Congratulations Vocal FX!

Wellington Barbershop Chrous group, VocalFX, were recently crowned the Pan Pacific and New Zealand National Barbershop Chorus Champions at the Pan Pacific Competition on August 16th, held at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre. Pictured are Challenge 2000 Gap Students Pati Feleti and Junior Fanatanu, staff members Tovio Apolo, Heath Hutton and past Gap student Peter Gasologa. Having recently returned from the Barbershop International contest held in America, where they placed 10th, it was a great chance to perform in front of the home crowd. Tovio Apolo thought the performance went really well, “It was a good set and the crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves. Great to get a standing ovation as well. There were a few of the young people we work with in the crowd so it was great to show them what is possible.”
During the evening, the Musical Island Boys, who became Barbershop Quartet World Champions earlier this year were also honoured. They have been a great support to VocalFX throughout their preparation so it was great to be able to show our appreciation for them.
From Left to Right: Pati Feleti, Heath Hutton, Peter Gasologa, Tovio Apolo and Junior Fanatanu

From Left to Right: Pati Feleti, Heath Hutton, Peter Gasologa, Tovio Apolo and Junior Fanatanu

Many of the VocalFX chorus will be helping Challenge 2000 by busking in support of the Street Day Appeal on Friday 5th September. If you want to hear some of the music head on down to the Wellington Train Station on the evening of Thursday 4th September from 4-6pm.

Le Bernadette speaks at JustSpeak

Le Bernadette Faifua speaks up at JustSpeak Camp

Recently JustSpeak had a camp at Pipitea Marae in Wellington. JustSpeak is a non-partisan network of young people speaking to, and speaking up for a new generation of thinkers who want change in our criminal justice system. One of Challenge 2000’s staff members, Heath Hutton, helps lead this initiative. Many Challenge 2000 staff have been involved in the various events and forums that JustSpeak have held since its beginning in 2011.

Just Speak Camp

JustSpeak Camp 2013 was a unique opportunity for 150 young people to come together to be a part of a new generation of thinkers who want to improve Aotearoa’s criminal justice system. The weekend was envisioned to engage our attendees with justice issues and solutions, to hear from inspiring speakers, develop new skills and to build a JustSpeak community that extended across the whole country.

Bernie Faifua_edited-1

On the Sunday of the camp, Le Bernadette spoke to attendees about her experiences working with young people and their families. She reflected on her work and what the essence of Challenge 2000 is all about. She also shared her personal journey to becoming a qualified social worker, and explained how important the opportunities that she was given by Challenge 2000 were in shaping her journey so far. She gave great insight and deeply moved many of the audience retelling stories and sharing the struggles that she sees each day.

To find more out about JustSpeak you can visit their website at



Challenge 2000 in partnership with the Society of Mary

introduce the Gap Year 2013!


Gaps 2013

Back Row (L-R):  Jacob Bang; Hakaraia Jacobs; Damien Don; Junior Seumanufagai

Front Row (L-R):  Courtney Halliday; Siata Apolo;  Anya Hodge; Anna Hoskins


What is this Gap year? It is a one year programme that involves holistic formation, NZQA youth work training, work placements, experiences, and local and 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 can also gain some extras to get you ready including your drivers license, first-aid certificate, and technology training!

If you require any information about the Marist Challenge 2000 Gap Programme please call Heath Hutton at Challenge 2000 on (04) 477 0045, or 027 329 3270. Or you can email us at


The Gap Year 2013 began on Monday 11 February at midday with a powhiri to welcome our new Gap students. There were a lot of nervous faces but the young people and family member presented themselves strongly, with an impressive speech from Hakaraia and a waiata: “Ka Waiata”. Following the powhiri, everyone gathered into the front room to witness the unveiling of the new names that have been carved into the Challenge 2000 carving depicting its whakapapa. Those who had their names added to the carving had been invited to be part of the unveiling and it was great to see the mix of old and new faces.

