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Land management program launched to prepare Tairāwhiti youth

Employment Minister Willie Jackson, along with Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage, today announced the launch of a new training programme targeting the Waiapu catchment, Ka Hao te Rangatahi. The programme is designed to develop young people’s skills through conservation and erosion management.

He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) is supporting the programme as both HPR and Ka Hao share a strong focus on supporting rangatahi to be ready for real opportunities to work and contribute to their communities on the coast.

“We’re committed to equipping young people with the skills and tailored support to get into real and sustained jobs in their own communities. Ka Hao te Rangatahi does just that,” Willie Jackson said.

“This programme is an example of a community working together to deliver for local young people. It will enable these young people to thrive and become advocates for mana whenua, while they upskill for local employment options.

The programme has been developed for 16 - 24 year olds who are not in employment, education or training and need tailored support to connect with employment. The HPR support includes resourcing a full-time pastoral care coordinator to work directly with the students and connect them with the right support.

“The new programme is well supported by the Ruatoria/Waiapu community, and that enthusiasm is powerful,” said Eugenie Sage.

“Learning about the land and how to protect nature sets young people up with great skills and a stronger connection to both whenua and their community.

“They will learn everything from fencing and operating farm machinery to pest management and protecting native birds and other wildlife in the Waiapu catchment.”

“Young people in the programme would also have the chance to develop skills such as getting a driver’s license, te reo o te taiao and outdoor first aid,” said Eugenie Sage.

Based in Ruatoria/Waiapu the course content is delivered by Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) tutors with additional content/support provided by the Department of Conservation, Ngā Whenua Rāhui, the Gisborne District Council and local community leaders, experts and employers.

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