Primary Industries Good Employer Awards

24 July 2022

Māori Agribusiness Award

Winner: Wini (Ngāti Awa, Ngaitai ki Tōrere) and Simon Geddes – Tāne Mahuta NZ Ltd

In the early 1960s, a wero (challenge) was laid down by Koro Eruera Manuera, Ngāti Awa Paramount Chief. He signed an agreement to allow native forests to be cleared and planted in Pinus Radiata. In return, there was to be mahi (work) for future mokopuna (generations) to come. This 60-year-old promise has formed the basis of this youth-focused forestry organisation. With more than 45 years of expertise in the forestry sector, Tāne Mahuta’s kaupapa (purpose) is to “train, qualify, and employ rangatahi (young people) to work on their own whenua (land).”

Kaumatua (elders) in Te Teko, in the Bay of Plenty gave the company the task of "doing something for our young people". In 2014, a youth-focused programme was launched for rangatahi who were not only unemployed but also facing major social issues including drug addiction, criminal activity, violence, and relationship breakdown with whānau, hapū, and marae. This programme has successfully reduced psychosocial issues that affected the ability of rangatahi to be employed and engage in healthy, positive whānau, and community activities and relationships.

To date, Tāne Mahuta have trained, qualified, and employed over 450 rangatahi.

Tāne Mahuta NZ Ltd champions Māori agribusinesses by:

  • offering the LWYE™ (Learn While You Earn) training and employment programme, which allows rangatahi to learn skills, graduate with qualifications, and earn a living at the same time
  • integrating and practicing the Māori values of whānaungatanga (relationships), whakapapa (genealogy), and manaakitanga (care and responsibility) to ensure good employment practices
  • implementing the Kaihautū Pastoral Care (KPC) programme to remove barriers to produce a well-trained, capable, competent, and drug-free workforce. This allows and supports rangatahi to attend court hearings, and where needed supporters visit with whānau and attend marae hui to update hapū and iwi on the progress of their rangatahi. In addition, providing access to a drug test rehab unit and strong pastoral care ensures staff retention.

About this award

This award recognises employers that identify as a Māori agribusiness who drive good employment practices.

Entrants to this category will need to have in place an effective programme in one or more of the following Good Employer Awards categories:

  • Employee Development
  • Safe and Healthy Work Environment
  • Inclusive and Diverse Workplace

They should also show how they:

  • demonstrate success in providing pathways for Māori employees to advance in the organisation
  • incorporate tikanga Māori to increase individual, community, hapu, and iwi outcomes.
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