Manukau Courier : January 9th 2014
Auckland’s most powerful media NETWORK Unbeatable coverage of Thursday, January 9, 2014 NEWYEAR HONOURS LIST: Services to youth 808,000 readers 15+ Ph 09 525 0666 Source: Nielsen CMI Q3 2011–Q2 2012 TODAY Rapid fire Sweet shop up goes up in flames – P3 New addition Pup helps ease a family’s pain – P5 Dedicated: Steve Boxer has been made a Member of theNewZealand Order of Merit for his work to curb youth reoffending. Photo: FAIRFAX MEDIA Youth work honoured By ANNA LOREN IF Steve Boxer does his job right he’ll eventually find himself with no job to do, he says. But he wouldn’t have it any other way. As the managing director of Mentoring Youth New Directions – MYND – he works with some of New Zealand’s youngest criminals to stop them reoffending. Now his efforts have been recognised by the Queen in the 2014 New Year Honours List. He’s been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to youth. Mr Boxer, who lives in The Gar- dens, says he was ‘‘a little bit taken aback’’ when he got the notification in the mail. ‘‘It was a bit of shock, a bit of dis- belief,’’ he says. ‘‘It ended up coming through the day before Christmas so it was a pretty nice Christmas present to open that letter.’’ It isn’t the first time Mr Boxer has been recognised for turning young offenders’ lives around. In 2011 he was one of three finalists in the New Zealander of the Year awards. He has been involved with community-based programmes for youth since 1996 and founded MYND in 2001. It became part of the Foundation for Youth Development’s stable in 2008. The Manukau-based programme works with more than 100 young men, aged 14 to 17, every year. They’re classified as the worst 20 per cent of youth offenders and many have committed crimes as serious as aggravated burglary, car theft or grievous bodily harm. Resilience and a thick skin are needed to do the job but it’s the ‘‘little wins’’ that make it all worthwhile, Mr Boxer says. ‘‘If we can turn a young person back into society – he doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist but if he can get back into society and just get along – that’s a win. ‘‘We had this young guy recently – all the organisations out there had tried everything with him and failed. It took us two years of on-and-off intervention and almost 1000 hours of face-to-face contact to achieve a lifestyle change. ‘‘Now he’s working fulltime, he’s living in a different environment with another family member, he’s going to church, he’s a youth leader. It’s those things that you hold on to.’’ MYND has the highest success rate of any programme of its type in the country. The most recent figures show a 72.4 per cent reduction in the severity and frequency of offending. Nowadays Mr Boxer works closely with the Government to help the rest of the sector become as successful. It’s also about ensuring the programmes continue to work into the future. In the past many have ‘‘fallen over’’ when their founders moved on, he says. ‘‘For me it’s about how I can take a product that I’ve helped put together and make it a lot more sustainable. ‘‘If I stopped tomorrow, the programme would carry on. It’s now taken on its own life.’’ ❚ Caterer honoured: P3 No rest Schoolgirls eye overseas competition – P10 Missing us? E-EDITION Missed your paper while you’ve been on holiday? You can read back issues through our E-editions. Simply go to manukaucourier.co.nz, click on Latest Issue then look for Browse Issues at the bottom of the page. You’ll need to register but it’s simple, free and you only need to do it once.
January 7th 2014
January 10th 2014