New Māia video series highlights employability skills for rangatahi

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

The Tertiary Education Commission is releasing a seven part-video series called Māia to inspire Māori youth to consider career opportunities in the booming $42 billion Māori business economy.

Māia takes rangatahi Māori (aged 13-19) behind the scenes of Māori businesses to help them gain an understanding of the employability skills Māori businesses are looking for in future employees.

The Māori businesses in video series includes Moana New Zealand, Frontside Media, Dental Care West in Auckland, Hapi Café, Aroha and Friends in Napier, Whanganui River Tours and Local & Loyal in Whanganui.

Featuring in one of the stories, Dr Scott Waghorn (Ngāpuhi) says, “Dentistry has changed my life and I really believe in it so I want as many teenagers to be encouraged and feel supported in a career in dentistry.”

An initiative by the Tertiary Education Commission, Māia is based on the research findings of Project Kāmehameha; what digital tools are important to Māori youth: visual interest, story-telling, youthfulness, celebrating Māori success, authenticity and relevance.

Spokesperson for the Tertiary Education Commission Paula Collins (Ngāti Rauru, Ngāti Ruanui) says, “Many young Māori are achieving at high levels but we aren't really seeing their faces on the various social platforms.”

These are the types of resources that are relevant to what teenagers want to see.

By 2030, Māori will make up 30 percent of New Zealand workforce. Through the Kāmehameha Project, rangatahi expressed the desire to be presented with authentic stories about other rangatahi Māori and inspiring leaders to follow.

Dr Scott Waghorn says, “I did it, anyone can do it. You just have to put in the mahi at school and don't go out partying too much and then anyone can be a dentist.”

Paula Collins encourages youth to build in their interests, “That's the first place to start thinking, where should I go to find that information or that job, start with your passions your skills and your goals.

The Tertiary Education Commission hope that whānau will visit the internet page to access the Māia resources and gain insight into the employment knowledge within.

Paula Collins says, “Inspiring youth is the main objective of these films. If you have a family, if you have a teenager, tell them to go and look at these examples.”

She maintains that it's about inspiring youth to strive towards a bright future and explore the many pathways available to secure employment.

The videos can be viewed at