Wairoa District Council staff confirmed their commitment to becoming one of the first bi-lingual towns in New Zealand with a group recently graduating with their National Certificate in Māori Management.
The year-long course culminated in a recent graduation ceremony which saw 11 Council staff, three Māori Standing Committee members and one staff member from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council acknowledged for their efforts.
The course was run through Skills Active Aotearoa and incorporated five modules of te reo, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, relationship building, stories of tupuna and tikanga on the marae.
Council’s Māori relationships manager Duane Culshaw co-ordinated the learning along with Skills Active Aotearoa advisor and former Wairoa woman Chauntelle Brown.
The self-directed course included small wananga held every fortnight to verify the work that has been ongoing.
Council graduates included Mayor Craig Little and chief executive Steven May.
Mr Little said the course required a lot of work, but he also learned an incredible amount.
“It was great to see the commitment from everyone who participated, and the course has certainly provided an opportunity to upskill staff.”
Mr May agreed the course was intense but worthwhile.
“Wairoa has set the goal of being one of the first bi-lingual towns in New Zealand and that won’t happen unless we actively work to make progress.”
One of the graduates, Council’s policy and governance team leader Charlotte Knight, said it is great to work at a Council that is committed to enabling staff to further develop in te reo Māori and tikanga.
In 2017 Council adopted the Te Kaupapa Here mo Te Reo Maori ke Te Kaunihera o Te Wairoa (the Wairoa District Council Te Reo Maori policy). The adoption of the policy follows the Council’s commitment (in 2012) to Wairoa becoming bi-lingual by 2040 under the joint agency Te Wairoa Reorua initiative.
Māori Relationship Manager, Duane Culshaw, hopes this qualification is only the beginning of the journey and that the graduates continue to seek and understand the Māori world view.
Caption: Pictured are some of the group of Wairoa District Council staff members who recently graduated with their National Certificate in Māori Management. Pictured from left, back, Luke Knight, Gary Borg, Steven May; front, Lauren Jones, Charlotte Knight, Whai-ora Maindonald and Gay Waikawa.
18 November 2019
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