Published: 28 August 2015
News type: Local news
In this Volume:
Q&A with Bryan Rawiri, Tuia, Matamata-Piako
"Fast Track Job Match", Whangarei
Maori teen mentoring with mayor, Nelson
Mayor's job initiative big safety net, Clutha
Connecting for Youth Employment (CYE) Trust was established in Central Hawke’s Bay (CHB) in 2013, with support from the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, to ensure that the community continues on a path to provide employment and training opportunities to young people.
Led by Kelly Annand and Vikki Graham, the primary objective of CYE is to connect like-minded agencies in CHB and facilitate discussions around local opportunities for young people.
“We have a strong network of local providers, who identify local opportunities and work together. None of us are patch protective and all have the same goal; to ensure people have training and employment opportunities in CHB,” Mrs Annand says.
The Central Hawkes Bay District Council (CHBDC) is committed to Youth Development and adopted a Youth Strategy four years ago to ensure the council is up-to-date with what is happening in the youth space within the community. Mayor Peter Butler says ”young people are vitally important to the economic development of the Central Hawke’s Bay”. CHBDC’s Safer CHB Coordinator attends the CYE led meetings and provides input from the council, as well as taking ideas back to weave into council activities.
Mrs Annand says all the information it gives to council is opportunity based, and focuses on the positives of what the community has to offer young people. “We feel that this is the best way to approach things to ensure that the good work that has begun continues and becomes sustainable” Mrs Annand says.
Throughout its two years in operation, CYE’s success continues to grow and shape the organisation today. Programmes include connecting unemployed young people with employers, meeting industry training needs such as forklift operators, and an annual ‘Youth Element Course’ designed to expose young people who are not engaged in training or employment to local opportunities.
CYE supports Mr Apple to hold employer expos for high school students and host the community's Industry Training Graduation ceremony for those that have completed a qualification. They helped coordinate the first Youth Shift for high school students with one of their key employers, Mr Apple, as well as being actively engaged with the CHBDC’s Youth Council.
One of the main focuses of the organisation is ensuring that young people in CHB are armed with a drivers licence. They provide all the support and resources needed to break down the bureaucracy that surrounds getting a licence these days. They host two professional driving instructors and hold a weekly licence class where people can access study help for learners and driving lessons from volunteer mentors. So far they have helped over 250 young people get to the next stage of their licence. They are also working in partnership with Mayors Taskforce for Jobs to address the licencing issues on a national level.
Mrs Annand is also a trustee on the Wellington Regional Youth Workers Trust which focuses on empowering youth workers in their communities and giving them professional skills. They offer training and support to upskill local youth workers who are on the ground working with young people.
Mrs Annand also plays an active role engaging with local employers and profiling each to understand the demand of each business. By doing this, she has found it a lot easier to prepare young people to meet local demands, while also equipping the employers to ensure they are ready to employ young people.
Although there has been strong success, CYE recognises that the seasonal employment opportunities within the community are often a negative as for many people they can be without work for 4-6 months of the year. The network is working hard to collaborate with employers and training providers to ensure that there are upskilling options available at these times of year to combat this issue.
“The only reason CYE is successful is because the trustees and employees are passionate about CHB and ensuring that there are local opportunities for young people to thrive and hopefully choose CHB as the best place to live and bring up their families” Mrs Annand says.
“Our community has everything it needs to be successful and we are simply a connection to the process. Our mission is to see all young people in CHB engaged in sustainable employment or training”.
Bryan Rawiri, 25 years old, was born and raised in Matamata and belongs to the eastern Waikato iwi of Ngati Haua. He is currently completing his apprenticeship in Baking. Bryan was the TUIA delegate in 2014 for the Matamata-Piako District, where he was mentored by the Mayor.
TUIA is a leadership development programme that is an intentional, long term, intergenerational approach to developing leadership capacity of young Maori in New Zealand through a one-on-one mentoring programme with the local Mayor.
Matamata-Piako Mayor Jan Barnes says Bryan was an absolute pleasure to work with, and that she sees him as a future councillor one day.
“I can see Bryan as being a future elected member and this TUIA programme has certainly enhanced his growth as a future leader in our community. He is the Club Capitan of the Matamata golf club and an active member of Matamata Lions,” Mayor Barnes says.
Bryan accompanied her to various speaking engagements, where the community was always very interested in his developments.
“Bryan’s exceptional music ability is well known throughout the community and he shares his talent for fundraising events. My husband Rex is also a musician and we have been able to involve Bryan in different functions we have attended,” Mayor Barnes says.
“ I look forward to supporting Bryan for his future endeavours going forward. Bryan will still be available to support our next TUIA candidate and has already attended the first wananga in 2015 in his own capacity.”
Daniel Henderson spoke to Bryan Rawiri about his journey with TUIA and how else he contributes to his community.
What does TUIA mean to you?
With my exposure to TUIA, I quickly observed that for one to effect positive change in a family, community or organization, one has to take an ownership or have a sense of vested interest in order to carry out these changes with any credibility.
