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E Tu Tangata: Tackling New Zealand's tall poppy syndrome - 24-7 Youth Work

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

E TÅ« Tāngata is a new social development programme tackling one of New Zealand’s biggest problems - our Tall Poppy Syndrome. "New Zealanders are known as friendly, hard working and laid back, but live here for a while, and you’ll also discover that sometimes we have a bad habit of criticising, resenting and cutting down those poppies who seek to do something different or succeed. E TÅ« Tāngata seeks to change the narrative. Instead of objections and unhelpful criticism we want to raise the bar," says E TÅ« Tāngata founder, Jay Geldard.

Sir Steve Hansen has been a supporter of the E Tū Tāngata programme since the beginning and says E Tū Tāngata embraces humanity at its best. "Everyone wants to be valued and cared about, it is the greatest thing that can happen to any individual because it gives them worth and if you have worth you can go out and achieve whatever you want to do. My advice, give E Tū Tāngata a go, what have you got to lose."

E TÅ« Tāngata is a programme that encourages personal reflection, group work and community contribution by focusing on three core principles:  

- You have value

- We succeed together and

- Others matter. 

Using guided conversations, provided on the E TÅ« Tāngata website, schools, businesses, sports’ teams and community groups are provided with the tools to discuss these three principles and decide how they will put the principles into practice. The online learning programme enables schools and participants to work through the programme at their own pace. According to Simon Moriarty, Principal of Te Ahi Kaikōmako, Rolleston School where the programme has been trialled, the E TÅ« Tāngata programme has given the school values new meaning and purpose as they focus on growing a shared mindset within their community.

"The programme has been transformational in the way the school approaches wellbeing and relationships", says Moriarty.

E TÅ« Tāngata will be officially launched in Christchurch on Tuesday 30 June with three animated children’s short videos being made available to Early Childhood Centres and Primary Schools on 1 July.

Psychologist, Gabrielle Bisseker, leads the research team behind the programme and ensures evidence-based foundations for E Tū Tāngata. Ms Bisseker is supported by Dr Myron Friesen from University of Canterbury who has a focus on developing, implementing and evaluating E Tū Tāngata using the Theory of Change framework from Harvard University.

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