$45K grant to support future BOP Maori workforce

One new initiative is called Hihiko Te Rawa Auaha – Innovation Hubs Embedded in Communities, which will launch at Baycourt on Tuesday, May 25.

Ongoing efforts to encourage Maori into higher paying jobs and advance prosperity will receive a $45,000 boost from BayTrust.

The grant will help pay for initiatives such as free coding and robotics workshops for Maori intermediate and secondary school students.

The substantial grant is being given to Toi Kai Rawa – the Bay's regional Maori economic development agency – whose goal is to support local Maori to exceed the national average income levels by 2030 and thrive in all sectors of society.

Toi Kai Rawa's General Manager/Kaihautū, Awhina Ngatuere, says Maori and Pasifika will make up 30 per cent of New Zealand's workforce in less than a decade, with that figure rising to 50 per cent by 2050 – yet they remain over-represented in the lower skilled end of our labour market.

'We are working on foundational projects to help accelerate local Maori into high value jobs and have got a strong emphasis on STEAM pathways (science, technology, engineering, arts and math),” she explains.

One new initiative is called Hihiko Te Rawa Auaha – Innovation Hubs Embedded in Communities, which will launch at Baycourt on Tuesday, May 25.

A day of free robotics and coding workshops will be provided for Year 7 to Year 10 Maori students to encourage them to embrace training and career pathways they might not otherwise be aware of.

Hihiko Te Rawa Auaha aims to unlock community innovation with a focus on digital enablement and STEAM capability.

Supported by Spark Foundation and Digital Futures Aotearoa, the programme aims to work with 30 Maori communities across the wider Bay of Plenty over the next three years.

'About 44 per cent of all young people in the Bay of Plenty are Maori. So there's a strong emphasis on working with rangatahi and building pathways to high value education, training and employment,” Ngatuere explains.

Other successful events run by Toi Kai Rawa include Ko Maui Hangarau (KMH) which showcases excellence in Maori tech, innovation and entrepreneurship to Maori school students, and an annual regional rangatahi Maori summit.

Anecdotally, Toi Kai Rawa knows about two thirds of Maori households across the region are struggling from one pay cheque to the next.

Ngatuere says there's a real opportunity to make a step change if we invest in enduring solutions for our rangatahi in particular.

'It's going to take some time for meaningful foundations to be embedded so our people can seize opportunities for the future. Fostering the conditions in our region for our people to realise what their natural talents and skills are, what their passions are, and ‘belief in self' is what we are setting out to do. If our people can unlock this, they can achieve anything they desire.”

She applauds BayTrust for believing in Toi Kai Rawa's kaupapa and says the organisation is looking forward to working together to create the collective impact needed for thriving Bay of Plenty communities.

BayTrust CEO Alastair Rhodes says for Maori to succeed economically, it's crucial that Māori design, lead and implement their own development opportunities.

'Toi Kai Rawa is the first kaupapa regional Māori economic development agency of its kind in the country and they are independent of local government and ensuing political cycles which is rare. They have a proven track record of success and are on the right path to create long-term change. We're delighted to support the work they are doing by approving this $45,000 grant.”

BayTrust works to help strengthen Bay of Plenty communities by providing charitable, cultural, philanthropic, recreational, and other benefits to accelerate bold meaningful change, helping local communities and the environment to flourish.

Schools interested in the upcoming Hihiko Te Rawa Auaha event (coding and robotics workshop) at Baycourt can register on Eventbrite or email tera@toikairawa.co.nz for more information.


So, white kids are excluded?

Posted on 18-05-2021 15:04 | By jed

White kids from very low socio economic families with low chances of future success are explicitly being told they are not worthy? As much as they would like to participate? Surely such a program should be targeted on a socio economic need, not skin colour?

Spot On Jed

Posted on 19-05-2021 08:05 | By beefhooked

I'm 100% all for free training and career pathways to help people to do better in life but why is this training only being offered to one exclusive group? Gosh if this was offered to Pakeha only there would be an uproar.

A small amount

Posted on 19-05-2021 15:47 | By Kancho

It would be good to encourage everyone and not put on labels but of course nothing wrong with targeting . I used to arrange catch up courses for apprentices who were struggling and need to repeat unit standards. My observation was that often the cause for falling behind reached back much further into school. Trying to fix years of struggle isn't easy when reading , comprehension and maths are at an insufficient level. Still a very small amount of money to achieve a lot.

Too Right

Posted on 19-05-2021 16:04 | By Yadick

This should be on socio-economic standing and not race based. As beefhooked points out, imagine if this was for Pakeha only. ALL underprivileged kids should be allowed the best equal chance at securing a successful future.

Bay Trust

Posted on 19-05-2021 20:37 | By Kancho

The Bay Trust supports all sorts of community projects they decide as it's their philanthropic choice not money from ratepayers or tax payers. In any event it is to improve outcomes for the whole community. Education lifts everyone and improves society. Young people are needed and up skill for tomorrow's world. If the Trust see this as a project to support that's their call. I think it's great . A different way may have a better result.

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