Leadership programme graduates contribute to community in Tararua
Two young men from the Tararua are currently benefiting from a Rangitahi Leadership Programme.
This was set up at a Mayoral Task Force in 2011 and Tararua has been involved since last year.
The leadership development programme is a long-term, intergenerational approach to develop the leadership capacity of young Ma¯ ori in communities throughout New Zealand.
It involves local Mayors selecting a young Ma¯ ori from their district to mentor one-to-one to encourage and enhance their leadership skills.
The young person is mentored monthly, involving both informal meetings and formal occasions that will assist their development as a local leader.
The relationship also provides both partners with the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into intergenerational issues, cultural values and experiences.
Selected rangatahi are expected to record a 100-hour community service project in their respective communities.
This will provide the young person with an opportunity to share their experiences, practice new strategies and demonstrate leadership.
Rangatahi will also have the opportunity to build peer networks with graduates of the programme, obtain support and receive leadership training by attending four leadership development wa¯ nanga (courses) over the course of the year.”
Joel Mudford from Woodville was the first recipient of the programme in 2017.
Over the year he attended five weekend marae camps at which he had leadership, cultural and life skills training.
Joel said it was an amazing experience, particularly because he was mixing with a large number of other rangitahi and top local kauma¯ tua. This had been inspirational, he said.
As part of his 100 hours community service he has played a major role in setting up the Wharetiti Ma¯ ori Culture Group, which has become a significant part of the Tararua cultural scene.
This group of 30 young people, with Richard Damon of Tararua College, has forged a popular entertainment group, participating in a variety of public performances including the Woodville Mad Hatter’s Day, the Tararua Kapahaka Festival and the Mayoral Welcome for the Czech ambassador.
Joel graduated from the programme in Auckland late last year. He said it was an amazing experience meeting with other mayors who were attending to support their proteges.
Since then Jarna Mihaere, also from Woodville, has become the second participant in the programme. He has attended one workshop so far and is shortly going to a second in Rotorua.
When not working at Kiwi Lumber he is heavily involved with sports and cultural groups with Joel, attending practices and games, coaching junior basketball at Dannevirke High and playing for a Dannevirke team. Joel has continued with his service to the community.
He and Jarna have forged a relationship working with Wharetiti and other groups to encourage youth achievement.
Mayor Tracey Collis says she has been thrilled by the growth of these two young men and looks forward to seeing further progress.
“This is change from the ground up,” she said.
The Wharetiti Maori Cultural Group after the Mayoral reception for the Czech Ambassador.
RIGHT: Tararua Mayor Tracey Collis with Tararua’s rangitahi Joel Mudford (left) and Jarna Mihaere at the Woodville Health Expo on Saturday.
Tararua Mayor Tracey Collis with Joel at his graduation in Auckland 2017.