Manawhenua-owned consultancy Aukaha has welcomed a more than $40 million boost for new Māori trades and training programmes announced today in Ōtepoti, saying it will make a difference for thousands of whānau Māori facing genuine barriers to employment or stuck in low-paying jobs.
Hon. Willie Jackson, Minister for Māori Development and Associate Minister for Social Development – Māori Employment, touched down in Dunedin today to announce approved funding of $42.6m across 30 by Māori, for Māori employment and training programmes, including one in Ōtākou led by Aukaha. The Minister also announced $24.45m for new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes for young people not in employment, education of training.
Aukaha General Manager Mana Tākata, Chris Rosenbrock, said the investment was critical to enabling longer-term, locally led solutions.
“We know that a kaupapa Māori approach, with wraparound support, not just for the individual but for the whānau, works. The issues facing whānau Māori who are not in employment, or who may be in employment but feeling trapped in a low-wage or temporary work environment, are complex and a business-as-usual approach is not enough. Our goal to grow the overall wellbeing of whānau, rather than the narrower goal of just securing employment. That is important, but it is not necessarily the only endpoint.”
Over the past three years, Aukaha has guided more than 250 whānau into long-term, sustainable employment, training or re-training. The new Māori Trades and Training funding means 80 more whānau will have the opportunity to join the Aukaha programme over the next 24 months.
One of rangatahi Aukaha is currently supporting met Minister Jackson on Friday afternoon during a tour of the site of the new state-of-the-art ACC building under construction in Dowling St, a joint venture between Ngāi Tahu Property and ACC.
Sam* is one of several rangatahi for whom Aukaha has been able to secure employment and apprenticeship opportunities with commercial construction heavyweight Naylor Love drawing on its professional and iwi networks.
“The programme focuses on intensive pastoral care, but also brings our extensive professional and iwi networks into play and we are able to provide support not just for the employee, but also the employer,” said Rosenbrock, “so it is really complementary.”
Minister Jackson also visited the Aukaha office, before calling at Te Hou Ora Whānau Services, which is funded by He Poutama Rangatahi to deliver its Mauri Mahi, Mauri Ora programme.