Rangatahi invited to join mentorship programme with southern local boards

Last Updated : 15 Dec 2021
38 381570 Youth Tuia

Auckland’s southern local boards will all participate in the 2022 Tuia mentoring programme.

Franklin, Manurewa, Papakura, Ōtara-Papatoetoe and Māngere-Ōtāhuhu will offer rangatahi places in the New Zealand-wide programme that sees local government members mentoring young Māori to enhance their leadership skills.

Tuia gives an insight into local government and is aimed at building a network of young people who can give back to their communities.

Franklin Local Board member Logan Soole (Ngāti Kahu / Te Rarawa) became one of Auckland’s youngest local government officials when he was elected in 2019, and will mentor again, having already worked with Waiuku student Atea Kahukoka (Ngāti Te Ata).

“Tuia is a unique chance for rangatahi with leadership potential to experience how local government works. Atea has seen decision-making up close and met elected officials including Mayor Phil Goff.

“But Tuia also gave board members the chance to use the considerable skills Atea already has to understand a different perspective, not just a Māori view, but that of a young woman.”

Atea says the programme opened doors to experiences few young people have.

“The world of local government probably isn’t seen by young people as the most exciting place, but it’s where decisions that affect local people are made and being able to see how that decision-making comes about has been worthwhile.”

For the budding midwife, the relationships she’s formed have been a highlight of the programme. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 knocked things a bit and I wasn’t able to attend all the wananga, but I’ve made valuable connections and met good people.”

Manurewa chair Joseph Allan says his board offers rangatahi scholarships during the year to help young people pursue education and training.

“Linking with the Tuia programme is an extension of that and will give someone from our rohe the chance to learn and understand how and why decisions are made.”

Papakura’s mentor will be Keven Mealamu and chair Brent Catchpole says Tuia was so successful at providing opportunities that a previous participant left early for a role at Auckland Council. “That shows the value of Tuia. t’s about inclusion and connecting people.”

Ōtara-Papatoetoe chair Apulu Reece Autagavaia will act as a mentor in 2022.

“There is a Samoan proverb: E so’o le fau i le fau – joining the hibiscus fibre to the hibiscus fibre. It’s often said when invoking sentiments about unity and being stronger together and speaks to succession planning and transitioning from one leader to another.

“Tuia is an excellent opportunity for civic leaders to impart knowledge and experience on to our rangatahi, our future leaders, so that we move forward stronger together.

All five boards are looking for potential leaders aged 18 to 25 from their areas who are contributing to the well-being of their communities. Applicants will need the support of their iwi, hapū, marae, whānau or community-based group.

Those chosen will build networks with graduates and others on the programme and receive leadership training at wānanga over the year.

Applicants attend weekend wānanga on marae around the country, monthly mentoring meetings, and other opportunities. They also contribute to a community project, which may be an area they are already involved in.

The 2022 prospectus can be found here [PDF], and for more information and to apply visit our website here [PDF].

Watch Atea and Logan discuss Tuia here:


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