Course inspires community vision
A group of young Waitara Maori are putting plans into action to help the next generation.
A May leadership course in Wellington, which the group of five were nominated to attend, has inspired them to start developing their own community vision.
Marama Moore said the forum helped her a lot. "It changed the way I look at things," she said.
Along with a trip to Parliament, group activities and guest speakers, the course was designed to help participants tap into their own potential. For Moore, it also helped her decide to engage with higher education.
She is now studying Maori laws and philosophy at Otaki's Te Wananga o Raukawa, while doing voluntary work and raising her 7-year-old daughter.
Moore said she had a lot of ideas to build community spirit in Waitara and was already part of the group behind Waitara Home, which offers a free after-school programme for children during the school term.
Although unsuccessful in her bid to get onto the Waitara Community Board last year, the 26-year-old said she wanted to have another crack at local government politics in 2016.
She believed the key to lasting change lay in the power of numbers, rather than on just one person.
"You need people really to make the difference," she said.
Another delegate, Mizsiah Martin-Kemp, said his view of what it meant to be a leader had changed since he went on the course.
"It totally flipped my world around," he said.
Of Ngati Mutunga, Ngati Tama, Te Atiawa and Nga Puhi descent, the 20-year-old now intended to study towards a business management degree, focusing on Maori and Pacific development.
Other Waitara representatives on the course were Delaney Parker, Mathew Tuuta-Rawiri and Michelle Lee. The course trip was sponsored by Waitara businesses.
Taranaki Daily News