Rangatahi-led group helps Whakatāne youth find their passion

By Mahina Hurkmans

The Find Your Fish Movement is a non-government organisation run by rangatahi for rangatahi to help them find their passion in life, holding workshops and also providing care packages for whānau in need over the lockdown.

From Talei Bryant's struggles, emerged a group led by youth for youth.

"I didn't know what I wanted to do, the only options I saw was work somewhere in town in a job that I didn't think I'd go far in, or go to uni to study and I wasn't a really book smart person."

Find Your Fish Movement encourages the youth in Whakatāne and the surrounding rural areas to find what it is that they are passionate about. 

"I know what I want to do in my life and that's like help people and help my community and all that," says Bryant.

"And then I came up with the Find Your Fish Movement and the whole meaning behind it is to help people find their passion and turn it into their profession.

"As a youth-led group that's what we have been doing, providing a lot of programmes that help people find their passion and it's aimed at young people in these rural communities and giving them more opportunities."

From her own experience, Bryant was able to see a gap where she could help the youth of her hometown.  

"I've found now through my journey, I want to study psychology. I want to study all these things that I only would have found through life experiences. And I want to help other young people find their life experience and just get life experiences so that they can find stuff that they like to do," she says.

"I used to feel like ... all the time and I know a lot of our young people, not just young but young and old, feel like that and they just need some support and they need those opportunities. So we want to be the connection to help people find that."

Bryant says building a platform that awakens youth will help them grow in society.   

Queenie Rapana agrees, "I've seen the bad effects that life has had on my generation and especially in all our little communities. Us Māori are made out to be useless and I just wanted to make a positive change especially on people my age."

Now that that the alert level has dropped to level 2, they are able to continue their youth workshops.