Our Stories


November 2018

NST Youth Achievements 

Seven of our ten students have completed their work for the year and have achieved all their goals, with plans for continued training or vocational pursuits for 2019. The last three students are within a week of finishing and are working really hard, confident of finishing. After finishing our Foundation 2 course two students elected to work towards and achieved their NCEA 2 by doing extra Level 2 credits from our framework. Certificates achieved and soon to be achieved by ten NST Youth this year:

NZ Certificate in Foundation Skills Level 1   
 NZ Certificate in Foundation Skills Level 2   3
 NCEA 2 Vocational Pathway in ECE     2
 NCEA 1   5
NCEA 2    7






Otago Corrections Facility: Literacy & Numeracy:

One of the students was telling me how much he hated maths, how he left school early and he didn’t see the point in trying.  We worked through basic concepts like number placement and how to break down the problem, and he was transformed.  By the end of the class he was doing extra addition for fun.  He is looking forward to learning multiplication the same way!

Otago Corrections Facility: Foundation Skills:


Last month, the students at OCF were buzzing about a story writing competition being run by the ODT, in conjunction with The University Book Shop and OCF. This month has seen the eagerly awaited results come through and I am proud to say two of my completed Foundation Skills students were the recipients of both awards – The People’s Choice and The Judge’s Choice. Both of the winners were ecstatic to win their awards!!

In a special prize giving, everybody who had participated in the competition was acknowledged by the ODT for the quality of their work and the subject content of their creativity. The two students who won the competition were awarded special certificates, along with three books each and a selection of new books for the OCF Library. They were grinning from ear to ear!! The winners were also invited to make a short speech on acceptance of their prizes, one of them was extremely overcome with emotion and to everyone’s surprise had tears as he was delivering his speech. I was incredibly proud of both my ex-students and was extremely touched when both listed me as the first person responsible for their success in their education, one of them stating that “Your belief in me has been life changing”. As a tutor what more could I ask?!

Otago Corrections Facility: Skills for Dads:


The current Skills for Dads class at OCF is at capacity. We have ten in the class and while some had been fulltime dads, a couple had very little practical experience with their children. Conversations were lively and sometimes off-topic but we always managed to get back to the point! The men enjoyed the programme and commented on the things they had learned. One said he really appreciated the refresher on what it really meant to be a dad; another that he had particularly appreciated the sharing of experiences around the group; another that he had learned a lot, especially that time was the most important thing to spend when it comes to your kids, not money.


Probation: Drivers Licence programme:

Email from organizer at A3K:
Ata Marie Christine,
The weekend was awesome! I think I can speak for all that attended that it was well facilitated and everyone was well fed (I did a separate kai-shopping for Sunday) those chaps can eat. A group of 5 sat the test Monday morning and all that attended passed (there were 2 that had to resit the test again, we were able to do this straight after they failed their 1st test) the rest will sit the test later this week as they didn’t have the correct paperwork.
The boys really enjoyed Andrew and his style of facilitation and I overheard comments from them that Andrew said to “do it this way not that way” so the learning was embedded in their minds, which proves to me that the boys were taking notice and their wairua/mauri was being stimulated.

Kia ora ra,
Terry Monga


Email from Adrian Cheyne from the Police:
Kia ora Christine
Firstly my apologies, I never go back to you after the boys weekend.  You will be glad to know that of the boys who committed to the weekend all of them obtained their licence on the Monday morning.  Can you also pass on my thanks to the coordinator, I’m sorry I’ve forgotten his name.  He was really good and the boys all engaged with him. I want to get another group through before Christmas I have a list ready to go, can you give me some availability on dates.
Sergeant Adrian Cheyne
Otago Costal Road Policing  | Southern | New Zealand Police

Client Support Service:


A Mum (Tania) was referred to our service as she was looking for counselling for her teenager. Due to living rurally she was finding it hard to find a counsellor that was suitable to her daughter’s needs. After our initial appointment it became obvious her daughter did not fit the usual criteria needed to access a free counsellor (drugs, alcohol or mental health etc.). Tania stated she did have access to funding that allowed her to pay for a private counsellor. We made a second appointment and I let Tania know I would ring around and try to locate a counsellor who travels. After a few phone calls and emails I arrived at our next appointment with no luck in finding a counsellor who travelled. I informed Tania of my lack of progress however let her know I was still following up with people who had yet to get back to me. As Tania was a busy Mum who worked part time, she felt there was no point making another home visit - rather she asked I contact her once I had found a counsellor. I let Tania know I would do this. Three weeks later I was able to ring Tania to inform her I found a counsellor who was willing to travel. Tania was happy for me to refer her and her daughter, and I passed on the details for contact. Since that first engagement, they have organised to meet and have planned sessions for the year ahead. A follow up call to Tania is that she is happy to finally get some counselling for her daughter and is happy to end her need for service.

Client Support Service: 


Gail a single lady in her 50s, self-referred one cold, wet Monday. She had been feeling lonely, and was having trouble with her mobility. We worked together to come up with options for people to visit Gail, rather than Gail having to go out (until her health was better). Throughout the process, Gail was actively identifying possibilities and keeping in touch to let me know how things were going. She thought of ideas that would never have occurred to me. Gail also impressed me with her ability to choose her own direction, and take action; frequently, when I arrived for a home visit ready to collaborate with Gail on something as we’d agreed, Gail had already completed it on her own.
At the end of our work together, Gail had been enjoying regular visitors, had taken trips out and had been active in contacting friends to share activities with.


Youth Transition House: Ōtepoti:


Everyone has been busy at YTH during October. One resident has moved out into a community boarding situation and another has secured a Housing New Zealand House and will be moving later in November.

We were pleased to welcome Peeni Henare the Associate Minister for Social Development, and Johnathan Fraser, Business Development Manager MSD to YTH for a tour of the House and chat about how it all works.

There is a plan afoot to make a Kitchen garden with some of the residents having a go at growing potatoes, strawberries, herbs and maybe some carrots in buckets and pots. We are also being supported by the East Dunedin Rotary club members who have indicated they will be supplying the House with a couple of no dig gardens in the near future.

During November one of the residents will move out into a Housing New Zealand house. We have welcomed two new residents to the House and they are settling in well. There is still one vacancy and we are working closely with Youth Services to find someone who is in need of accommodation.

We were pleased to welcome some more visitors this time from Corrections /HIIT Youth and Neil Sorenson and Steve Creed from SIA for a tour of the House and a chat about how we operate.


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