9 Feb 2012

Course for troubled teens keeps most out of court

6:30 am on 9 February 2012

Violent teenage girls in Hamilton are being tamed by a project run by Maori and the police.

Of 36 girls who have attended the Nga Tai Tamahine o Kirikiriroa course, only one has been back before the courts and the rest are attending school full-time.

The rangatahi, aged between 14 and 16, go on a weekend away, where they identify what triggers their anger - as well as going caving and rope climbing at an outdoor pursuits centre.

Constable Lexlei Taylor says the girls are also pampered - which improves their self-esteem.

She says the programme pays for them to have their hair done. She says a lot of them have never been to the hairdressers.

Constable Taylor says the teenagers are also taken shopping for an outfit, which they wear to a special celebratory dinner attended by their parents.

The Nga Tai Tamahine o Kirikiriroa course is run in partnership with the Taiohi Toa Trust.