly became confident in taking steps towards the journey of discovering ourselves.

From my crew, 11 out of the 12 of us got jobs, and we are still working with our pal to help her in her journey. It frikkin worked, the programme worked. And I am a testament to it, because I got the best job. I am working at The Development Hub now, helping other young wahine, just like me…until I become the first Māori Female Prime Minister in New Zealand.

We began here at The Development Hub with hope that we would leave with full-time jobs, however, as the four weeks went by, we realised we were leaving with much more than that! We were leaving with life lessons, career skills and long-lasting friendship with ladies who were once strangers.

“Ka pū te ruha, ka had te rangatahi.”
As an old net withers, a new net cast a-fishing.”

If you would like to learn more about The Development Hub programmes contact us at 0800 DEV HUB, or or drop in and see us at Level 1, 118 Queen Street East

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