Urban rangatahi Māori explore primary industry pathways

Media release about rangatahi exploring the wealth of opportunities in the primary industries sector in Canterbury.

7 April 2017

Rangatahi Māori from five Canterbury schools will today attend the “Poutama Whenua – Land Your Pathway” Industry Big Day Out in partnership with Whenua Kura, to learn about the unique opportunities available to them in the primary industries 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 9% 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 is proud to be running its second Industry Big Day Out event with Whenua Kura – the iwi-led partnership between Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Tapuae o Rehua, Ngāi Tahu Farming and Lincoln University.

“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 are inviting 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 to 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,” Whenua Kura Director Renata Hakiwai says.

Current Whenua Kura student and young agricultural leader, Tumoana Harrison-Boyd (Ngāti Porou) encourages students to make the most of the opportunity.

“This day is an opportunity of great value for rangatahi, and will encourage students to learn more about the industry.

“I was selected to represent the New Zealand sheep industry at the Tri-Lamb Young Leaders’ Forum thanks to my experience at Whenua Kura,” adds Tumoana.

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. 

Updated 6 Apr 2017