Minister for Employment Willie Jackson says he's committed to support South Auckland initiatives after the opening of a new facility designed to spark entrepreneurship, grow innovative businesses and equip young people, particularly Māori and Pasifika.
Mr Jackson says, “This is an awesome opportunity and to support our community is a positive move.”
The official opening week of Te Haa o Manukau facility is South Auckland's new cowork and makerspace and will help shape the future of the region which will contribute to growing Auckland's enterprise and innovation ecosystem.
“The challenge is consistently encouraging our young people in this region. There’s huge unemployment here. Our families are struggling and crime rates are high in South Auckland.”
Unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent last year, 9.9 percent of them were Māori. However, this facility is a flagship initiative of The Southern Initiative in collaboration with ATEED via GridAKL and Panuku Development Auckland.
Chris Twiss from GridAKL says, “We're really looking for this to be a real linchpin entrepreneurial community here to harness those core strengths around creativity, youthfulness and connectivity. So we see this side of South Auckland as a real untapped potential.”
Ngahere Communities Ltd is South Auckland's local social enterprise which will operate this space.
Manawa Udy from Ngahere Communities Ltd, “What we've heard so far there's a need for a place like this because I feel like that question is still too hard to answer. Matua Willie just said, "we don't want people from South Auckland to go somewhere else to bring their ideas to life", which is what has happened so far.”
Te Haa o Manukau is part of a wider vision to make South Auckland, New Zealand's first Maker City.