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. She has since handed those reins to executive director Huia O’Sullivan, who draws on her enormous experience in Māori youth development to continue to encourage Rangatahi to fulfil their 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 rebuilding confidence and trust, and reeling them back 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 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 creative youth development, and have committed themselves to enabling the work of Ngā Rangatahi Toa. To join this group of innovative change-makers please contact huia@ngarangatahitoa.co.nz