by Greta Yeoman
Timaru’s Hemi Anglem has been selected for the Tuia rangatahi leadership programme.
The annual scheme, which is run through Local Government New Zealand, is a partnership between a district’s mayor and a local Māori rangatahi (young person) to extend community connections for both parties.
The mayor in the rangatahi’s area is expected to provide one-on-one mentoring over a year, providing opportunities for the mentee to understand local government while the mentor will get a better understanding of the rangatahi’s world view as a young Māori person in their respective community.
Mr Anglem was selected as the Timaru representative and had so far attended one wānanga (meeting) in Te Kuiti with about 60 other district representatives.
The former Temuka resident and Opihi College pupil now works as a teacher’s aide at Waimataitai School, a job he has been doing for more than two years
“It’s challenging but cool,” he said of his work.
Those involved with the part-time scheme must be aged between 18-25 and are expected to attend four wananga with other representatives around the country, as well as undertaking 100 hours on a “community service” project.
The next gathering would be held in Christchurch.
Mr Anglem said his name was put forward for the scheme by a friend and when he was chosen he agreed to take part.
“[It is] a good opportunity.”
Mr Anglem was excited to learn about local government from Timaru Mayor Damon Odey and “see what he does”, while also providing a young Māori voice to the council for the next year.
It was the second year the scheme had run in Timaru, after Jordan Diamond took part last year, Mr Odey said.
“He got a lot out of it, as did I.”
Mr Odey said he had heard about the scheme at a Local Government NZ conference and thought it would be good for the district to be involved.
“We’ll learn from them and they learn about us . . . it’s a two-way thing.”
He said the scheme was good as it gave him a chance to connect to younger residents, as well as developing connections with iwi.
The council had made an effort over the past few years to develop its own karakia (prayer) and increase the usage of te reo Māori, so this was just another part of developing that, Mr Odey said.
“[It is] great to have Timaru involved.”
Mr Anglem said he was looking forward to encouraging more young Māori in Timaru and wider South Canterbury to attend events such as Anzac Day commemorations and helping to see what else could be done to provide activities for young residents.
“I hear a lot of ‘there’s nothing to do’.”