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Better futures for South Auckland youth. New Foundations Trust specialises in Transitional Educational Mentoring. We desire to see disadvantaged young people thrive, achieve and aspire to reach their potential.

Much of our work happens within South Auckland schools where we have an excellent reputation for helping some of the toughest students remain in school, wanting to learn. How do we do it? Quality mentoring is a distinguishing feature of our programmes. Through trusting relationships we support young people to create their own personal development plan.

We use a unique approach called Transitional Educational Mentoring:

Transitional – encouraging youth to move from a negative view of themselves to developing positive self-belief and build hope for the future Educational – helping youth understand who they are and give them the opportunity and resources to gain the experience and knowledge to recognize and reach their future potential.Mentoring – to provide guidance, nurturing support and mutual respect while providing valuable feedback which allows the young person to determine their own path and self-determined goals. New Foundations have mentored over 4772 young people since 2008.

Our Programs

New Foundations Trust has developed three unique programmes that are tailored to the needs of disadvantaged youth in our community. Usually, each student participates in one programme only.

START Programme

BRIDGE Programme

STEPS Programme

Measuring success

An increase in positive self-identity
Increased respect for self, others and authority
Increased engagement with school (% of attendance at start, conclusion of programme and six months out.
Enrolment and start at new school for START participants.

START – Transition


Targeted to  Year 8 students moving to high school who have a record of truancy and behavioural issues.
ObjectiveTo prepare vulnerable Year 8 students to effectively transition from intermediate to high school.
FormatGroups workshops are run at school, supplemented by one-on-one visits with the youth and their family/whanau.

Programme details

The aim of START is to transition and prepare at risk youth to cope with the move from intermediate school to high school. Our goal is to enable each student who is a part of this programme to settle and engage into their new school and to be a support to them as they make this move.The programme is run in two stages:

Excellent Outcomes

high-risk students have been through our START programme since 2010. Of these, 82% successfully transitioned from primary to intermediate or/to secondary school – only 1.3% were excluded in the following year. 17% moved out of the area (unable to be tracked.)

BRIDGE – Program


(Building Respect Inspires Dreams Goals and Expectations) High SchoolMINI BRIDGE Primary and Intermediate

Targeted to  Marginalised Year 6 to Year 10 (Primary, Intermediate, High) students at high risk of expulsion.
ObjectiveTo enable the student to change inappropriate behaviour and gain an understanding of the importance of education, being motivated and setting a goal in relation to their future. Help the student develop a positive self-identity, increase in respect and develop positive social skill towards others.
FormatGroup workshops at school, followed by a full day outdoor adventure experience, if appropriate (such as horse riding, climbing wall, flying fox, outdoor giant rope swings). We visit with family/whanau prior to course commencement to seek their signed permission and support. One-on-one sessions are also provided to any student who requires extra support upon programme completion.

Programme details

With a creative mix of group discussions, worksheets and activities, covers every learning style. Our resource material helps students to identify the root causes of their behavioural issues (including unjustified absence) and equips them with the tools and motivation to make healthy choices. We encourage respect for themselves, peers and authority, build confidence, and equip them to become better communicators and problem solvers. Our unique tools help the young person to identify their talents and marry them up with an educational pathway and potential career. Two NFT Tutors work together to lead each workshop, supported by volunteer mentors when possible who work one-on-one with students in session. Each programme is individualized to meet the needs of the specific age group and the identified issues of the group. We commit to walk with the young person until he/she is settled and has developed the life skills needed to continue in a positive direction.

Excellent Outcomes

90% of the students who have entered our BRIDGE and MINI BRIDGE programme since 2008 were at high risk of immediate exclusion from school. We more than reversed that likely statistic: with our intervention, 87% of these students have stayed on to complete their schooling. These students also reported a dramatic increase in self-identity.



Targeted to  Individual students who have been excluded or long-term truants.
ObjectiveTo enable the student to change inappropriate behaviour and gain an understanding of the importance of education, being motivated and setting a goal in relation to their future. Help the student develop a positive self-identity, increase in respect and develop positive social skill towards others
FormatAn NFT Mentor works one-on-one with the student for one hour a week for up to 20 sessions, depending on individual need. Sessions are held privately at school or home and we individualise the programme to help the young person set goals.

Programme details

The first session involves family/whanau to build trust and a shared commitment to the programme. From there, we work with the young person to create a Transition Plan to guide them back into education. This involves building their self esteem and confidence by identifying their strengths, abilities and interests, and potential career paths. We also challenge the youth to address underlying attitudes and behaviours, to set goals and pursue them. Education and training options are explored in consultation with the family/whanau, including visits to relevant education providers and assistance to fill out enrolment forms. We also help them to develop the social skills needed in an educational environment. We continue to provide mentoring support until the young person is settled back into school or a training institution and demonstrating a commitment to both their education and healthy life choices.

Excellent Outcomes

Since 2008, defying all community expectations, 95% of the young people who have gone through our STEPS program have remained in education (school, alternative education, correspondence or a youth training course).