'I've got my man back' - Dad emotional as he gets back on track with estranged teen at Outward Bound course

An Auckland father wept as he told of the breakdown of his relationship with his son and how taking part in an Outward Bound course for parents and teens has brought them back together.

TVNZ1's Seven Sharp visited Outward Bound's gruelling week-long course in the Marlborough Sounds for parents and teens, a programme that's in hot demand. 

School director for Outward Bound, Simon Graney, said putting some work into the parent-teen relationship, "and being conscious about how you want it to be, how you want it to progress for the rest of your life is incredibly important". 

Grant Hohala and is teenage son Jesse are city folk through and through. 

"Couple of boys from the North Shore. We don't get out a lot," Grant said.

So two nights in the bush was always going to be a test. 

"I tried to sing songs to him, and he beat me up for singing to him," Grant said. 

The bigger challenge is rebuilding their father-son bond which was fractured when Jesse fell into the wrong crowd. 

"I just split off from the rest of my family and did my own thing. And that's kind of what got me in trouble," Jesse said.

Grant became emotional as he spoke about the estrangement.

"You never ever want to be not around your son. 

"So, like Jesse and I had a big chat about what was happening.  And so here we are. As a team, bro."

Success at the course relies on being there for each other. 

Jesse said his relationship with his Dad is "definitely" better for coming to the course.

Grant said he hasn't got a son back, but a man.

"I didn't think he'd pull himself back together. I just thought, 'Holy sh**, where did my gorgeous son go?' And now, I haven't got that gorgeous son back. But I've got my man back, and that'll do me."

Seven Sharp’s Arrun Soma took a look in the Marlborough Sounds. Source: Seven Sharp