Over the last ten months the Community Readiness and Recovery team has been working to update and improve our Fire Awareness and Intervention Programme (FAIP). FAIP is a free specialist intervention programme(external link), delivered by trained firefighters, for taiohi (young people) who set fires. FAIP referrals have been in a steady decline in the last few years so we needed to understand why this was happening and how to remedy it.

Research told us the programme no longer resonated with the community and our own people and that we needed to refresh the content, better align the programme with Te Ao Māori worldview and the values of Aotearoa New Zealand, and clarify the programme’s objectives and its benefits to young people.

To do this, we took a co-design approach which brought in perspectives from practitioners, non-practitioners, Pou Takawaenga, referrers and taiohi. We did this to ensure we had a complete picture of the programme’s purpose, what it does and how people perceive it.

The result is Ahikura Whānau-Centred Fire Education programme. It puts taiohi at the heart of our mahi with greater emphasis on taking a holistic approach to understand what has led each taiohi to us: their home situation, what’s going on for them at school or with friends. We are not here to judge or tell them off. We also don’t believe in ‘one size fits all’ - the approach and content we develop for each taiohi and whānau will be different depending on their age, cultural background, past behaviour and learning abilities. 

New and updated resources have been developed with practitioners, psychologists, young people, parents, and caregivers to make sure they reflect the values of the Ahikura programme and support the needs of our people, our taiohi, and their whānau.

This is an exciting new chapter in our journey with a community of practitioners, firefighters, Community Risk Management teams and regional administrators, all working together to make positive changes in the lives of our taiohi and whānau.

Find out more about Ahikura(external link).

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