Published: 25 May 2016
News type: Local news
Hellmuth Hartung was born in Turangi and was raised in Tongariro and Tauhara. Hellmuth was originally trained as a Seamen Combat Systems Specialist & Diver in the Royal New Zealand Navy. Following his time in the Navy, he worked for the YMCA in New Plymouth for five years as an Education Development Team Leader and Project Manager.
Hellmuth is now the Community Projects Officer for the Taupo District Council, and is extremely passionate about the work that he is involved in locally.
Dan Henderson spoke with Hellmuth about his work with the Taupo District Council and how else he is involved in the community.
What is your role within Taupo District Council? What Community Groups does this include working with?
My role focuses largely on Community Development & Partnerships which includes two main areas:
What types of industry opportunities are there in Taupo, and if any, are their any specific industry’s you target in the work you do?
We have quite interesting industry opportunities here in Taupo. The main ones are:
We also have a lot of emerging medium size enterprise which is creating a lot of opportunities for the local economy.
What are the various programmes you have running in Taupo? Tell me a bit about each one, and the structure of these programmes?
We have three main programmes:
Explain your experience with young people in the work you do in Taupo?
The work I do with young people is split into three areas.
What types of issues, if any, have you had to overcome in your work??
There has been a major issue around the funding and sustainability of youth projects we have running in Taupo. I am keen to see youth enterprise up and running to support the evidence based programmes we run that work on all of the fundamentals of youth development.
What is your personal vision for the young people in the Taupo community, and New Zealand?
That every young person is able to reach their full potential and that are lots of opportunities for all young people to participate in personal and group development programmes.
What is your reason for being involved in your community?
I thought the role at Taupo District Council would be a great job to do day-by-day as it involves tangible and fulfilling work in the community which includes both the vulnerable and disengaged but also groups that are doing well. I enjoy the opportunity to walk alongside all young people I work with and watch them develop through each stage of their life.
What other things to do you do in your community (on a personal level, if any)?
I am a Rural Fire volunteer, and I also volunteer for the ‘Big Brothers Big Sisters’ organisation where I am a mentor. I also enjoy any sports in general and was a part of the New Plymouth Ranger Football player in 2012 where we were Championship and Cup winners!!!