Our latest Annual Report (2018/2019) is out, sharing inspiring stories of the difference we are making.

Here at Great Potentials, we are inspired daily by stories like those of Zowie, Meteri, Rahui and Tai and we know that our programmes make a real difference to our communities.

Their stories and others have been shared in our latest Annual Report, which has been printed and sent out to our supporters* and stake-holders just after the lockdown ended.

Here are a few excerpts:

Jacki RichardsonFrom Our CEO, Jacki Richardson:

"...[We have] confidence, that not only that we are providing the services and supports required for children, young people and families as they seek brighter futures, but that we can, and do, provide the evidence of our impact and the outcomes that our programmes achieve. The extensive evaluation processes we have in place ensure that we collect, analyse and report on the proof that our programmes achieve the impact that our funders require and our participants deserve. There is more on this throughout the Annual report...

"Our Foundation has a strong foundation; we have robust theories of change, we seek the evidence and we look to intentionally improve. With the support of the Board, especially Dame Lesley Max, our kaupapa is strong and we are thriving."

Dame Lesley today

From our Founder and Co-Chair, Dame Lesley Max:

"As we enter our 30th year working towards our vision of 'Well-nurtured children and young people, in well-functioning families, contributing to safe communities and a prosperous nation', we can confidently make two statements. We can say that there is still a critical need for our programmes. And we can say that our programmes are effective. It is because they are effective that they are enduring.

"As to need, some recent statistics demonstrate it. There were 62,300 reports to Oranga Tamariki in the first nine months of 2019, relating to children and young people. According to the New Zealand Herald, “many involving serious harm issues, including family violence, sexual abuse, neglect and methamphetamine”.

"That is an epidemic level of child maltreatment and disadvantage. Not unrelated, a longitudinal study, Growing Up in New Zealand, has found a rate of nearly forty per cent of pregnancies were unplanned. New Zealand has the sixth-highest rate of unplanned pregnancies out of thirty-six countries in the OECD.

"The third - and also related - statistic is the one provided by Associate Professor Khylee Quince of AUT’s School of Law. In
preparing pre-sentencing reports on more than 120 young Maori offenders, she has yet to find one who has completed Year Nine, that is, the Third Form. In a modern economy, there is a grim future in store for any person who has not completed even one year of secondary school. That future is likely to include long-term, or even life-long benefit dependency, poor mental health, substance abuse, criminal offending and early, unplanned pregnancy.

We at Great Potentials Foundation can say that we are addressing these matters effectively and sensitively. Our approach can be summed up in two words – transition and relationship. We work at points of transition.

"In the case of our Family Service Centres, we help many parents in the transition to conscious parenting, which includes understanding the way in which their own behaviours impact their children. Conscious parenting is likely to include conscious thought about family size, rather than falling back on passivity and fatalism.

"In HIPPY, we prepare children, through their mothers’ efforts, for a successful transition into school. We also enable mothers, particularly those who have worked as paraprofessional home tutors in HIPPY, to make a transition into the workforce with aspiration, skills and confidence. At the same time, the effect of HIPPY over a two year period, according to thousands of participants, changes the family dynamics, replacing shouting with talking, developing patience and an appreciation of the individuality and capability of each child. No wonder the Brookings Institute calls HIPPY “the closest thing to the Gold Standard”.

MATES Junior is underway for 2020"In MATES Junior, we enable young people to enter secondary school with levels of literacy, numeracy and confidence far greater than would have been the case without MATES. It is unreasonable to expect young people to engage in secondary school with literacy and numeracy years below what is necessary to engage and learn. The finding from the 2018 survey, that 98% of MATES Junior mentees reported improved capability, together with the outcome data on our website, demonstrates how critical MATES Junior is to the future of young people who, for whatever reason, need it.

"The stories in this report from MATES Senior mentees (Meteri and Rahui) who went on to successful study in university, and in turn became mentors, demonstrate the power of the programme. It is potent, indeed. It combines academic tutoring with mentoring that provides support, inspiration and example.

"This brings us to the second key concept. Relationships. None of what we achieve in Great Potentials could be achieved without the building of understanding, non-judgmental, warm and supportive relationships, whether in our Family Service Centres, or in HIPPY or in MATES.

"Our programmes have endured where so many others fail, because they are built on strong foundations. Our abiding wish is that we are enabled to reach more and more of the children, young people and families who need us to provide the opportunity for them to realise and reveal their own great potential."


*Note for Financial Supporters: If you have not received your copy of our Annual Report in the post we may not have the correct address for you. Please email us at the office with your correct details so we can update our records: [email protected] Thank you!