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New Partnership To Grow Employment Opportunities In Ōtautahi Christchurch

Whitiora and ChristchurchNZ have launched a three-year partnership to support each other as they both work for a more prosperous Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Whitiora is a newly established, Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga (Mana Whenua) mandated skills centre that aims to lead whānau into skills-based, future-focused, high-value opportunities. This aspiration is strongly aligned with ChristchurchNZ’s strategic priorities of supporting and growing high value work and employment in its role as the economic development agency for Ōtautahi.

Whitiora and ChristchurchNZ have a joint vision to help whānau achieve sustainable economic opportunities that decrease the disparity of Māori and Pasifika in Ōtautahi and enhance upskilling and enterprising as avenues of whānau prosperity.

Whitiora is also supporting ChristchurchNZ by engaging Liz Kereru in the role of Pou Manaaki to greatly enhance its competency in tikanga Māori and mātauranga Māori.

We deeply support Mana Whenua’s ambition to grow prosperity, and we know intergenerational impact is critical to Christchurch’s economic success. We have trust and confidence our Pou Manaaki will help us embody the wisdom of kia atawhai ki te iwi – care for the people.”

Joanna Norris - CEO ChristchurchNZ

“Christchurch NZ is thrilled and grateful to enter this partnership with Whitiora,” says ChristchurchNZ CEO Joanna Norris. “We deeply support Mana Whenua’s ambition to grow prosperity, and we know intergenerational impact is critical to Christchurch’s economic success. We have trust and confidence our Pou Manaaki will help us embody the wisdom of kia atawhai ki te iwi – care for the people.”

The team at ChristchurchNZ have shown their true commitment to honouring an authentic partnership with Whitiora and it is a testament to the values of the organisation. True partnerships support more transformational changes rather than transactional methods, which are constantly challenged by inequity.”

Tania Wati - Whitiora Executive Director

Whitiora Executive Director Tania Wati says: “We have been working alongside ChristchurchNZ for some time now, and we have always appreciated the approach to understanding the views and aspirations of Mana Whenua. The team at ChristchurchNZ have shown their true commitment to honouring an authentic partnership with Whitiora and it is a testament to the values of the organisation. True partnerships support more transformational changes rather than transactional methods, which are constantly challenged by inequity.”

Over the next five years 50,000 new jobs are projected throughout the Ngāi Tahu Takiwā. The highest growth will be in highly skilled roles and Whitiora and ChristchurchNZ are committed to helping the growing Māori workforce be ready for these future-focused jobs.

Whitiora is already at work helping whānau into employment, training, upskilling and enterprising. Although the organisation has a strong focus on Māori and Pasifika, Whitiora works with people of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Liz Kereru, Pou Manaaki at Whitiora, who has affectionately become known as Aunty Liz around the ChristchurchNZ office, is also at work helping staff more authentically weave Te Ao Māori and Ngāi Tahutanga into the organisation’s economic development work to help realise Mana Whenua aspirations and therefore improve economic outcomes for the whole community.

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