Caritas Challenge 2017

A new year, a new Caritas Challenge for the year 2017. And many many new tasks and challenges for us in our daily life to help saving our planet.

Over 80 people from Challenge, our Youth Houses and from all around Wellington, Porirua and the Hutt took part of the “Sleep in a cardboard house”-challenge and enjoyed talks, activities, authentic food and workshops about climate change. This year’s main project is the support of Kiribati: Due to the higher and higher rising sea level, it becomes almost impossible for them to stay on their land. But we want to keep up their spirit and culture, their communities and families and became part of the Caritas Challenge 2017 with this weekend’s big event. Sleeping in cardboard houses and learning heaps about how WE can save OUR planet.

How can YOU save OUR planet?


Challenge 2000 in Kaikoura

Challenge 2000, Tai O Marakura, Sports Tasman, Presbyterian Church and Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington – Kaikoura Partnership

As a response to the Kaikoura/Marlborough earthquakes, the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington provided an invitation and funding for Challenge 2000 to work on a project in partnership with Kaikoura based youth agencies Te Tai O Marakura, Sports Tasman and the Council/Presbyterian Church to support local young people during the holidays.

8 Challenge 2000 staff and youth leaders have designed a programme for the week of 16th January 2017 – 21st January 2017 after consultation with locals.  The team led by Steve O’Connor and Viv Campbell are really excited about this opportunity to support other youth workers and young people and to share and gain knowledge, skills and understanding with those affected by the ongoing stress of the recent earthquakes.

January 20th 2017 UPDATE

Our youth team are absolutely loving being down on the mainland.

More than 60 children & young people have attended the programme every day and have participated 150%. Our youth workers are inspired by the hospitality, friendliness and commitment of the locals they are working with. What an amazing community!

Watch this space for more news about Kaikoura and our future partnership with these wonderful people.



Visit by Fr Larry Duffy from the Society of Mary

Father Larry Duffy, an Irish Marist, based in Rome on the Society of Mary International Leadership team visited Challenge 2000 this week.

After a powhiri and hakari he met with staff to hear about how things are for young people in Aotearoa New Zealand today and how Challenge 2000 meets the needs of our young people and their families.


Later in the day, Father Larry visited the Marist Challenge Youth houses and heard about this partnership and how it has changed lives.  There was a strong spirit of hospitality, generosity, simplicity, mission, love and service.

Jacob and Chris shared their reflections on their connection with the Marists and Te Po, Heath, Daniel, Kirsty, Nicole, Therese, John, Keeley and others spoke of the growth and achievement in their lives.

A great night and BBQ!

Challenge 2000 GAP Year Programme 2017

Challenge 2000 and the Society of Mary offer

The GAP YEAR Programme in 2017

What is a GAP Year???

It’s a one year programme that involves holistic formation, NZQA youth work training, work placements, experiences, and local and possibly international travel. The Gap Year offers the chance to develop the social, spiritual, intellectual, employment, well-being and physical elements that are required for a positive, successful and balanced life.

 You will also be able to access the extras that will help you on your life journey: driver’s licence, first aid certificate, technology training and at the same time you get paid!! YES that’s correct.  You get the chance to grow, discover and learn with an awesome team of young people who are open to what life offers! Already 40 young people from New Zealand and overseas have accepted this invitation and graduated from the programme!

So if you are leaving college in 2016, or are under 20 years of age and want more life experience, an opportunity to serve and to be part of a positive active community, then contact us and apply for 2015. There are only 8 places available.

Opportunities like this are few and far between!

 Applications close November … 2016; The Gap Year starts February 2017


Contact: Kitty McKinley, Phone: (04) 477 6827 or (04) 477 0045



Check out our websites! and

Street Day Appeal

Please support our work with young people and families.

Give a little, so WE can give a lot.”

Your help is greatly appreciated!

You can:

  • Collect
  • Donate
  • Tell your friends and whanau
  • Press “Donate Now” on our front page

Contact Megan Ratuki on (04) 477 6827 or email if you can help us.


Celebration of Pa Dave Gledhill’s 50th Jubilee

Challenge 2000 staff and young people gathered together and travelled to Murupara, just out of Rotorua, to celebrate Father (Pa) Dave Gledhills 50th Jubilee as a Catholic Priest. Pa Dave has worked with Maori throughout the North Island and has helped bring many different worlds and cultures together.  He is a Challenge 2000 Kaumatua and has always supported our young people at Challenge 2000.

As Murupara is quite a distant from Wellington, the first night was spent at Kuratau.  The team spent quality time together in Kuratau, reconnecting with each other, understanding the importance of this trip and preparing for the next couple of days.

We travelled through to Taupo where we spent some time at Huka Falls and then continued onto Rotorua. We settled ourselves into our accommodation and went to check out the luge!!!  Great fun had by all!! Many conquered their fears – was great to hear the laughter and see the smiles.

The next morning we left for Murupara and participated in a powhiri to welcome us onto the Marae.  Celebrations then began with an Maori and English mass said by Pa Rawiri.  After the mass, we had a wonderful celebration on the marae with food, drink and speeches.  The speeches were memories and the work that Pa Dave has done for everyone throughout his time as a priest.

Overall, it was a great experience for the staff and young people from Challenge 2000.  Seeing new things, getting away from the city and being together in a whanau environment as a whanau.

Congratulations to Pa Dave Gledhill as he celebrates 50 years as a Catholic Priest and best wishes as he continues serving his community and others.