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South Island commissioning agency proud of Whenua Kura

South Island commissioning agency proud of Whenua Kura

South Island Commissioning Agency Board Chair, Norm Dewes, is thrilled that the Minister for Whānau Ora, Te Ururoa Flavell, is making his second trip to Christchurch in the space of a week, to launch two new initiatives which have received Whānau Ora investment.

“We were delighted that the Minister joined us at Rēhua Marae on Thursday night for the launching of the Māori trade training initiative, He Toki ki te Mahi. It was a very significant occasion - the last hui to be held at Rehua before it is temporarily closed for renovations. We were all energised by the enthusiasm of the trainees, and the optimism they had for a future they will shape. The young women and men enrolled in He Toki ki te Mahi give us great hope” said Mr Dewes.

“On Tuesday 21st April, the Whānau Ora Minister will be joining Te Putahitanga o te Waipounamu again, this time at Tuahiwi Marae to celebrate Whenua Kura, a new iwi-led initiative proposed and led by Te Tapuae o Rēhua in partnership with Ngāi Tahu Farming and Lincoln University.

Mr Flavell says, “I’m pleased to see Te Putahitanga support these training and apprenticeship initiatives. When one young person finds long-term employment as a result of entering tertiary studies the entire family dynamic changes. Securing employment is fundamental to Whānau Ora”.

Te Pūtahitanga is investing in Whenua Kura to foster whānau champions at a centre of Māori agricultural excellence. Chairperson Norman Dewes said Te Pūtahitanga was impressed by the Whenua Kura proposal to implement a Whānau Ora change model on Ngāi Tahu farms, in order to enhance Māori wellbeing and success. The proposal is to employ whānau champions to engage with Maori on farms.

“What both He Toki ki te Mahi and Whenua Kura show us is that Whānau Ora is applicable in every setting. We are proud to invest in whānau as key agents of change” said Mr Dewes. “Through building in the capacity and capability of whānau, we know that transformation can be huge.

“Te Pūtahitanga wants to support that growth” said Mr Dewes. “We want to bring together training, employment and accommodation in a social change model driven by whānau”.


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