A former Black Power Whanganui president has a plan to stop young people getting stuck in the criminal justice system.

Elvis Heke has drafted a plan targeted at stopping criminal behaviour before it starts - by getting young people on the brink of getting in trouble out fishing.

He's calling on the country's best anglers to join his Make it Count programme where they would take troubled young people out fishing and teach them how it's done.

Heke was fed up with what he called the old cycles dumping difficult young people on the judicial and prison systems.


"This is the last place I want to see them end up in," he said.

"Hence I am sending out a challenge to all the celebrity fishing gurus out there and your sponsors to come on board our waka to help us with our troubled kids.

"Mr Matt Watson, Mr Graeme Sinclair, Mr Clarke Gayford, Mr Geoff Thomas and all your sponsors; we ask you to take up the challenge."

The age group Heke will be targeting was 10 to 15 year olds likely to be referred to him by Manukau youth co-ordinator Lez Keleaga from Target Training.

Heke said he hoped his plan could go for several months with checks on the young participants' progress along the way.

"A life outside the 'fish and chip' shop scenario ... teach them how to catch fish, skills of all aspects of fishing," he said.

"I would love them to experience the thrill of catching and cooking what they catch or hunt.

"Being able to see the smiles, the warmth, the glow and the worth on their faces just like the celebrities have when they pull up the Catch of the Day to take home to their families."

It was still early days for the Make it Count programme but Heke was in talks with one fisherman keen to contribute his skills and boat to the task.

Heke said he'd be interested in anyone willing to help out with his mission to turn young people's lives around.