Ngāti Toa Cadets are helping to empower their iwi

Ngāti Toa Rangatira have partnered with Te Puni Kōkiri to deliver a successful Cadetships programme for 38 cadets that focuses on developing the iwi and the skills of its people. 

Published: Rātapu, 04 Hōngongoi, 2021 | Sunday, 4 July 2021

For the Porirua-based iwi, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Chief Executive Helmut Modlik says the programme is: “a valuable addition to support our young people as they move forward in their developmental and educational aspirations”.

Te Puni Kōkiri interviewed four of the cadets and found that all of them had a burning desire to give back to their iwi – whether working in health, teaching te reo or protecting the taiao - the pull to stay close to home was strong.

Protecting the environment

Ashleigh Sagar (Ngāti Toa Rangatira) is a Resource Management Advisor who works with different Government agencies, councils and anyone who has an interest in the natural resource within the rohe. 

“I already knew the course I wanted to do, the Kaitiaki Pūtaiao (Science) course at Te Wānanga o Raukawa. I would like to end up managing our own reserves. I know that this course is specifically going to help me do that.

“Working for my iwi means that my children have a safer place to live.  It’s about healthy waters, it’s about our taiao (environment), it’s about our beaches, it’s about our harbour.  If we don’t educate ourselves and help our children to want to be in that space, then what’s the point in using no plastic bags?”

Upholding te reo and caring for tamariki

At the Puna Reo, Marina Robben (Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Koata) and Amiria Salzmann (Ngāti Toa) are teaching and caring for tamariki and upholding te reo for the next generation.

“For my cadetship, I am currently enrolled at Te Wānanga o Raukawa doing a tohu Poutāhū Whakaakoranga (Māori Teaching post grad).  It’s around mātauranga and being able to design behavioural strategies, but with a Māori lens, says Marina.

Marina wants all iwi to be aware of the value of the Cadetships programme.

Amiria says the Cadetships is helping by allowing iwi to train their own kaimahi so they can get their ECE or further their professional development.

“Ngāti Toa Rangatira really want to revitalise the reo within our iwi and do that through our own Puna Reo-based ECE centre so we are able to pass on our own kōrero and our own stories to our tamariki.”

Helping to vaccinate the iwi

Graduate health worker Grace Davies (Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Koata) has a health cadetship with Ora Toa Health and Social Services. Grace has been helping to vaccinate kaumātua, iwi members and the community against Covid-19.

“I’ve grown up in the pā all my life and I wanted to help and contribute to the health of our people.  Working at Ora Toa for my cadetship and taking everything that I’ve learnt at University seemed to be the perfect opportunity,” she says. “Trying to get our iwi vaccinated with their Covid-19 has made me really strive to do better in my studies.”

How to apply

The Cadetships are worth up to $10,000 and are for the development of young and older Māori workers.  This programme supports Te Puni Kōkiri’s focus on building a sustainable, resilient and inclusive Māori economy.

For businesses who may be interested in upskilling Māori employees you can apply for the Cadetships programme through Te Puni Kōkiri.  Your business does not need to be Māori-owned, however Māori businesses, organisations and iwi are encouraged to apply. 

Visit our Cadetships page