In February 2019 the Rotorua Community Youth Centre made a funding request to the Ministry of Youth Development for a ‘For Youth by Youth Radio’ station and a complimentary youth development programme with young people. Rotorua Community Youth Centre has now, in conjunction with young people, developed POWER 88.3.

POWER 88.3 ROTORUA is a ‘for youth by youth’ community radio project giving rangatahi groups a learning experience of a lifetime! Through this medium we train rangatahi to set up, programme and run a youth focused low frequency community radio station. Participants complete a 12-week programme and are provided with a further 12-weeks support and mentoring continuing as a volunteer with the radio station. This will further increase their skills, capabilities and resilience, and provide valuable work experience and future employment potential.

Young people learn the fundamental skills of radio production, construction of advertisements, public speaking and will workshop ways to develop content that focuses on the holistic needs of young people including their physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual wellbeing.

This project aims to give rangatahi a platform to express themselves and their key messages for their specific communities of peers, whānau and others within the broadcast area, connecting with their whānau and communities, explore and express their ideas, opinions, culture, values and identity.

POWER FM 88.3 – Streaming Live


Programme Objectives

To create a platform for youth voice and youth expression


To inform and connect our community
To upskill youth with employability and technical skills to support their transitions into higher learning and/or employment To equip young people with an innate sense of self-worth through connection, positive engagement and self-expression


We believe we are on target with delivering the programme and volumes we set out to achieve. We have recruited 21 young people thus far, and have 14 more to recruit in the next school term (providing challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown allow for this) to fulfil our goal of 35 young people.

We have several ways of evaluating and assessing achievements and growth including client surveys and facilitator assessments.

Of the 21 young people engaged at the time of writing this report (remembering our programme delivery was cut short due to the COVID-19 lockdown), 19 of the 21 participants completed an online evaluation survey. Of those 19:

  • All of the participants said that they would recommend our programme to a friend making a Net Promotor score of 100%
  • 18 participants (95%) said that they feel they are better off because there is someone who believes in them
  • 17 young people (89%) felt more confident, realise they can achieve anything, have made new friends, gained new skills and knowledge and developed as a person.
  • Our facilitator noted the largest employability skill growth in the areas of communication, teamwork, willingness to learn, thinking skills, resilience and self-management.

Other comments showed that our young people enjoyed taking on new challenges, connecting with other youth, learning something new, letting their ‘walls down’ and stepping outside their comfort zone. For some, it simply caused them to think about their future!

See graph below on how our participants felt they were better off:

Our facilitators also assessed the progress of young people. A definite growth in employability skills was noted by our facilitator. See graph below on how our facilitators felt participants developed in the 8 employability skills:

NB ‘No growth’ or ‘little growth’ is not necessarily poor. In many cases the young people already excelled in certain areas and therefore the development (or grew) was more noticeable in other areas.

Thinking about the youth development opportunities that we have delivered, we consider to be our greatest achievement, or most notable success, to have been our ability to help our young people to overcome their fears.

We have numerous video clips of young people doing their very first ‘voice break’. We witness them moving from a place of absolute fear and self-doubt, to a place of exhilaration and pride as they experience success and achievement.

Our young participants have gained experience within an industry that is somewhat exclusive, and some have now been able to set their sights on studies in subjects that could eventually move them into the radio industry through our deliberate alignment with pathways into further education opportunities such as the NZ Radio Training School or the Toi Ohomai media and communications course.

We set out to make a difference in our community and improve outcomes for young people, in particular:

  • Employability skills (such as positive attitude, communication, teamwork and leadership).
  • Self-confidence and resilience
  • Role modelling and creating positive connections
  • And provide a youth voice

We have certainly achieved this!

Thanks to the Ministry of Youth Development, Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, New Zealand Community Trust, Sky City Hamilton, Lotteries Community and Flex Fitness for their support.

Check out the full project report at the bottom of this page.