February 4, 2022

'Tapestry of Truth' Rangatahi Wellbeing Project Evaluation

Some of the carpentry projects built by Tapestry of Truth rangatahi participants
'Tapestry of Truth' Rangatahi Wellbeing Project Evaluation
Some of the carpentry projects built by Tapestry of Truth rangatahi participants

Start / Finish Dates:

08 May 2020 – 10 December 2021


Gill Potaka Osborne

Whakauae Researcher:

Lynley Cvitanovic

Brief Description

The Tapestry of Truth Rangatahi Programme was developed and delivered by Whanganui-based Māori health and social services provider, Te Oranganui Trust. Oranga Tamariki and Te Hiringa Hauora provided funding to support implementation of the programme. The aim of the programme was to provide young males aged 12- 15 years with specialised support and mentoring to address the issues in their lives and improve their health and wellbeing. Using a whānau-centred approach, the programme provided a safe, positive atmosphere for rangatahi to learn and develop pathways that will allow them to confidently lead healthy lives and eventually become self-managing and empowering leaders.

In 2020, Te Hiringa Hauora commissioned an evaluation to be undertaken by Whakauae Research Services. The evaluation explored the impact of the ‘Tapestry of Truth’ model on rangatahi Māori wellbeing, building Māori health service provider evaluation capacity and supporting Te Oranganui to engage with other stakeholders on the merits of their approach.

Outcomes / Achievements

Both the implementation of the Tapestry of Truth programme and the evaluation were impacted by Covid-19 restrictions. As with the previous year the Tapestry of Truth kaiārahi utilised technology to maintain contact. Care packages were delivered to the rangatahi and their whānau to provide support through the lockdown.

Tapestry of Truth provided rangatahi with a wide range of experiences which has encouraged them to take a wider gaze of the world and become more self-determining and resilient. These experiences included fun activities such as go-kart racing and laser tag; cultural activities such as marae visits and preparing a hāngī and environmental activities such as diving, fishing, and surfing. A member of the Police Youth Aid Team, a qualified builder, dedicated one day a week to teach the Tapestry of Truth rangatahi basic carpentry and building skills. Consequently, the rangatahi built garden furniture which they sold to family, friends and to Te Oranganui staff to raise money to fund their next lot of carpentry projects. This activity helped rangatahi see the role of police in a different light. Additionally, participation in Muay Thai Martial Arts was both popular and successful for the rangatahi as they learnt about health and wellbeing, self- discipline, and teamwork. Many of the rangatahi were supported to compete in local competitions.

Programme planning and content was co-designed with the rangatahi. An essential part of this process was the kaitūruki who bought with them a passion for youth development, knowledge of the community and of whānau, hapū and iwi. They came with diverse life experiences that, coupled with youth development skills, social work expertise, an interest in behaviour change and a desire to make a difference contributed to them being able to have hard conversations with rangatahi without judgment. Many topics were discussed during the programme including the effects of alcohol and other drugs individually, on whānau and on the community. Learnings were consolidated when rangatahi were asked research a topic and debate the pros and cons. This was followed up with creation of a poster displaying what they had learnt. In mid-2021, building on the success of the male cohort, Te Oranganui Trust initiated the development and implementation of a pilot programme for young girls.


The evaluation was completed utilising a collaborative approach whereby kaiarahi led interactive data collection sessions and undertook some of the key informant interviews. Whakauae supported this with a small survey and some face-to-face interviews with whānau and external stakeholders. The analysis of the data was completed by the evaluator which was then sent to the Tapestry of Truth team to review for accuracy. The evaluation showed that the Tapestry of Truth programme was highly regarded by rangatahi, parents and caregivers and the Whanganui community and there were many positive outcomes for rangatahi and their whānau. A final report was submitted to Te Hiringa Hauora at the end of 2021 and accepted.  A booklet of summary findings will be released in early 2022.

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