Awhole world of opportunity
Jesse Armstrong, 27, Vaka Interactiv chief executive, lives in Pahurehure.
How long have you lived here and where are you originally from? I was born and raised here and have lived in Papakura most of my life. What do you like best about Papakura? I love the feeling of home. Papakura is a place where people can settle and feel comfortable settling there. For me it is and always will be home.
What do you like least and how can we fix it? I feel like we aren’t focussing enough on inspiring younger people to consider entrepreneurship. I know it’s not for everyone, which I agree with, but I think there are very talented youth that could excel in entrepreneurship and need opportunities to grow in this area. Whether that is focussing on local business opportunities, national level business or global business, more can definitely be done.
What comes to mind when I say ‘South Auckland’? Huge potential, little opportunity.
Where’s the best place to buy dinner in Papakura? I would have to say Mazzeh Kebab on Great South Rd. Some of the best kebabs I’ve had.
What’s one piece of wisdom you’d like to pass on to others, particularly young people? Spend less time on Facebook and more time in a real book. So many young people waste huge amounts of time on Facebook or using Snapchat, watching pointless videos on YouTube and don’t realise that there is a whole world of potential out there that can make their life so much more exciting and amazing than it can ever be.
What’s one trial or struggle that you’ve overcome? I have always struggled with focus and with being consistent because I get caught in the trap of procrastination. I have been able to overcome this with one key thing which is a vision. The clearer I can see untapped potential whether that’s in myself, my work or with others. A wise man once said, ‘‘with increased vision comes increased motivation’’. That is 100 per cent true and it has constantly helped me to overcome procrastination.
Is there a particular place in Papakura (or nearby Franklin) you like going or that you would recommend to tourists? I love heading out to Kariotahi Beach just out past Waiuku. The scenery is beautiful and is just one of many great places that show New Zealand’s beautiful landscape.
If I was Auckland’s mayor I’d … Focus on helping low income families become more selfreliant. Helping them to up-skill and also to be placed in higher paying jobs to help them keep up with the crazy economic struggles they face. I would also focus on helping younger people discover and develop their talents more.
Who is the Kiwi you admire most— and why? One that comes to mind is Rhys Darby. He’s just a genuinely funny guy and always guarantees a good laugh.
When I’ve got a free few hours I like to ... Repurpose old broken down things into functional and beautiful things in particular longboards and furniture. I also really enjoy learning more about interesting topics
Vaka Interactiv is a tech start-up with a team of four South Auckland entrepreneurs enhancing museum spaces and exhibitions with interactive displays. The team is currently on a four-month residency at Wellington’s Te Papa Museum. Go to vakainteractiv.com for more.
Vaka Interactiv chief executive Jesse Armstrong.