TPK agreements start of ‘special event’ for region

Four projects will give Maori ventures and tourism a boost.

Four projects will give Maori ventures and tourism a boost.

READY for ACTION: Te Puni Kokiri representative Hera Katipa (left) with Tairawhiti REAP executive director Ani Pahuru-Huriwai, TPK’s Marsha Wyllie and Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen at the TPK Gisborne office. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

BETTER employment opportunities could be on the way for the region’s rural Maori residents following the official signing of four agreements involving Te Puni Kokiri.

The Gisborne office of TPK — the Government’s principal adviser on the Crown’s relationship with Maori — is contributing $173,000 to work with Ngati Porou Miere on a manuka honey production project to develop a prototype apiary information and land management tool.

TPK will also provide $100,000 towards creating Activate Tairawhiti’s new Maori tourism project management team; $100,000 to support rural Maori to take in the Tairawhiti Rural Education Activities graduated driver licence programme; and $50,000 to help Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou provide support services for East Coast businesses.

TPK spokeswoman Hera Katipa hailed the agreements as the start of a “special event” which would help enact the Tairawhiti Economic Development Action Plan launched by the Government in February.

“We are supporting four projects being rolled out in order to support our Maori business and our Maori whanau on the East Coast in particular.”

Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen said the agreement would provide a great boost for the region.

“This is an early outcome of the Tairawhiti Maori Economic Report and Regional Action Plan launched in February, and is a great boost to the region’s tourism development efforts.

“Maori tourism operators and stakeholders in the region have identified tourism as a growth sector to target. This is supported by the international visitor market seeking a stronger cultural experience to their visits to New Zealand.

“Our intention is to employ a dedicated Maori tourism development manager as part of the region’s new tourism development service. They will work with local Maori tourism operators and the wider industry to focus on developing Maori tourism. This is the missing link in our existing regional marketing campaign with Air New Zealand, and reflects the joined-up thinking now occurring. It will bring our region to life for visitors looking for a unique and genuine experience.”

The agency aims to have someone in the post as soon as possible.

Tairawhiti REAP executive director Ani Pahuru-Huriwai said TPK’s help towards the driver licensing programme would boost employment opportunities and help reduce driving offences in rural areas between Potaka and Gisborne.

“Last year Tairawhiti REAP received some funding from TPK to help with graduated driver licensing in Wairoa, and we put 96 people through there. It was a very successful model. Based on that, Te Puni Kokiri has given us more money for the next six months to put 50 people through on the East Coast.

“A lot of people have been sitting on their learner or restricted licences for a while. Working in collaboration with McInnes Driving Training and Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, we hope at the end of it we will have a lot more licensed drivers on the road. That means fewer tickets and less loss of vehicles and licences as a result of not having a licence.”

Ms Pahuru-Huriwai said getting a full licence was a critical qualification to becoming employed.

“We expect that for some this will be the very first qualification they have had and it will snowball into further opportunities.

“We have seen that already in Wairoa and hope to see the same here.”

BETTER employment opportunities could be on the way for the region’s rural Maori residents following the official signing of four agreements involving Te Puni Kokiri.

The Gisborne office of TPK — the Government’s principal adviser on the Crown’s relationship with Maori — is contributing $173,000 to work with Ngati Porou Miere on a manuka honey production project to develop a prototype apiary information and land management tool.

TPK will also provide $100,000 towards creating Activate Tairawhiti’s new Maori tourism project management team; $100,000 to support rural Maori to take in the Tairawhiti Rural Education Activities graduated driver licence programme; and $50,000 to help Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou provide support services for East Coast businesses.

TPK spokeswoman Hera Katipa hailed the agreements as the start of a “special event” which would help enact the Tairawhiti Economic Development Action Plan launched by the Government in February.

“We are supporting four projects being rolled out in order to support our Maori business and our Maori whanau on the East Coast in particular.”

Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen said the agreement would provide a great boost for the region.

“This is an early outcome of the Tairawhiti Maori Economic Report and Regional Action Plan launched in February, and is a great boost to the region’s tourism development efforts.

“Maori tourism operators and stakeholders in the region have identified tourism as a growth sector to target. This is supported by the international visitor market seeking a stronger cultural experience to their visits to New Zealand.

“Our intention is to employ a dedicated Maori tourism development manager as part of the region’s new tourism development service. They will work with local Maori tourism operators and the wider industry to focus on developing Maori tourism. This is the missing link in our existing regional marketing campaign with Air New Zealand, and reflects the joined-up thinking now occurring. It will bring our region to life for visitors looking for a unique and genuine experience.”

The agency aims to have someone in the post as soon as possible.

Tairawhiti REAP executive director Ani Pahuru-Huriwai said TPK’s help towards the driver licensing programme would boost employment opportunities and help reduce driving offences in rural areas between Potaka and Gisborne.

“Last year Tairawhiti REAP received some funding from TPK to help with graduated driver licensing in Wairoa, and we put 96 people through there. It was a very successful model. Based on that, Te Puni Kokiri has given us more money for the next six months to put 50 people through on the East Coast.

“A lot of people have been sitting on their learner or restricted licences for a while. Working in collaboration with McInnes Driving Training and Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, we hope at the end of it we will have a lot more licensed drivers on the road. That means fewer tickets and less loss of vehicles and licences as a result of not having a licence.”

Ms Pahuru-Huriwai said getting a full licence was a critical qualification to becoming employed.

“We expect that for some this will be the very first qualification they have had and it will snowball into further opportunities.

“We have seen that already in Wairoa and hope to see the same here.”

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