Hawke's Bay Birthright's Camp Kaitawa!

Another very successful collaboration between the New Zealand Police's Blue Light Empowering Youth initiative and Birthright Hawke’s Bay Child & Family Care has demonstrated the willingness of both organisations to work together for better outcomes for our children and youth.

In April this year, the Blue Light initiative and Birthright Hawke's Bay hosted a boys camp at Camp Kaitawa, about 45mins out of Wairoa in Te Urewera National Park, with the goals of teaching the 17 boys aged 9 to 12 years old life skills of working together, respecting one another’s differences, problem solving and communicating in a caring way.

“This ties in nicely with the Blue Light initiative's aims, which are to help young people grow up with healthy self-esteem and the right skills and attitude to solve the challenges they may face in life,” says Senior Constable Kevin Marshall, who organised and coordinated the running of the 5 day camp.

Senior Constable Marshall went on to say, “I am delighted with the attitude of the boys to help one another, sharing in the camp jobs that needed doing each day, and the comraderie that was forged between the boys who came from many different backgrounds and towns in Hawke’s Bay.”  

There was lots of fun and laughter with highlights being: the great bush walks, a day fishing on Lake Waikaremoana, and a visit to the newly opened Waikaremoana Tribal Authority Information Centre where the history and future aspirations for the region were explained to everyone.

Not forgetting Constable Pauline MacDonald’s cooking! Unanimously voted MKR winner – forever!!

Mark O’Rourke, social worker from Birthright Hawke's Bay, says, ”I was super-impressed with the boys during the 5 day camp. They supported each other and bonded well together.

"I was also very thankful for the help received from the police officers from both Napier and Wairoa districts. Without their input and enthusiasm the camp would not have gone ahead or been as successful as it was.

"The highlight for me was the haka the boys gave us just before leaving on Saturday. It showed respect, thankfulness and was an awesome display of leadership and teamwork. I can’t wait for next year!”

Birthright Hawke's Bay Child & Family Care would like to acknowledge and thank Senior Constable Kevin Marshall and his team of dedicated police officers, as well as the Ministry of Social Development who made Camp Kaitawa 2017 possible through SWiS Preventative Programme funding.

Thank you all for enabling these 17 boys to have such a fantastic experience which they will remember forever.