Te Ata Hāpai opens for youth of South Auckland

By Tumamao Harawira

Mā Te Huruhuru, a charitable trust in South Auckland, has opened up a new hub to cater to the youth. Named Te Ata Hāpai, the youth hub is a space that was co-designed with the youth it serves.

Awatea Wihongi, who works for Mā Te Huruhuru, says the opening was the first step in a long process to get the hub going.

"I'm just really buzzing, and we are just really lucky for this beautiful whare. All the staff have worked hard to get it looking like this."

Te Ata Hāpai is a one-stop-shop for the youth of South Auckland. It will house a range of support services like a psychiatrist, as well as a range of health services.

Hoki Tāwhai-Cassidy, one of the youths involved with Mā Te Huruhuru, says Te Ata Hāpai represents an initiative that was for and by youth in South Auckland. 

"We didn't want to come here and for it just to be a place. We actually wanted this to be a place where we connect with each other and learn things."

"We just discussed how we could make this a safe place for all rangatahi, not just us. Because we want all rangatahi to be able to come here and just have fun and be themselves."

Tāwhai-Cassidy says in one of the rooms at Te Ata Hāpai is a proverb that says, "Through you, all generations will be blessed". It's a statement that speaks to the heart of what Mā Te Huruhuru is all about, seeking to break intergenerational trauma.

"It's to stand with them and encourage them. So when they read this, we can tell them and make them understand, that this saying is theirs."

And with this hub now up and running, the next step for Mā Te Huruhuru is the finishing of a housing complex for rangatahi, a home rangatahi can call their own.