News & Events


Supporting Future Leaders in the Western Bay
Supporting Future Leaders in the Western Bay

Selected students from our 11 WBOP secondary schools gathered at Whareroa Marae, Mt Maunganui for a 2-day noho to kick off the 2021 Instep Young Leaders’ Forum this week.

After opening with a full pōwhiri  - attended by school staff representatives, local council elected members and other special guests - the students were given a historical overview of the marae’s place within the history of Tauranga Moana by Tauranga City Council’s Josh Te Kani. Some team-building and whanaungatanga followed and the first day was capped off with an excellent leadership panel discussion featuring Awhina Ngātuere, MP Rawiri Waititi and BOPRC’s Councillor Stacey Rose. The students’ engagement with this was clear to see and the key takeaway from Rawiri that seemed to resonate with everyone was: “If service is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you.”

Day Two started bright and early with local cultural facilitator David Inglis leading the group on an intercultural identity reflection as the sun came up on the Tauranga Moana harbour. After breakfast, the group was privileged to be lead in the composition of an Instep Young Leaders’ waiata by University of Waikato’s Taha Tangitu-Huata – an awesome feat to turn this around in about an hour! Jackie Paine and her crew from Re:Maker Space then finished the morning’s activities by encouraging the students to think about sustainability in innovative ways.

The afternoon was spent beginning the students’ collaborative projects for the year ahead and we look forward to seeing where these will lead, as well as the next breakfast event at Western Bay of Plenty District Council in Te Puke also this week.

These rangatahi will meet regularly to grow their leadership skills, collaborate and work with the supporting agencies over the course of the year. The Young Leaders’ Forum is led by Priority One with support from Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Toi Ohomai and the University of Waikato.