Rangatahi participating in Project Patu, an initiative from people involved with Patu Heretaunga, learned how to process venison with donated meat on Monday morning and used those skills to refill empty freezers and bring some home to their families, according to Project lead Jackson Waerea.
Project Patu’s new building had been broken into and stripped of almost everything inside only a couple of days earlier.
“We came back in over the weekend, but Friday someone got into our new building and cleaned us right out of all our resources,” Waerea said.
“It wasn’t nice, but we didn’t want to dwell on it too much.”
Thanks to the generosity of the community and a positive mindset, the organisation “took the positives out of it”.
“We brought our group back together on the Monday morning and just reset.”
He said some security cameras sitting in a box ready to be installed this week were among the items stolen.
Other items stolen included tents, wetsuits, masks, snorkels, booties, gloves, gas cookers, headlights, torches, chilly bins, knives and office equipment, all of which had a total estimated value in the thousands of dollars.
“They even took the fly sprays and the meats out of the freezer,” he said.
He said all that was left behind were some rubbish bins and miscellaneous items that he assumed the burglars couldn’t fit in their vehicle.
“We are just hoping our insurance comes to the party and we can replace most of the stuff that was lost,” he said.
He said organisers had some leads and believed the perpetrators were opportunists not connected to the programme.
Waerea said the experience was a valuable lesson for him and the rangatahi in the programme about how material things were replaceable and to be grateful.
“Part of this programme is building resilience with these young ones so they can cope in the workforce, if they were to go back to school and those sort of things,” he said.
“The idea is to promote overall health and wellbeing to youth, with a pathway for them to re-engage with work or education services.”
It involves daily exercise, working with maara kai (planting and growing food), diving and fishing, outdoor activity and camps, and Waerea said they aimed to get rangatahi work experience with local businesses.
“We start our day with a discussion about what they are grateful for, observations about themselves, their intentions for the day,” he said.
“We’ve had heaps of support from the community and heaps of support from local services who have seen how they can contribute to what we are trying to do here.”
James Pocock joined Hawke’s Bay Today in 2021 and writes breaking news and features, with a focus on environment, local government and post-cyclone issues in the region. He has a keen interest in finding the bigger picture in research and making it more accessible to audiences. He lives in Napier. email@example.com