Urban rangatahi Māori explore primary industries pathways

Issue: Volume 96, Number 2

Posted: 29 May 2017
Reference #: 1H9d51

Rangatahi Māori from nine Canterbury schools attended the ‘Poutama Whenua – Land Your Pathway’ Industry Big Day Out in April, to learn about the unique opportunities available to them in the primary industries sector.

A special event hosted by Careers New Zealand and Whenua Kura aimed to introduce young Māori students to the farming sector.

Thirty-six students and nine educators, including Māori teachers, teachers with special responsibilities for rangatahi Māori within their school, science subject teachers/HODs and careers advisors, gathered to learn about the unique opportunities available to them in the primary sector.

“Primary industry brings strong employment prospects for young people, and is a nationally significant industry identified as being important to New Zealand’s economic growth,” says Hugh Kettlewell, Careers New Zealand Acting Chief Executive.

“However, Māori currently make up only nine per cent of employers in the land-based sector, and our aim is to connect local industry and educators to increase opportunities for rangatahi.”

To help address these growing needs, Careers New Zealand joined forces with Whenua Kura – the iwi-led partnership between Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Tapuae o Rehua, Ngāi Tahu Farming and Lincoln University – to run its second Industry Big Day Out (IBDO).

“Last November, teachers and career influencers spent a day at Whenua Kura to get a taste of its unique Te Ao Māori setting. This time we invited year 10 to 13 rangatahi to visit Ngāi Tahu dairy and sheep farms, interact with young farmers, and learn about the many roles, pathways and opportunities that Whenua Kura offers,” says Keela Atkinson, Careers New Zealand Engagement Advisor, Education to Employment.

The mission of Whenua Kura is to provide a pathway for Māori to gain qualifications and employment within the land-based sector and lead the way in tribal best-practice farming.

“We offer a pathway for Māori to train and work on Ngāi Tahu farms and the wider land-based sector, using agricultural practices aligned with cultural and whānau values – it’s about kaitiakitanga,” says Whenua Kura director Renata Hakiwai.

“This was by far one of the biggest rangatahi Māori events showcasing land-based industries. Rangatahi were engaged throughout the day, and the number of expressions of interest we have received from rangatahi wanting to join a career in dairy, sheep and beef, and also apiary (bee keeping) has been phenomenal. All students who provided feedback said the IBDO helped them make choices about learning and work opportunities.

They said their understanding of the primary industries also increased and they were likely to further explore opportunities and pathways within the sector.

Students said the most valuable aspects of the event were: “Going onto the farm, finding out about the industry and looking at how it works”; “Seeing the opportunities”; “Being able to get hands-on experience”, and “Seeing the technology and other things that can be used on dairy farms. Like being able to run a farm on a smartphone.”

Industry Big Day Out is a Careers New Zealand national initiative connecting employers, industry and educators to provide an insight into the real world of work and the range of pathways available within key industry sectors.

Whenua Kura offers opportunities annually for rangatahi of all iwi around New Zealand to connect to the land. There will be further places on offer throughout the year.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 1:19 pm, 29 May 2017

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