This has helped me gain clarity as to why we do the things we do and helps me move forward with the relationships that have been formed, nurtured and utilized to achieve certain goals within aspects of my community.
I believe that as we develop through the TUIA leadership programme, we take a keen interest in the contributions made in communities that affect positive change, but also we take ownership of our communities and issues within them. For me, taking ownership of issues and trying to help affect positive change has given me a deep love for my community.
Explain your experience on TUIA and your interactions with the other rangatahi at the various wananga?
My experience has been a very positive impact on my life. Being able to meet up with like minded individuals and exchange thoughts and ideas about affecting positive change within their community. This gave me courage and motivation as it made me aware of other rangatahi taking ownership of issues within their own communities and are motivated to actually do something about it.
The diversity in the range of TUIA rangatahi also means that we have all come from different backgrounds and grown up in different lifestyles. Everyone has been affected by loss or heartache in our lives in someway, and we may or may not have been exposed to the best role models in life…. And yet… here we all are! It has also exposed me to people whom have similar values and it has been an inspiration to have met them all. TUIA has allowed this to occur and encouraged this process throughout every interaction through wananga and being able to rendezvous at our own accord without having to leave it until next time to catch up.
TUIA has allowed a sense of independence through the relaxed way in which things are undertaken and has really exemplified itself when we look at the network of relationships that have been created by all of the different youth from across the country. This has allowed me to put aside any preconceived notions that I may have had about an individual so I can really get to know someone, their story and where they come from.
How has your relationship developed with the Mayor throughout your time on TUIA, and how has that continued post-2014?
The relationship that I have made with my Mayor Jan Barnes has been one of mutual benefit and equality. I was lucky enough to have known Jan before she became involved in politics. I met Jan and her husband through our church. Jan’s husband and I are both musicians and perform within our community for different charitable events.
The exposure to the different people, groups and organisations through the relationship I have had with the Mayor have allowed me to gain respect from and for my community and enlightened me to other motivated rangatahi wanting to affect positive change.
How has TUIA influenced your contribution to the Matamata-Piako District?
TUIA has allowed me to form relationships with people in my community and it has made the District Council more accessible and co operative. It has also enabled me to relate to people knowing that we all have different backgrounds and this gives me an understanding that allows me to put aside any preconceived notions about anyone’s life story.
TUIA also provides an extensive resource in the way that we rangatahi converse and keep in touch with each other through social media. Should we have an issue, there is typically someone within TUIA that can relate to or provide some insightful feedback or encouragement that helps me go about affecting change within my community.
What other organisations and initiatives are you involved with in your community?
I am involved in my community through different groups that I have a very keen interest in:
Why are you so heavily involved in your community?
I have felt that if one happens to be in the position to give back to their community, I believe that it is their obligation to do so; although this is my opinion.
I had my father pass away when I was quite young so I have taken it upon myself to try and be the example in life for others that I feel I had been deprived of. Life is hard and I feel if there is anything I can do by way of service or inspiration for others; this is something that I aspire to do.
It has been a real challenge for me to extend myself out to those whom I do not know. However, with my association to other rangatahi on TUIA, I genuinely feel that they all have a place in my heart, because of the way they have influenced my life for the better. The impact that these fine people have had on me cannot be quantified and my gratitude is immeasurable.
What is your overall vision for young people in your community, and New Zealand?
My hope for Matamata-Piako District is that we can all take ownership of the problems and issues within our community and we can all set aside some of the barriers/visions that we have psychologically and so we as a community and country can move forward.
There has been the notion that all Maori should unite in order to present a stronger front in order to address issues that affect us (as Maori). And as I do agree, I think we are more capable of achieving a lot more for ourselves, our youth, our communities and for our country. Being more humanitarian and helping out our fellow man is an awareness that i'd like to encourage more people to aspire to do, and in doing so I am hoping that I am leading by example in this change.
Whangarei District Council, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development, recently held the ‘Fast Track Job Match’ event which was a first in the country. This event saw local employers interview job seekers in a ‘speed dating’ format, where those looking for employment were given one minute to sell themselves to each employer as candidates for available jobs.
The event was such a success, both parties are interested in repeating the process.
For a full media release, click here.
Nelson City Mayor Rachel Reese is taking part in the TUIA Maori leadership programme in 2015. Mayor Reese will be mentoring local 18-year-old Waiaio Nga Morehu Elkington while Waiaio will also attend leadership courses and engage in community service projects. Waiaio will also have the opportunity to build networks with other young Maori on the programme from throughout the country by attending the various development wananga in 2015.
For a full media release, click here.
The Mayor of Clutha District Council, Bryan Cadogan, faced a crisis when he learnt that one of the district’s largest employers, Southern Cross Forest Products, was placed into receivership and was closing all four of their Otago mill sites. When learning of this, Mayor Cadogan went out into his community to seek any employers who had job opportunities for those who had just been made redundant.
For a full media release, click here.