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Tuia local government mentoring positions are being offered to rangatahi across the country. Auckland's five southern local boards are all participating and looking for potential candidates.

The city’s five southern local boards will again join the nationwide Tuia rangatahi mentoring programme in 2023.

Franklin, Manurewa, Papakura, Māngere-Ōtāhuhu and Ōtara-Papatoetoe will offer rangatahi places in a programme that pairs local government members with young Māori to enhance their leadership skills.

Aimed at building a network of young leaders, growth within the Tuia scheme has been welcomed by Franklin Local Board member Logan Soole (Ngāti Kahu / Te Rarawa).

One of Auckland’s youngest local government officials when first elected in 2019, he says Tuia is a unique chance for rangatahi to experience how local government works.

He took Tuia representatives to meet senior Auckland Council figures. “They met with Auckland Unlimited, Eke Panuku Development, Auckland Transport and Watercare managers, and even had a private screening of Whina alongside director Tainui Stephens.” 

Soole says Tuia has two-way benefits. “Council representatives get the chance to understand the perspectives rangatahi bring to issues.” 

Tuia offers young people the chance to gain leadership skills and create nationwide networks.

Tuia offers young people the chance to gain leadership skills and create nationwide networks.

Papakura Local Board chair Brent Catchpole doubts rangatahi view local government with enthusiasm. “It probably isn’t the most exciting place, but it’s where decisions affecting local people are made and being able to see how that happens is a valuable experience.”

Ōtara-Papatoetoe chair Apulu Reece Autagavaia acted as a mentor and hopes the scheme can expand even further. “These relationships help build links with our young ones and give us access to ways of looking at things we might not otherwise have. Encouraging young people into local government starts with programmes like this.”

Manurewa chair Glenn Murphy says his board offers scholarships during the year to help young people pursue education and training. “We want to be a board that helps rangatahi reach their potential and Tuia and our scholarships are integral to that.”

Māngere-Ōtāhuhu chair Tauanu’u Nanai Nick Bakulich says Tuia is about inclusion and connecting people. “It’s an excellent opportunity for civic leaders to impart knowledge and experience on to our rangatahi, our leaders of the future. By doing that we can 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 can be in an area they are already involved in.

The 2023 Tuia prospectus is here and rangatahi can apply here.

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