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Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi is a group of people, mostly Māori, committed to the holistic development of young people, their whānau and communities. We are involved in a wide variety of youth and community development initiatives at a local, regional, and national level. Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi is affiliated to Te Ora Hou Aotearoa – a national network of organisations with a similar kaupapa.

Te Ora Hou began in early 1970’s as part of YFC international’s ‘Youth Guidance’ concept aimed at countering the drift of urban and rural Māori and Polynesian young people into gangs, homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction and violence that was becoming prevalent as a result of the social upheaval of the 1970’s and 1980’s. It was initially a simple gospel response to the key issues of the times.

Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi started in Christchurch in 1983 in Papanui as part of YFC running simple activity based mentoring programmes. It quickly grew to include Boys and Girls clubs in Shirley, Aranui, Hillmorton and Hornby. In 1995, Te Ora Hou Aotearoa became an autonomous national Māori organisation and in 1997, Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi became an Incorporated Society. This was in response to the need for Māori leadership and culturally appropriate practice. Today, Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi continues strong links with local whānau, community and church groups, as well as forming new relationships and contracts with local government, Iwi providers, Pacific Island groups and central government.

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Tangata Whenua – indigenous peoples
Karaitiana – Jesus centred and bible based
Whanaungatanga – sustained quality relationships
Rangatahi, Whānau & Hapū – young people, families & communities
Mahi Tika – social justice
Ākonga – learning
Ohaoha – generosity & volunteerism

Click here for more details on Te Mauri.

We actively promote a culture of “no blame and no shame”

Te Ora Hou employs a strengths based approach. This means we prefer to focus on developing and encouraging the inherent strengths in the young person as opposed to focusing solely on “what’s going wrong”. We support best practice including adhering to the YDSA and Positive Youth Development.


We believe in building and supporting strong connections between young people, and their whānau, hapū, iwi as well as their cultural, social, educational, workplace and geographic communities’. In all of our programmes we base our evaluation and assessment of our model of practice, the “Māia” which is comprised of supporting four key developmental needs:

  • Whanaungatanga (Belonging)
  • Tohungatanga (Mastery)
  • Mana Motuhake (Independence)
  • Ohaoha (Generosity)

We believe that by supporting these four developmental needs in our young people they are assisted with transitioning healthily into adult community. The majority of our interventions are group formation based and work around equipping our rangatahi with the skills required to function in range of social settings (work, home, school, peers and community).

Te Ora Hou seeks to grow with our local community and to implement programmes that are in direct response to the stated and unstated needs of our local communities. Our staff and volunteers live work and socialise in the communities in which we work. They are expected to model responsible, giving lifestyles. We believe and invest in developing our leaders amongst our young people.

Click here for more details on the Maia – Model of Practice.