The first week was a mixture of induction, introduction, fun, team building, familiarisation and education about codes of conduct, boundaries and just getting to know the who, what, when, why and how.


The First 5 Weeks!

Since the powhiri for the Gap students they have been well and truly immersed in the life and challenges of the Challenge Whanau.

Gap participants have already:

  • assisted with after school programmes
  • participated in a camp for young people
  • cleaned up and tidied home and sections
  • sung at events
  • helped with community street day appeal
  • planned and facilitated a Childrens Day event
  • learnt how to work on retreats in Gisborne
  • shifted an office or two
  • completed a First Aid Course
  • played sport with young people
  • acted in a drama
  • begun their Youth Work Certificates
  • mentored and tutored
  • learnt and been on a retreat
  • catered and provided hospitality
  • made posters, painted and sculpted!

Plus lots more!!

If you would like to know more about how to support the Gap programme, sponsor a participant or have a “gappie” help your work, then contact Heath Hutton on (04) 477 0045








Court Supervised Camp

Challenge 2000 provide the Court Supervised Camp Programme as part of our Fresh Start Services.

The Camps this year have been a great success – our young people have enjoyed their experiences in the Great Outdoors. There they have been challenged to discover who they are and what life choices they need to make. Awareness of self, others and the responsibilities of being a citizen of Aotearoa New Zealand is developed while sitting around a camp fire, doing a weka walk, kayaking down a river, working to help others and living simply – away from the pressures of city life.

Our last Camp departed on December 5 and was be led by Heath Hutton, Steve Tamarapa and Manu Maihi-Ioane. These staff members have continued to mentor and support the young participants as they transferred the achievements of the Court Supervised Camp back into their home lives. This aspect is a contributor to the success of the Camp –its a seamless community based service.

Any referrals you’d like to make for this camp or any future camp please contact us on 477 6827 and speak with either Bridget Roche or Heath Hutton.




Supported Bail

Our Supported Bail programme continues to plant the seeds of change in the lives of young people who are involved in the Youth Justice system.   We have seen huge transformation occur during this six week programme, with young people successfully completing the programme and complying with their bail conditions.  It’s a privilege to see the young people starting to walk tall and hold their heads high, knowing that they can be proud of the choices they are making.  It’s not always a straightforward journey but the young people gain some skills and knowledge to help them as they transition into the next stage of their lives.

The Police Youth Aid and CYF Youth Justice teams that we work alongside, are committed to supporting young people to accept responsibility for their actions and to make changes in their lives.  It’s great to be part of such professional and committed team.One member of the Police with whom we work recently wrote this: “We have been fortunate to be able to use the services of Challenge 2000 for the past two years. They have been instrumental in reducing the offending rates of our high risk youth in our area and  I have been impressed by the way they handle their young people. They have made a positive impact on every one of the young people they have taken on and their families”.

Heath Hutton and our Youth Team are doing a great job.  Heath’s experience, energy and vision for the programme and his heart for the young people is evident and he is also committed to doing better and better with this programme.

This year we also have a variety of other Fresh Start youth justice services including the Amorangi programme, court-supervised camps and mentoring.

For information about our other Youth Justice services please contact

Bridget Roche on 477 6827

Heath Hutton on 478 4573 or


Odyssey Programme

This year Challenge 2000 is running the exciting  “Odyssey” adventure! – an exciting leadership and personal development programme for students aged 14-17 on Sunday nights 7-9pm. Odyssey is ideal for those who wish to achieve and develop themselves in all aspects of their life this year.

Odyssey is facilitated by experienced and trained Challenge 2000 leaders who have a passion for young people and justice. The programme includes a snow trip and a leadership weekend camp.

There is also a sacramental aspect for those young people who may wish to receive a sacrament that they have missed out on. A one-stop shop so to speak!! It is a great opportunity!

Graduation was Sunday 14 August 6pm at Ss Peter and Paul JOhnsonville. Thank you to those that joined us in congratulating the graduates!