With its head office in Hamilton, the Young Workers Resource Centre (YWRC) is a non-profit organisation founded September 3, 1993. We proudly lead the way in New Zealand employment rights for young workers, because they’re the group most exploited. For that reason, we provide our employment support to anyone under 35 for FREE!
A part of what we do is help rangatahi experiencing mistreatment at work. Usually this starts with an employee getting in touch via the Get Help section of our website. Then we learn more about the young person’s employment issue and talk them through the options. We want to enable young workers to make informed decisions about their own employment.
Sometimes we can solve a problem with a couple of conversations on the phone and an email. Other times we’ll suggest a meeting so we can get to the bottom of things. There’s no one way of coming to the rescue. Every case and situation is unique!
The other key service we offer is the delivery of employment education workshops specifically designed for those in, or about about to go into early employment experiences.
YWRC education comes in the form of a 50-minute, interactive workshop, with activity book for rangatahi entering, or about to enter the workforce.
As well as having an interest in social justice, Mel has a lot of time and passion for helping support young people through their early life experiences. She understands that these experiences shape who rangatahi grow to become, and advocates for access to all opportunities, for all people.
Outside of the YWRC, Mel is a director, stage manager, playwright, poet, and theatre enthusiast. With a love for alternative theatre, and challenging subject matter, she is the co-founder of BlackBox Creative, and LOUD Creative, and is the Vice President for Hamilton Musical Theatre.
Tony is a passionate advocate for justice, equity, and fair opportunities for all workers. As well as having served as a past Manager of the YWRC, and organiser for the NZNO and FIRST Union, Tony has also been involved in Stand Up, the youth union movement. He believes that we must act now to preserve the planet and the future for our upcoming generations.
As well as being a bit of a revolutionist at heart, Tony is the dad of two young humans, and a current Psychology student at the University of Waikato. He has a keen interest in health, and sport psychology.
Kauri has the unique experience of delivering the YWRC’s educational content to young people whenever they need it. His experience in activating spaces and initiatives for marginalised communities has equipped him with the necessary skills, relationships, and expertise to achieve equitable solutions that are accessible and inclusive for all.
Kauri has also been a member of the organising committees for Hamilton Children’s Day and Hamilton Pride. Concurrently, he sits on the Te Kawekawe Māori Pasifika Advisory Committee to the Board of Directors for UN Youth New Zealand.
Young Worker Advocate
Matariki Roche, Ngāti Raukawa/Ngāti Huri, was raised on Waiheke Island Surrounded by a tight knit community abundant in advocates and agitators. She pursued her passion for te reo Māori and social change at Victoria University where she studied Te Reo Māori, Māori Studies and Sociology.
Earlier this year Matariki moved to Hamilton, closer to where her tūpuna and whānau are from. Matariki’s leadership and governance roles include being the first elected youth representative for Waiheke Island onto the Auckland Council Youth Advisory Panel, establishing the island’s youth council, and currently she is the co-convenor of a progressive youth wing.
Help Centre Coordinator
Caitlin has spent the last four years with the Member Support Centre of First Union providing advice and support to First Union members; she is also of three co-convenors for Stand Up, the youth union movement. Caitlin holds a Bachelor of Education (Primary) and two PGDips, one in Education and one in educational psychology. Ongoing Education and learning is a core value for Caitlin and she is passionate about facilitating young workers to understand and assert their rights and addressing legislation and practice around dealing with workplace bullying.
Caitlin has just moved from Auckland to the Waikato and is super excited to be involved in evolving and expanding the YWRC Help Centre.
Past Staff (Click to Drop Down)
- Julia Wikeepa (2019)
- Zanian Steele (2017)
- Erina Stockman (2016)
- Cheyenne Scown
- Kylie Zinsli
- Linda Radosinksa
- Ana Ngamoki
- Thomas Stubbs
- Sonya Church
- Rose Fitzell
- Jenny Patching
- Sue Kennedy
- Ivan Hodgetts
- Mark Smith
- Joseph Rao
- Julie Poupard
- Robert Parton
- Catherine Hodges (1993)
Melissa has a mind for grassroots community movements with an emphasis on redistribution of power, building agency and having purpose driven goals. She considers herself a mother, sister, daughter, lover, volunteer, manager, employee and engaged citizen – with an unwavering passions for labour rights advocacy. She also enjoys an array of sporting and community involvement..
Arnold works for the HCC and specialises in Events. His work bases him at venues like the Claudelands Events Centre, FMG Stadium and Seddon Park. Arnold has a Masters in Business Management and has involved himself with projects ranging from mental health to rights of young workers. Being a fitness enthusiast, he likes to spend his leisure days running half marathons.
Suiyi is a new graduate from the University of Waikato with a Business Management degree, majoring in accounting.
Suiyi loves the power of positive thinking within the YWRC and she feels very fortunate to be involved with the YWRC.
In her free time, she enjoys cooking, watching movies and spending time with her friends and family.
Jax is a dedicated organiser for First Union, and she is passionate about fair and reasonable workplace rights and equality; which is why she became involved with YWRC. What Jax stands for aligns strongly with the YWRC kaupapa. As a mum of three young kids, Jax is particularly motivated in doing the best she can to better the culture, conditions, and availability of decent work for young people.
Kawena sits on a number of Trusts and committees including Te Ahurei Rangatahi Trust, Skycity Community Trust and Oomaero Marae to name a few. Kawena is passionate about advancing employment and education outcomes, and is the Pathways coordinator at Rototuna High School. Kawena brings to the YWRC experience in cross agency collaboration, relationship management and programme development and design
Past Chairpersons (Click to Drop Down)
- Melissa Goodman (2019-Present)
- Jason Sebestian (2017-2019)
- Daniel Marshall (2014-2017)
- Megan Morris ( 2010-2014)
- Bob Anderson (1993-2010)
Donate to the YWRC
For the price of a cup of coffee, we can make a tangible difference in the lives of
NZ rangatahi, who are some of our country’s most exploited and lowest paid employees…
Get Free Employment Help
Get in touch with the Young Workers Resource Centre if you or someone you know is experiencing issues/mistreatment in the workplace.