Papakura High School’s Pathways to Police programme, Hotaka Piri Kura, has received a $5000 Auckland Airport He Tangata grant.
Each year the airport makes up to 10 such grants to southern schools and groups, all nominated by community leaders.
Papakura Local Board chair Brent Catchpole was instrumental in the school joining the programme, and says the board was delighted to put it forward for support.
He had a chance meeting with Police Commissioner Mike Bush and suggested the scheme, then being trialled in Rotorua, would be ideal for Papakura.
"It’s a good programme that is opening career opportunities to our young people,” he says.
“We have had to overcome a few hurdles along the way so to have Auckland Airport recognise the programme, underscores its value."
He Tangata grants target smaller local organisations, including schools and social enterprises, that work to create vibrant communities. Groups must be working in education, employment or the environment, in one of the southern Auckland local board areas, Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Ōtara-Papatoetoe, Manurewa and Papakura.
Papakura High School launched its Introduction to Police Studies earlier this year with 13 students enrolled.
Senior police turned out to support the launch, including Counties Manukau district commander Superintendent Jill Rogers, Papakura commander Inspector Dave Glossop and Counties Manukau area prevention manager Inspector Tony Wakelin.
School principal John Rohs says there are high hopes the scheme will become a magnet for young people wanting to make a difference in their communities.
"It’s a wonderful programme that can only help develop well-adjusted young people who contribute to society."