Tūhoe rangatahi plan for future

E Tū Whānau was a major inspiration for Te Hao Maataatahi, a mini careers expo for Tūhoe Rangatahi, held at Te Uru Taumatua in Taneatua on July 1 (2015).

The hui, organised and run  Mahina Harawira and Tipene Tihema-Biddle, was the first time Tūhoe youth had come together to discuss their career path options and future aspirations.

Mahina and Tipene are recognised as E Tū Whānau ‘kahukura’ because of their role in leading and inspiring change in their community.

Preparing for workforce

The idea for the hui started with the late Hana Harawira (previous General Manager for Te Kaokao o Takapau Health & Disability Services), who saw the need to bring Tūhoe rangatahi together and support them to become workforce ready.

When Mahina Harawira and Tipene Tihema-Biddle attended the E Tū Whānau Rangatahi wānanga in Rotorua earlier this year, they developed the concept further.  They both made a declaration at that hui that they would not to leave it for others to design the future for their rangatahi and their whānau.

Te Hao Maataatahi  was the  first manifestation of that pledge.

Career options

“We knew that our rangatahi, like others in rural areas, needed to be exposed to all the career possibilities out there for them and to start preparing for life after school. They also needed to know about the practical stuff like bank accounts and CVs and how to present themselves to potential employer.”

Over 80 students aged between 15 and 19 came from all over the rohe – Ruatahuna, Te Whaiti, Waimana, Waiohau and Ruatoki – for the hui.  They met representatives from a wide range of professions and learning institutions who were keen to showcase their mahi and support the students with the practical information needed to achieve their dreams.

Students had to visit each stall-holder and choose one role that interested them, then  sit down and talk to the kaimahi about how they could get involved in that  particular career.

Mahina says the feedback was amazing.

“The stall-holders told us that the kids showed real interest and followed through by ordering enrolment and information packs. But it was the feedback from the rangatahi that really said it all.”

Feedback said it all

Here’s some of that feedback in the students’ own words.

“I didn’t know how easy it would be to become a nurse. I thought it would be hard and a long process but after talking about it and knowing what’s needed, I’m going to follow this through.”  Aroha, 17 years

“I want to be a kaitiaki  for the environment. It’s awesome to know you can train and do something you love, like looking after your environment so you can have something to pass on to future generations.”

Rauru, 18 years, one of seven boys who have enrolled for the fresh water course as a result of the hui.

The Tūhoe Tribal Executive thought Te Hao Maataatahi youth forum was a golden opportunity to hear how their rangatahi thought  Ngā Tūhoe should go forward in their generation. So they asked them for feedback on a series of questions.