NZDF and Te Puni Kōkiri welcome new Māori staff into the public sector

Māori contribute significantly to the New Zealand Defence Force but what happens to them and all the leaders skills they possess once they decide to leave? And what can Māoridom do to use their skills?

Published: Thursday, 17 February 2022 | Rāpare, 17 Huitanguru, 2022

Left to right Richard, Jill and Robert had a whakatau at Te Tari Matua with Te Ope Kātua handing over their kaimahi Māori to be in the public sector on Monday 14th February.

Ngā Ara Whakatupuranga, an initiative run by Te Puni Kōkiri that helps Māori Defence Force staff move into the public sector, is spreading Māori capability.

Te Ope Kātua is introducing its Māori leaders into the Government sector along with Te Puni Kōkiri for a second year in a row.

He ara rerekē he ara whakatupuranga | New Frontiers New Paths

One of three on a new path is Robert Te Moana from Ngāti Tūwharetoa.

“I was born on the shores of Lake Taupō with my waka,” he said at the whakatau on February 14, surrounded by his whānau.

Jill Cotter and Richard Williams will be placed with our tari ā-rohe in Kirikiriroa and Tāmaki Makaurau while Rob Te Moana will be at Te Tari Matua in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. 

Guilden by their whānau and NZDF our kaimahi are welcomed with tikanga from day one, this kaupapa is open to all kaimahi Māori across Te Ope Kātua to join.

“This journey is about giving back to our iwi, to our whānau, to make a difference,” says Rob, the man with more than 30-years of service to our whenua.

“Wherever we’ve gone it’s always been to serve other people. Bringing what we’ve learnt on those journeys where our waka have ventured offshore and bringing them back here to Aotearoa is what this is about."

Jill Cotter of Ngāti Raukawa has escorted HRH Prince Charles and his wife when they visited Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Initially it’s about getting yourself grounded and networking within Te Puni Kōkiri and networking with other public service agencies, finding a way you can fit in and add value,” says the descendant from Ngāti Raukawa who’s kāinga is at Te Awamutu with her whānau.

“It’s been a long time in uniform. It’s about shredding your uniform and now it’s about your natural leadership, not by ranks,” says Jill.

Ki te whakawhāitihia ō rātou nā wheako e 85 tekau tau te roa e noho nei i Te Ope Kātua - Collectively they have 85-years of experience while being with Te Ope Kātua.

Secretary for Māori Development, Dave Samuels, brought NZDF and Public Service Commission aboard this New Frontiers New Paths.

Championed by our Te Tumu Whakarae, Dave Samuels, between NZDF and the Public Service Commission Dave says “Their skills can range from organisational support, to logistics, mentoring, and communications or even how to get the best from your teams. But many need a guiding hand to see how their diverse pūkenga can transition anywhere.”

Heoi anō i ngā tau tata nei ka tuhura a Richard Williams i tōna Māoritanga - In recent years Richard Williams has started to unravel his Māoritanga.

“It’s been a long journey for me coming to Te Puni Kōkiri,” says Richard from Ngāpuhi. Hei tāna nā te kaupapa ia e tō - He says it’s the programme that drew him in.

“What a fantastic opportunity for the individual and for the organisation that could profit by getting this experience.”

“At NZDF part of being a tribe was outstanding, I want to be part of the [iwi] tribe, I want to assist the tribe, while we’re going on our journey,” says Richard.

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