An intensive four week ‘Isolation’ where young offenders are removed well away from their familiar environment.  The youth are kept on the move in a native bush setting.  They learn to live, work and have fun together as a team. Each young person receives instruction in bush craft and survival skills and is placed in a solo situation with limited human contact for three nights and three days.  It is a time to reflect on their past and contemplate the future.  This solo experience is often a point of realization which sparks genuine motivation for change. 


“It built up my mental and physical strength and has shown who’s the important person, and it’s myself.”
— programme participant

‘Isolation’ is an effective tool for uncovering hidden strengths and talents.  The harsh conditions of the bush and the challenges allow for the invaluable development of strong trust and attachment between young people and staff.  It is these relationships that really make the difference throughout the rest of the programme.  Self-belief is evident at the end of this component; the young people have been pushed to their limits and have experienced what it feels like to succeed. 

To transition the young people from ‘the bush’ back into normal living, the youths spend 4 days at a Marae in Oaonui.  START Taranaki collaborates with tangata whenua to promote the awareness of Maori culture and developing their Wairua me Hinengaro (spiritual awareness) whatever their beliefs or background may be.