News | 30 January 2018
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Wellington hoping to expand mentoring programme for Māori young people

Wellington is hoping to double its involvement in a national Māori mentoring programme this year, Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says.

Justin and Jill

Since 2011, Wellington’s Mayor has mentored a rangatahi (young person) each year as part of the Local Government New Zealand Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Tuia programme.

Tuia aims to develop the leadership capacity of young Māori by pairing them with mayors and/or deputy mayors, who mentor them on a one-on-one basis.

“We want to expand this programme in Wellington and hope to be able to mentor two rangatahi instead of one,” Mayor Lester says. "However, to do that we need our young people to apply. This initiative has been powerful and rewarding for past participants.”

The Mayor says he and Wellington Deputy Mayor Jill Day strongly believe that developing leadership skills in Māori youth has a positive impact on them, their communities and their city’s future.

The selected Tuia rangatahi will be mentored for 12 months, attend five wānanga around the country, and undertake a 100-hour community services project.

“This is a great programme that allows young Māori to receive exposure to different people, be inspired and become leaders in their community,” Deputy Mayor Day says.

“We want all young Māori in Wellington to consider applying for this programme. This isn’t just for the academic high-achiever or the most popular student from school – it is for any rangatahi with a thirst to help their community.”

Wellington’s 2017 Tuia representative Trinity Thomson Browne created a media company to tell positive stories about young Māori as her community project.

Two rangatahi will be selected for the 2018 programme if enough applications are received.

How to be involved

Any rangatahi interested in the programme should write to the Mayor telling him about themselves and also addressing the topic: “Me Heke ki Pōneke – te wāhi whai moemoeā! Come to Wellington – the place of the possible!”

The closing date for applications is Friday 2 February.

Send your letter to:

Mayor Justin Lester, Wellington City Council, PO Box 2199, Wellington 6140

Or you can drop it off at the Council reception at 101 Wakefield Street, or email it to


  • Must be between 18-25
  • Actively involved in contributing to the wellbeing of their community at some level
  • Able to commit to being involved in this part-time programme for a minimum of 12 months
  • Has support to participate in the programme (eg from whanau/hapu/pakeke/employers/community etc)
  • Is open minded and willing to contribute to discussions and workshops
  • Well organised and adaptable.

For more information download the 2018 prospectus.