Māori youth challenged to be innovative

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Te Wero Pakihi challenges youth to take up careers in business and create bright futures for their people.

It's a one-week course on innovation and entrepreneurship and they've all graduated.

Sienna Munford-Stokes (Ngā Puhi) is a student at Okaihau College. She says, "Before I came I didn't really think that I was up to the challenge I couldn't see myself owning a business but completing this I know that I can do that if I put my mind to it."

Students received accelerated learning and were challenged to solve an actual problem for a business. This year it was for Air NZ.

Hinemihi Taylor is a student at Rotorua Girls High School. She says, "As rangatahi (youth) we didn't know anything about Air NZ so we wanted to tell about how they could improve or the best way they could promote themselves and find it relatable to us."

Over 200 students have been through Te Wero Pakihi in the last five years, an initiative by the Māori Women's Development Inc (MWDI).

Chair of Māori Women's Development Inc, Kataraina O'Brien says, "Because our tribes have settlement funds, it's imperative that our youth acquire the right skills to manage them."

Minister for Māori Development Hon. Te Ururoa Flavell says, "Some will say this aspect has been suppressed amongst us, but I say no, we need to focus on training and development in these areas. That's what this initiative is about."

Air NZ is keeping the top secret ideas under wraps but for the student presentations, check out the MWDI Facebook page in the coming weeks. See the links below.