Students from over 20 schools in the Waiariki region gathered at Tūhoe's Te Kura Whare in Tāneatua, for the 'He Rangatahi, He Anamata' summit, which aims to stimulate rangatahi ideas on sustainability.
Ariana Poihipi-Black, from Te Wharekura o Mauao, says, "It's great because Ruatoki is my world so, to experience this, my mind goes beyond and I know the ins and outs of the political world, it's been good - these initiatives are good for us young people, for the world of young people."
"He Rangatahi, He Anamata" is run by Toi Kai Rawa, a regional Maori economic development agency.
Sasha Solomona from Otumoetai College says the kaupapa they came up with today was a workshop for teachers who teach Māori students.
"We found as students that the ability for teachers to teach us wasn't that great, that we felt that we could help them do more for us. So this workshop would help them learn tikanga Māori, Te Ao Māori traditions and Te Reo Māori so that, when they kōrero Māori, the pronunciation is correct and the mana is held in tikanga Māori and the way that we do things."
Twenty-two schools from the Bay of Plenty took part, with more than 140 students coming together and working in units.
Guest speaker Waimirirangi Ormsby, who runs the Pipiri ki a Papatūānuku project, "I'm always excited to work with our younger siblings, and my mates. The values that I see in our future is the desire, that hunger to pursue some systems, perhaps some solutions, some remedies for our environment and for our people."
Next year another summit will take place, to further develop the ideas of tomorrow's leaders.