Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Listening to the Needs of Their People

Makoare Hoterene doubles as a Te Wānanga o Aotearoa tauira while also working as a development officer for One Double Five Community House in Whāngarei. The 23-year-old is studying towards a Certificate in Bicultural Social Services which helps with his work in listening to the needs of the people in his home suburb of Otangarei, standing up for his suburb.

“Otangarei doesn’t have a good name out in the wider region of Whangārei, so this is an opportunity to showcase some of the wonderful projects we’ve worked on and give some positive aspects,” he says. From lawn mowing and communal gardens to whaikōrero workshops and cups of tea, it’s about supporting families to grow and develop, he says.

“What attracted me to the role was that I’m a resident of this community, but I had little knowledge of the types of support and awhi (support) our whānau could access. It’s been hard. A large number have left school early – some at the age of 11 – and are not enrolled in any form of education.”

Makoare is also deputy chair of Te Puawaitanga Marae, which is trialing correspondence courses as a way to re-engage youth with education and to provide literacy programmes for adult learners. He graduated last year with a Diploma in Adult Education from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and says a lot of his learning comes in handy. “It helps me create safe, caring and positive spaces for teaching and planning strategies and appropriate content. What I got (from the diploma) was the ability to go away and design programmes appropriate to our learners and to our people within our community.”

Although combining all his roles hasn’t been easy, his efforts haven’t gone unrecognised.

In July, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Alfred Ngaro, praised Makoare for taking the lead in his rohe with projects that stimulated successful collaboration between community organisations and businesses. “To see the outcomes that our whanau and social workers are able to achieve has been inspiring and motivating,” Makoare says. “It’s been a great journey so far.”

For more information on teaching degrees NZ, certificates in adult education and a Bachelor of Education please go to www.twoa.ac.nz .

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