Now 12 weeks into its first year, Tua Whenua is offering hands-on, practical on-farm experience with every farming task imaginable including drenching, birthing calves and lambs, shearing, crutching, de-horning, fencing and machinery operation. By the end of the programme cadets will have a Level 3 Primary ITO qualification and the benefit of having been mentored by some of the industry’s best farm managers.
The programme has been designed by TGH Talent Advisor Kiera Daji who says Tua Whenua acknowledges the significant role of whenua in our culture, identity, and sense of belonging.
“Tua Whenua is inspired by the tongikura ‘tua whenua, tua taangata, he raa ki tua’ which translates as ‘our land, our people, our destiny’,” says Kiera. “Whenua reminds us of the importance of whakapapa and the connection between our tuupuna and future generations."
Tua Whenua, which is delivered in partnership with the Career Pathways team at Waikato-Tainui, is ultimately about connecting tribal members to their whenua.
“We’ve designed Tua Whenua to develop a pipeline of tribal rangatahi with the skills and capability to one day be able to manage TGH’s 11 farms and three forests. It’s a programme that will equip them with foundational skills in farm management and connect them to their whenua by working on and realizing their duty of care for the land.”
Earlier this year Riley Iti (Te Koraha Marae) and Jackson Hall (Waingaro Marae) were announced as the successful inaugural Tua Whenua candidates.