Auckland’s three most southern local boards are participating in the Tuia mentoring programme in 2021.
The Franklin, Manurewa and Papakura boards are seeking rangatahi to join Tuia, a New Zealand-wide programme with local government members mentoring young Māori from their areas to enhance their leadership skills.
Franklin Local Board member Logan Soole became one of Auckland’s youngest elected local government officials at the 2019 elections.
“Tuia is a unique opportunity for young rangatahi with leadership potential to experience how local government, a job where only 12.5 per cent of members are under 40, works.
“The programme won’t just be an awesome experience for keen rangatahi, it will help change the idea local government is restricted to certain age groups.”
Manurewa chair Joseph Allan agrees. “Today’s young people are tomorrow’s leaders, so we are proud to encourage them through our rangatahi scholarships each year, and of the fine work our Youth Council does.
“Tuia will give someone the chance to learn from board members, to see things from a range of perspectives, and understand why decisions are made.”
Fellow board chair, Papakura’s Brent Catchpole, says Tuia is as much an opportunity for members to learn from rangatahi.
“Tuia is not about getting preached at or attending lectures, it’s about interacting with people to build understanding and relationships.
“We’ve been involved before, and one year our candidate showed such promise she left the programme to take up a role within council. That shows the value of the programme. It’s about informality, inclusion and bringing people together.”
The boards are looking for potential leaders aged 18 to 25 from within their areas who are contributing to the well-being of their communities. Applicants will need the support of their iwi, hapū, marae, whānau or a Māori community-based organisation.
Logan says rangatahi will build peer networks with graduates and others on the programme, and receive leadership training at wānanga over the year.
“Those wanting to participate will need to commit to attending five weekend wānanga on marae around the country, monthly mentoring meetings, and other opportunities that might arise.”
Each wananga will be on the first weekend of every second month from March, unless otherwise communicated.
Those selected will also be expected to undertake a 100-hour community contribution project in their community.
Shakyra Te Aho of Ngāti Rereahu and Tana Bell of Ngāti Maniapoto have both undertaken the programme in the Waikato, and talk about that here.