Struggle to find young Maori leader to fill role continues

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Gore is in need of a young Maori leader to participate in a leadership programme with the mayor.

The nationally recognised rangatahi leadership programme, called Tuia, is looking for a Maori youth, between the ages of 18 and 25, who is passionate about their community, and is willing to step forward to develop a relationship with their local mayor and be mentored on a one-to-one basis.

South Island Mentoring Support person Tihou Messenger-Weepu said the rangatahi leadership programme had been running for seven years now and so far Gore had failed to find anyone to fill the role.

Mr Messenger-Weepu said the role included building a relationship with the community mayor and meeting monthly with them as well as attending five leadership forums around New Zealand to meet other rangatahi, mayors and representatives from other communities.

“They will receive support from the mayor and council to help and contribute to their community,” Mr Messenger-Weepu said.

“It’s really just about looking for acknowledgment that there are young people out there doing good things.

“Instead of working from the outside in, we are trying to work from the inside out in regards to community development,” Mr Messenger-Weepu said.

Every community would have a different method of how they go about choosing rangatahi, he said.

“Sometimes the mayors or councils back tap or people just come forward wanting to do it.”

Mayor Tracy Hicks said the Gore District Council had been keen to find a rangatahi for the last couple of years.

“We have struggled to find a person. It’s good to engage with the (Hokonui) runanga. Hopefully, we will have someone appear,” Mr Hicks said.

Mr Hicks said a rangatahi would benefit the council.

“For us, we would get an appreciation of the Maori culture and features,” he said.

The perfect person for the role would have an inquiring mind, an interest in their community and leadership skills, he said.

If anybody is interested in the role, contact Colleen Te Au at the Hokonui Runanga on 278679129.