Getting down to business
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.
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.