Get­ting down to busi­ness

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By PET­RICE TAR­RANT

Savvy sec­ondary stu­dents from South Waikato joined a se­lect few from around the coun­try for a real-life taste of run­ning a busi­ness.

Richard Te Whare, Syd­ney How­ell, Pehi Hill and Anisha Te Hiko were four of 44 stu­dents selected na­tion­wide to par­tic­i­pate in Te Wero Pak­ihi, a five- day busi­ness work­shop in Auck­land.

The Maori Women’s De­vel­op­ment In­cor­po­ra­tion selected the par­tic­i­pants from grad­u­ates of its MaiBiz pro­gramme run in schools, in­clud­ing Pu­taruru Col­lege and For­est View High School.

The schol­ar­ship re­cip­i­ents en­joyed an ac­tion- packed week based at Awataha Marae dur­ing which they vis­ited Massey Univer­sity, cre­ated a vi­ral mar­ket­ing cam­paign for The Cof­fee Club and con­ducted a mar­ket­ing sur­vey at Auck­land West­pac branches.

They were taught how to man­age their fi­nances by Dr Pushpa Wood and also tri­alled a pro­to­type of a new game called Mana Mil­lion­aires.

Richard, a year 12 stu­dent, said the MaiBiz in­tro­duc­tory course is one of the best ex­pe­ri­ences he has had to date.

‘‘The best part is meet­ing new people and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent that I didn’t think I would get in to to be hon­est,’’ he said.

‘‘It just ex­pands my ca­reer op­tions.’’

On the MaiBiz course he was the team’s strate­gist, pro­duc­tion man­ager and did the SWOT anal­y­sis ( Strength, Weak­nesses, Op­por­tu­ni­ties and Threats).

He’s mad on sports and said that one day he’d like to own his own gym and set up a na­tion­wide fran­chise.

Pehi, 17, said the course was a com­plete 360 from his MaiBiz course.

‘‘Once you come up here it is way dif­fer­ent to the MaiBiz, it’s way bet­ter.

‘‘All of it is my favourite part, the pro­gramme is re­ally good and I love the people and there are times I don’t want to leave.’’

Syd­ney, 16, rated it 10 out of 10.

‘‘ I’ve been think­ing of hav­ing my own cloth­ing busi­ness or in­te­rior de­sign­ing busi­ness be­cause I’ve al­ways wanted to.’’

She said she couldn’t be more grate­ful to Pu­taruru Col­lege for hand­ing her the op­por­tu­nity.

Maori Women’s De­vel­op­ment In­cor­po­ra­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Teresa Tepa­nia-Ashton said scholar- ship ap­pli­ca­tions were in­spir­ing’’.

‘‘ Many of the grad­u­ates found the in­tro­duc­tory course life-chang­ing and were keen to ex­tend their skills.’’

She said MaiBiz is run in schools with high Maori pop­u­la­tions that also tend to be lower decile schools.

Te Wero Pak­ihi was a ‘‘real eye-opener’’ for many of the stu­dents who had never been to Auck­land be­fore, let alone on a plane, Tepa­nia-Ashton said. ‘‘It cer­tainly opens their mind to new pos­si­bil­i­ties. We hope they’ll con­sider go­ing in to busi­ness one day and study­ing busi­ness at a ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tion.’’

The group cov­ered all the stu­dents’ travel, ac­com­mo­da­tion and course costs.

The pro­gramme fin­ished on Fri­day with a prize­giv­ing cer­e­mony at Awataha Marae on the North Shore.

‘‘truly

Maori suc­cess: South Waikato had a strong rep­re­sen­ta­tion at the 5-day busi­ness work­shop, Te Wero Pak­ihi, in the form of Richard Te Whare, Syd­ney How­ell, Anisha Te Hiko and Pehi Hill.

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