Youth Encounter’s vision is to see people encounter their incredible God-given potential through living life wide open. We are a community that creates an atmosphere of acceptance where real connection can be formed because as people are empowered in their true value and feel a sense of belonging, we believe they will focus forward towards encountering their incredible potential.

Our mission is to unleash and release the potential in young people and their families through delivering exciting and engaging programmes using the activity of dirt bike riding. Through our Arotika ki te Kaupapa track of therapy, counselling, mentoring, camps, community gatherings, leadership training, voluntary work, workplace experiences and employment opportunities, our youth are empowered to live a full life, or as we put it, live life wide open!

Youth Encounter works with youth 11-24 years in age who are looking for a fun and supportive community. Our youth are often lacking purpose in life, struggling socially and academically at school, marginalised, labelled with behavioural issues or more practical in nature. By virtue of their circumstances research shows that these are the youth who are more vulnerable to fail in their education and take risky behaviours with destructive outcomes.

Our professional team of trained staff and volunteers offer hope of a better future and teach our young people in new mind-sets while providing positive role models that empower them to get on track and stay on track. Our services reach beyond the restraints of the traditional education system for the wellbeing of our young people, their families and community.

We are based in the Bay of Plenty, operating from our home base at Pongakawa that is 30-45mins from Te Puke, Tauranga, Whakatane, Kawerau and Rotorua areas. We have a regional focus as well as a national focus in our different programmes.


Creating a fun environment where people know they belong

A strengths-based non-judgmental approach of acceptance for all people

Nurture our community through openness and active connectedness 

Intentionally empowering people holistically in finding their true self 

Engaging in relevant needs of today's culture to facilitate effective outcomes


For people to belong because they are valued

For people to believe in their true value

For people to become as they live from their value

"What I most enjoy about Encounter Camps is the awesome uplifting atmosphere on the track, in the pits and back at camp" - Participant


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