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Teens trying something new at Riverside

Published: 20 June 2019

Taha Awa Riverside Community Centre in Mt Wellington is finding success with after-school programmes aimed at over 13-year olds.

“Riverside Community Centre is located next to a primary school and so, historically, we have focused on the younger youth demographic," says Bevan Chuang, Centre Manager.

"Recently we discovered that there is a need for a different offering for the older kids in our area too."

Music production programme

Riverside Raps is a free weekday after-school programme that is aimed towards local teenagers and young adults. The workshops provide access to music production and creative equipment and attract those keen to explore creative interests in a safe and supportive environment.

“Through Riverside Raps we provide tutors and equipment to assist with recording, beat making, songwriting, audio engineering, performance, film and graphic design learning. Each day we are pretty much full up” explains Mathew Rongo, Youth Development Worker from Te Karanga Trust, which facilitates the current youth programmes at Riverside Community Centre.

“It’s great to see that several of our young participants are engaging in taking leadership of a new in-house studio we are developing at the centre, with a view to leading their own programmes in the future and even getting into youth work themselves," says William Mark-Brown, Operations Manager of Te Karanga Trust.

"We will fully support this process within the program because it also aligns with the council's Kaupapa of making the centre community-led.” 

Exploring career options

Another programme offered at Riverside Community Centre is Creative Pathways, which works with local at-risk youth aged 13 to 16 years who have been excluded from conventional education systems (recruited via Ministry of Education and Oranga Tamariki).

Creative Pathways enables the exploration of alternative career options through creative industries, art and music. It also connects youth to Tikanga Māori through Taonga Pūoro workshops (traditional Māori instruments) and Te Reo Māori.  

“We currently have 35 participants enrolled over two groups who can earn NCEA credits doing alternative and fun activities and projects, which all go toward their academic records,” explains William.

Find out more

These are just two examples of a number of teenage-focused programmes currently on offer at Riverside Community Centre in Mt Wellington. 

Learn more on

These programmes are delivered by Te Karanga Charitable Trust in partnership with Riverside Community centre which is supported by Maungakiekie Tāmaki Local Board.


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