Our Journey

Ngā Rangatahi Toa was born in 2009, in South Auckland, New Zealand, Aotearoa.

Educator Sarah Longbottom founded Ngā Rangatahi Toa on the belief that all young people in New Zealand Aotearoa deserve the opportunity to explore their potential through education. During her time teaching in mainstream classrooms, residential schools, and as a leader in alternative education she watched numerous young people slip through the cracks and was overwhelmed by the waste of human potential.

Sarah knew that to change lives and walk with young people from exclusion to inclusion meant things needed to be done differently, from a fresh perspective. At Ngā Rangatahi Toa this innovative angle is in understanding that all humans are creative and that ‘power comes from risking yourself in creation’ (Paulo Friere). We cast innovation and creativity as a lifeline to reach those excluded from school, rebuilding confidence and trust, and reeling them back in so our young people can be connected to the world around them and contribute to the community they live in.

The journey our rangatahi make from excluded and alone, to included and purposeful is made possible by the support of our incredible partners. Our extensive network of funding bodies, patrons, community organisations and business sponsors all share our vision of young people transforming their own lives through education and creativity, and have committed themselves to enabling the work of Ngā Rangatahi Toa. To join this group of innovative change-makers please contact Director of Creative Operations, Selina Anderson : selina@ngarangatahitoa.co.nz

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About NRT

Creativity, innovation and personal transformation

We have been nationally and internationally recognised for our social justice based education work and creative arts mentoring for young people excluded from school. Our immersive and intensive projects connect rangatahi with top New Zealand musicians, actors and artists. Rangatahi participation and success is supported by our Director of Engagement and our Youth Mentor who both have a long-term positive involvement in the lives of our young people, and implement our whanau wrap-around model. The sense of purpose our young people develop is strengthened through the mindfulness and yoga practice that is part of our organisation-wide, self-care program.

We have high expectations of our young people. We believe in them and see them as capable of achieving their dreams. Our creative arts projects generate a high level of trust and our rangatahi are encouraged to focus on their hopes for the future and plan their next steps. Our Director of Engagement and our Youth Mentor support our young people in making these next steps into adulthood by arranging tertiary and school visits, as well as internships and work placements. What we do works and those who graduate through our programs successfully re-engage with education and find employment.

In The Media

Sarah on Saturday Morning, RNZ

By Nga Rangatahi Toa

14/07/2016

Manawa Ora on Te Karere

By Nga Rangatahi Toa

14/07/2016

Manawa Ora on Stuff.co.nz

By Nga Rangatahi Toa

14/07/2016

Shane in Viva Magazine

By Nga Rangatahi Toa

14/07/2016

Sarah at TEDx Auckland

By Nga Rangatahi Toa

14/07/2016

Manawa Ora on Standing Room Only

By Nga Rangatahi Toa

14/07/2016

Nga Rangatahi Toa and the Royal Visit

By Nga Rangatahi Toa

14/07/2016

Sarah in Metro Magazine

By Nga Rangatahi Toa

14/07/2016

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Our Partners

Todd Foundation Bird on a Wire The Fed Eight Thirty Vodafone Foundation Next Gen Waitamata Local Board Scenic Hotel Creative New Zealand KPMG Konstruct Hirepool The Funding Network Foundation North Auckland Communities Foundation Antipodes Hallertau One Percent Studio One Rei Foundation Warehouse Stationery Red and White Cellar Food Truck Burger Burger Fatimas The Raw Kitchen Auckland Airport Community Trust JR McKenzie Trust Lucie Blaze Mabel Maguire Ockham Foundation Best Ugly Bagels Auckland Live Judge Bao Pollen