Te Arahi Bryers


“To motivate someone, you have to empower them and lead them towards something they want, thats a big shift”

Kia Ora, my name is Te Arahi Bryers. I am currently a member of the rangatahi services team for Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust where I co-facilitate the Te Orokohanga youth programme.

My professional journey has been very diverse from starting my working career as a commercial fisherman to 25 years later becoming a youth tutor at Te Kotahitanga Trust, Active Training and the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic (ToiOhomai). Presently I have two service based businesses that I run outside of my role at Te Tuinga Whanau. Within these businesses I am a marriage and funeral celebrant and Maori Cultural Engagement advisor to private business and government groups. Both of these businesses I have built on my love of Te Ao Maori

My career has taught me the lessons of working hard, developing a skill set that has value in the economic marketplace, connecting yourself to community, surrounding yourself with ‘mentors’ and most importantly; BELIEVING IN YOURSELF!

These are the traits that I try to intrinsically influence and develop in our rangatahi.

Our whole approach is Maori based, however please note that although it is termed Maori, the foundation is in fact a universal set of principles and values which have worked just as well with non-Maori youth as with Maori youth. Upon this foundation is set some key principles, one of the most important is the ability to develop quickly a meaningful relationship with a young person underpinned by neutrality, trust, non-judgement and consistency. How we engage with youth is to undertake meaningful activities that are practical based, some examples of these have been fishing, hunting, waka sailing, visits to tribal areas that the rangatahi are connected to by whakapapa, and involvling them in competitive sports teams . This by no means is an exhaustive list of activities undertaken.

The idea is to engage them first in the activity to a level where they can be successful and then follow through with the knowledge that connects them to their heritage such as whakapapa (genealogy) and Purakau (legends and stories). Additionally, I believe in involving rangatahi in group activities that take them to the edge of their ‘comfort zone’ and by supporting them through this, allowing them to increase their self confidence.

Please note that this is just a quick glimpse of what we do to make a positive difference in young people’s lives and there is much more that goes in to it. We have for several years now, enjoyed upwards of 85% success consistently and we are always looking to maintain and improve our programme.