Regional | Career Services

Rapuara giving Māori students window into workforce

Māori youth from kura kaupapa Māori and wharekura have gathered at the Rapuara - Careers Expo in Christchurch.

A first of its kind in the South, the main focus is for reo Māori students to find their place out in the workforce.

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Whānau Tahi student, Te Hinemaia Te Raki says it's a day "for us students to learn about possible career pathways for when we finish school."

Reihana Richardson (Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Kahu, Kai Tahu) says there are so many opportunities for Māori, especially Māori youth and that having an expo like this is something that he's never seen previously.

Māori tertiary institutions, businesses and other providers have come on board to show students what the possibilities are. Eruera Tarena from Tokona Te Raki says the event looks at how we can establish the future for Māoridom through careers.

Kaiwhakahaere of the Rapuara expo, and principal of TKKM o Te Whānau Tahi, Mark Rangi, explains that it's an event especially set up to cater for wharekura and kura kaupapa students who have excellent skills in te reo me ōna tikanga.

Statistics are in favour of Māori students having more opportunities because of their reo and tikanga strengths.

Tarena says, "The figures say there are more benefits for Māoridom if our children stay in kura kaupapa and wharekura schools, so their specialised skills are very important."

Rangi agrees, "Te reo me ōna tikanga, full immersion learning within Māori education has a place in the workforce."

Students and teachers have their respective wishes for the future.

Te Hinemaia says, "I want to be a lawyer, secondly I'd like to set up my own programme for Māori so we can opportunities in whatever we want to pursue."

Rangi says the intention is for the event to happen yearly to invite providers, universities and Māori businesses to come along.

He believes that if the talents of our children are nurtured, they will indeed succeed.