Overcoming adversity and making a difference for rangatahi in Opotiki


One of the biggest challenges in our community is unemployment.

Joe grew up in a tiny town in the Eastern Bay of Plenty called Opotiki. He is a musician and songwriter, with his inspiration for music drawing on his Māori and Pasifika roots.

Joe wants to shift the public perception that Opotiki is a town with bad kids, violence and misbehaviour to a town and a community that supports its young people to realise their potential.

Having faced some big personal challenges in his life, his goal is to help young people in Opotiki to have access to positive role models, build their self esteem and achieve their dreams. Jo is taking part in the Future Leaders programme run by Inspiring Stories, working to develop his social entrepreneurship and leadership capability. One day he hopes to have a Youth Centre for young people to come and be supported with positive development pathways to learn, grow and find meaningful employment.