NPDC fund helps young people find their path in life after Covid

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Surfing is a big part of life at Manna Home and it’s helping five young residents find their feet, thanks to a boost from a one-off NPDC youth fund.

Manna Home is one of 14 grassroots organisations each receiving about $3000 from our Youth Connectedness Fund that aims to help young people to get out and about and active after the last two years of Covid and lockdowns.

Manna, which is run through the Bishop's Action Foundation, is home to up to six young people who have experienced challenges in life to develop into healthy, resilient adults, said Manager Cilla McIvor.

"First and foremost, they need the foundation of a safe and supportive home and once those relationships are established, they can work on building their kete (basket) of life skills by engaging in education, employment or training.

“In addition to the usual skills we require as adults such as cooking, whare responsibilities, conflict resolution, learning good boundaries, we place big importance on getting out and about with our rangatahi. Surfing is a great way to do that, to give them that sense of accomplishment by gaining a new skill, connecting them to the whenua and to more members of the community.

“The NPDC funding has been a valuable boost to help with fuel and transport costs so we can broaden their horizons,” said Ms McIvor.

One 17-year-old resident said his stay at Manna had helped steer him away from a road that was taking him to jail.

“Surfing has helped a lot with my mental health as when I’m out there in the waves, everything washes away. All I have to do is worry about getting hit by a wave, and nothing else. My world was quite small before I came to Manna, just focusing on today and not tomorrow.  I’m a lot more mindful of the opportunities ahead of me,” he said.

NPDC Community Partnerships Lead Callum Williamson said the Youth Connectedness Fund supported grassroots groups helping vulnerable people at a difficult time.

“A lot of young people lost touch with society with the Covid disruptions, and the Youth Connectedness Fund is helping rebuild their confidence and find their path in life.  These grassroots groups are a cornerstone of our Sustainable Lifestyle Capital especially when times are tough as they’ve been through Covid,” said Mr Williamson.



  • The Youth Connectedness Fund of $33k helped pay for fuel and transport costs to help young people re-engage in activities.
  • Grassroots groups applying for funding had to show they were helping 10 to 19-year-olds become more independent.
  • NPDC invests about $1.8 million in community and grassroots groups each year through funds including:
    • Built Cultural and Heritage Grant - $150k
    • Community Events, Social Enterprise, Strategic Partnerships, Community Services and Services - $605k
    • Main Street Fund - $50k
    • Uruapa Grant - $50k
    • Marae Development - $200k
    • Resource Management Support - $50k
    • Rural Halls Development, Domains, Cemeteries - $85k
    • Creative Communities - $55k
    • Other grants for groups such as Sport Taranaki, Bell Block Pool, North Taranaki Sport and Recreation, Surf Lifesaving, Zeal, Art in Public Places - $550k

Caption: Manna Home Manager Cilla McIvor says NPDC’s Youth Connectedness funding will help young people gain skills and confidence.