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Graeme Dingle Foundation volunteers build chicken enclosure

More than 70 volunteers from the Graeme Dingle Foundation and its partners converged on the Te Hōnonga a Iwi restoration site at Rosedale Park on a sunny Friday in March to help build the fence for our new chicken enclosure and clear pest plants.

The hardworking group included representatives from the Foundation’s corporate partners and staff members from its Auckland and National Support office, which is just a few kilometres away from the restoration.

Business Engagement Manager Harry Silver says the volunteer day was a great opportunity for some of the people from their partner organisations to better understand how the Foundation lives by the values it teaches to young people throughout New Zealand.

The Graeme Dingle Foundation is a leader in the field of child and youth development, running several successful proven programmes – Kiwi Can, Stars, Career Navigator and Project K– for young people aged five to 24.

Since 1995, more than 385,000 young people have been through the Foundation’s programmes, and it helps more than 27,000 children each year.

Through these community-focused, life-changing, role-modelling and mentoring programmes, young people develop life skills and confidence, empowering them to find their purpose and direction in life.

The volunteers got stuck into the hard mahi of building a fence to keep pests away from the chickens who will be clearing a planting area within our 2024 extension, releasing weeds around our native trees and getting rid of pesky blackberry and other pest plants and vines.

They also had the opportunity to hear more about the ongoing work at the Rosedale Park restoration and how the Graeme Dingle Foundation’s programmes contribute to environmental sustainability.

“We wanted our corporate partner organisations to understand how their support for the Foundation is making a positive impact on the environment. It was also a great opportunity to take action in our own backyards.”

Society needs to respect the natural limits of the planet and ensure the wellbeing of all people and one of the most effective ways to foster this transformation is to invest in youth, says Harry.

“We believe youth are the solution. We need to invest in their ideas, initiatives, and leadership, and support them to become the drivers of the sustainable development they are already demanding.

Philippa Hatton, is the National Programmes Lead at the Foundation, managing the development of the programme’s curriculum and delivery across the country.

“Our programmes embed the values of sustainability, kaitiakitanga (guardianship), and citizenship throughout the process of experiential learning, positive youth development and projects that allow our young people to transfer their learning into action that positively contributes to their communities and the environment,” Philippa says.

Te Hōnonga a Iwi Restoring Rosedale Park project co-ordinator Nicky Shave says the volunteer day is just the beginning of an ongoing partnership with the Graeme Dingle Foundation.

“We would love to get some of the young people participating in the foundation’s programmes working on the restoration in the future.”

Te Hōnonga Iwi’s supporters and the Graeme Dingle Foundation have a shared goal around developing the social equity that is imperative to mitigating climate change, Nicky says.

“Working with the Graeme Dingle Foundation enables the opportunity to develop social equity locally for all rangatahi but particularly for children from our Māori and Pasifika communities.

“Young people really want us to do well when it comes to protecting the environment and they have great ideas. We value their input and their perspective.”

Te Hōnonga a Iwi would like to thank the following organisations for their support at the Graeme Dingle Foundation volunteer day:

Argosy Property Limited


FUJIFILM Business Innovation New Zealand Limited

ITW Construction Asia Pacific


Lion New Zealand Sanford

Schneider Electric

Stride Property


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