The city’s five southern local boards will all take part in this year’s Tuia rangatahi mentoring programme.
Papakura Local Board 2022 Tuia representative Isabelle Penrose (Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki) is urging rangatahi to apply.
Isabella says as a young Māori woman with a love for the environment, animals, and people, joining Tuia was a positive experience.
“Tuia means to weave. When people are woven together, their collective contribution has a greater positive impact,” the Bachelor of Science with marine biology and environmental science as a double major, says.
“Ki te kotahi te kākaho, ka whati; ki te kāpuia, e kore e whati. If a reed stands alone, it can be broken, if it is in a group, it cannot.
“When we stand alone, we are vulnerable, but together we are unbreakable.”
She says Tuia builds networks for rangatahi Māori as future leaders, pairing them with local government members, and helping them develop relationships across Aotearoa.
Isabella attended wānanga in the Waikato, Wellington, Rotorua and Nelson as part of Tuia, events she says allowed rangatahi to connect with each other.
She also joined Franklin Local Board member and mentor Logan Soole to meet senior Auckland Council officials, including then Mayor Phil Goff.
“The wānanga are run by volunteers, mostly past Tuia people, and are hosted at marae and pā. They gave us the chance to explore our pasts to inform and guide our future pathway, and a way to brainstorm community contribution ideas.”
“Tuia is something I will never forget and that I’ll always hold in my heart. Tama tū, tama ora; tama noho, tama mate. He who stands, lives; he who does nothing, perishes.”
Franklin, Manurewa, Papakura, Māngere-Ōtāhuhu and Ōtara-Papatoetoe will all offer rangatahi places.
Papakura chair Brent Catchpole says local government is 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 says Tuia builds relationships with young people and gives boards access to ways of looking at things they might not otherwise have.
Manurewa chair Glenn Murphy says his board wants to help rangatahi reach their potential and Tuia is integral to that, while Māngere-Ōtāhuhu chair Tauanu’u Nanai Nick Bakulich says the programme is about inclusion and connection.
All five boards are looking for applicants 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.
The 2023 Tuia prospectus is here [PDF] and rangatahi can apply here.