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Young Māori Leaders Sought For National Mentoring Programme

The search is on for one local rangatahi (young person) to join a national mentoring programme designed to develop the leadership capability of young Māori across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Founded by the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ), the annual Tuia programme provides opportunities for successful applicants to meet regularly with their local mayor, participate in civic events, grow their networks and connect with fellow rangatahi throughout the year.

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has been involved with the programme for several years. Mayor Glyn Lewers said he was looking forward to exchanging ideas with the new local representative, learning from their experiences, and supporting their contribution to tangata whenua and the community at large.

“Although one-to-one mentoring is at the core of the Tuia programme it really is a two-way relationship benefiting both sides,” he said.

“Our rangatahi have an important role to play in shining a light on inter-generational issues, cultural values and diversity. They can also help engage our youth more strongly with local democracy and the work of councils like QLDC.”

Outgoing local participant Olivia Plimmer-Jones encouraged anyone with an interest to find out more and consider applying.

“You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Don’t worry if you feel you don’t understand a lot about your Māori background or that you aren’t connected – it’s never too late,” she said.

“I’ve been able to discuss issues with the community – including the lack of Māori safe space – and attended wānanga around the country on weekends where I would travel to different marae. I’ve gained leadership skills that I can implement in my different roles, been given opportunities to continue working with Council, and also represented young people at various events around the country,” she said.

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“I was always passionate about wanting to learn more and contributing to social justice so if anything Tuia has just accelerated these. It made it possible to realise how important recognition of Māori is in any community, including our district.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Tuia programme can download a 2023 prospectus here. An interview with outgoing rangatahi Māori representative Olivia Plimmer-Jones ran in the December-January issue of the QLDC newsletter Scuttlebutt and can be read here.

Applications for the 2023 programme within the Queenstown Lakes District should be made via email to topaz.river@qldc.govt.nz before Tuesday 31 January. The successful candidate will be announced by 11 February.

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