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Māori youth key to lifting regional prosperity


Growing the wider Bay of Plenty’s prosperity by empowering Māori youth through education and skills is a key focus of a collaborative approach between the Bay of Plenty’s Tertiary Intentions Strategy (TIS), Bay of Connections and He Mauri Ohooho, the region’s Māori economic development plan.

TIS strategy lead, Greg Simmonds says by 2050, a market economist recently forecasted there will be 40,000 new jobs created across the Bay of Plenty, with much of the job growth in higher skilled roles.

He says to drive Bay of Plenty’s GDP growth and build a strong economy, it is essential to mobilise young Māori into pathways that will lead them to these higher skilled job opportunities.

“We know increasing Māori youth household incomes will provide enhanced standards of living and help strengthen families; while also driving our region’s growth and enabling us to enjoy a strong and resilient economy,” says Mr Simmonds.

He Mauri Ohooho (HMO) Chair, Dr Riri Ellis says the region has a significant Māori youth population under 15 years of age.

“Seventy-five percent of the region’s Māori population are under 15. We need a strategy that grows both our people and our region. We need to connect them with higher skilled job opportunities as they start opening up,” says Dr Ellis.

The TIS and HMO partners have successfully secured funding for a resource to advance He Rangatahi, He Anamata – a call to action that encourages collaboration across the Bay’s industry, education sector and Māori organisations to improve skill and income levels for Māori youth.

The Kaihautu Ōhanga Maori (Bay of Plenty Māori Economic Development Navigator), has been funded in partnership between Bay of Connections, the region-wide economic development strategy, Te Puni Kokiri and Priority One.

He Mauri Ohooho co-lead, Te Horipo Karaitiana says the new position will enable better coordination of regional initiatives and help ensure successful outcomes for Māori youth.

Two education and skills examples to improve higher skilled job opportunities for Māori youth have also been developed, the Kiwi Leaders programme, run by Te Awanui Huka Pak and Priority One’s Instep with Māori plan.

Te Horipo says Kiwi Leaders provides on the job mentoring, training and professional development onto senior roles; while Instep with Māori has developed a successful leadership development program for secondary schools.

Te Horipo says He Mauri Ohooho has spent the last two years canvassing key investment opportunities and developing some sector activities that will lead to both new job creation and regional growth around Māori land utilisation, horticulture and water.

Image (L-R) Awhina August Maori Economic Development coordinator, Tertiary Intentions Strategy (TIS) lead Greg Simmonds, He Mauri Ohooho Maori economic development plan chair Dr Riri Ellis and He Mauri Ohooho co-lead Te Horipo Karaitiana.

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

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