Two young Māori leaders have been recognised by their local boards as having real potential to make a difference in the community.
The Tuia rangatahi (youth) leadership programme looks to connect young Māori from across New Zealand.
Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board and Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board have funded two rangatahi (youth) from the Manukau Ward to be part of this programme.
The word ‘Tuia’ means to weave and when people are woven together well, they have a greater positive impact on the community, and both leaders chosen embody this sentiment.
Apenti Tamanui-Fransen is of Ngāriki Kaiputahi, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Ngā Puhi and Te Whakatōhea descent and received his spot on the programme from Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board.
He was shoulder tapped for the programme having already shown an aptitude for leadership in his job at Auckland University where his current role is to increase the number of Māori entering health pathways and in his involvement in the Ka Eke Poutama governance programme.
He will be joining around 50 other young Māori from around the country who will participate in five block courses as well as receive mentoring from local politicians.
Apenti, who’s also studying towards an MBA, says this is a great opportunity to deepen his knowledge on how to make a difference in his community.
“For me, it’s about being around like-minded young Māori people and learning about what issues are going on."
"How do we combat them at more than just a surface level.”
Apenti will be mentored by Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board Chair Lotu Fuli and deputy chair Ross Robertson.
Lotu Fuli says the board funded Apenti's spot on the programme as a way of ensuring greater diversity in leadership positions.
“The board recognises that there’s a lack of representation of Māori at decision-making tables."
"Tuia is a really good programme for building up leadership and giving young people the tools to expand their skills.”
Māngere activist selected for mentoring scheme
Pania Newton, who’s from Ihumatao in Māngere, was chosen by Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board.
She’s one of the lead campaigners with the Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) group who are working hard to ensure important land to mana whenua around Ihumatao isn’t turned into a large-scale housing development.
Pania is of Ngā Puhi, Te Rarawa, Waikato-Tainui and Ngati Maniapoto descent and says this programme is sure to give her the skills needed to see her campaign through to a successful conclusion.
“This campaign has taught me how to be resilient and staunch."
"I’ve been really inspired by the previous participants in the programme who have gone on to do amazing stuff and so I’m hoping to get a better understanding of how I can make a difference in our community.”