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Supporting people into jobs

10 March 2020.

Young refugee men praised for being ‘hard workers’

The Men with Mana sessions funded by the E Tū Whānau programme is continuing to generate job opportunities for our refugee and migrant whānau.

Some of the dads who attended the series of weekend hui run through Men with Mana in Porirua, told their sons about seasonal work available in Martinborough vineyards for energetic workers keen to make a buck during their school and university holidays. Half a dozen young men from Syria jumped at the opportunity.

Seventeen-year-old Amer Aktaa is off to university this year to begin a career in civil engineering. He was happy to spend his Christmas break training vines around support wires and hoeing around their roots. “I don’t like to sit at home during the holiday when I can earn money easily and the work isn’t hard.”

His brother Mohammed and friend Abdulhamid Baraka are year 12 students at Porirua College. They are undecided about how they will spend the money they earn. “Maybe a phone, but of course we’ll give some money to our families,” says Abdul.

Dave Shephard, Viticulture manager for Foley Wines in Martinborough says there are opportunities for keen workers at all levels of the business. “I’ve dealt with quite a few refugees from various countries throughout the world. It’s a great thing to have the blend of cultures within the wine industry. It’s refreshing to have people with the ‘can-do’ attitude they bring to the job.”

“Many have extensive experience working the land and they’re hard workers, keen to give new things a go.”

MSD work-broker Phil Rutene knows of plenty of people from refugee and migrant communities in Manawatu, Wairarapa and the greater Wellington area who are keen to work in Martinborough’s viticulture industry.

Phil and E Tū Whānau kaimahi, Pohswan Narayanan, regard this foray of young people into the industry as the beginning of an enduring relationship between the vineyards which need reliable workers and new New Zealanders keen to find work. “The word is getting around,” says Pohswan.

“Another group of young people from Africa, Colombia and Samoa are now working in the vineyards. They’re enjoying themselves, learning new things and making money for themselves and their families. It’s win/win all round.”

Pictured Ibrahim Altayfour (left) and Ahmed Haidar are two of the young workers impressing their bosses in the Martinborough vineyards

Pictured: Ibrahim Altayfour (left) and Ahmed Haidar are two of the young workers impressing their bosses in the Martinborough vineyards.

Hauora ki te Mahi programme starts in Whanganui

Hauora ki te Mahi is a wellness to work programme which Sport Whanganui is contracted to provide by MSD.

The programme aims to support jobseekers who would benefit from improving their health and physical wellbeing. The programme will provide clients with social connectivity with others on the same journey, increased motivation and overall wellbeing to improve the opportunity to gain desired employment.

Gloria Campbell, Regional Commissioner for Social Development Taranaki King Country Whanganui region says, “We are very pleased to expand our partnership with Sport Whanganui to include support for people who are seeking improved health and physical wellbeing to ultimately enter or re-enter the workforce and remain in employment. Hauora ki te Mahi will allow us to help more people to achieve this.”

To be elected on to Hauora ki te Mahi, clients must be seeking a physical job change, willing to make positive lifestyle changes and motivated to participate in the recommendations made by the Wellness Coach.

Sport Whanganui’s General Manager Adam Gosney says, “Sport Whanganui is excited to introduce the Hauora ki te Mahi programme built from the success of the Pathway to Industry programme which Sport Whanganui has led in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development for the last five years.”

Clients will receive a co-designed wellness plan which will include support from the Wellbeing Coach throughout the duration of the programme.

Anyone wanting more information about the programme, can contact Sport Whanganui’s Health Team’s Wellness Coach Rachael on (06) 349 2312 or email Rachael at:

Sport Whanganui’s Health Team is from above left: Deb Byers,Rachael Lynch,Christine Taylor and Sarah Whayman.

Pictured: Sport Whanganui’s Health Team is from above left: Deb Byers (Health Manager), Rachael Lynch (Wellbeing Coach), Christine Taylor (Fit for Surgery navigator) and Sarah Whayman (Green Prescription adviser)

New job, new life – feeling hopeless to hopeful!

From slouching on the couch to becoming a builder, Tione Waiariki-Hemopo (pictured) has turned his life around with the help of MSD’s Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) course.

Tione says he was lacking hope and unable to see a way through the difficulties of daily life, spending his time dreaming away on the couch and not knowing how to challenge himself in a positive way.

But after watching a video on Facebook about LSV, Tione says he was inspired and approached his local MSD office to meet with Taupo Work Broker Daniel Young about becoming part of the programme.

“That meeting changed my life in ways that I never thought possible,” Tione says.

Three months on Tione has graduated from LSV, secured a full-time job with Taupo employer Leusink Solutions Ltd and found a new direction and purpose for life. “The toughest part of LSV for me was the 50-kilometre hike, it tested every inch of my coping abilities and initially I was not looking forward to it,” Tione says.

“But I tackled each task that was put in front of me, and I am so proud that I was able to push through and accomplish the challenge.”

Tione attributes his success at LSV to being surrounded by positive and motivating people and says the team environment was the best, and the food was a highlight.

After graduating from LSV he returned to Taupo with a new mindset, new skills, restored self-belief and self-confidence and, most importantly, a passion for life.

Through the help and support of his MSD Work Broker, Daniel, Tione secured a full-time job as a builder’s assistant and tradesperson with Leusink Solutions Ltd. Marin Leusink, the owner of Leusink, describes Tione as “a hard, reliable and dedicated worker”.

“He has excellent listening skills and can be trusted to work on his own but is equally just as good as part of the team,” Marin says. “We are really happy with our decision to employ Tione and are proud of the efforts he has made to turn his life around.”

Bay of Plenty Regional Commissioner for Social Development Mike Bryant says LSV is the perfect stepping stone to help young people get into work. “It’s so awesome to see young people like Tione taking the opportunities that are available to them and changing the path of their life for the better.

“We are proud of Tione and his journey to success and want to encourage anyone that needs help to move into employment or training to come and talk to us. They too can have the same triumph as Tione.”

Tione says he’s determined to never go back to his old ways and wants to motivate others to take opportunities and change their life for the better. “You will never be successful sitting on the couch and waiting for things to magically come to you. Success doesn’t just fall out of the sky, you have to step up and take the opportunities that come your way and the only person who can do that is you.”

Tione Waiariki-Hemopo.

Childhood passion becomes a recipe for success

A passion for food, compassion for feeding people and the determination to provide the best life for her son are the ingredients that have helped Jasmine Hayward (Jaz) to sift through the challenges in her life and turn a childhood passion into the perfect banquet of victory.

Jaz describes her childhood as having many challenges, the one thing that really stuck with Jaz and has become a definite strength is her ability to cook and create delicious kai.

Many of the recipes that Jaz uses today have been passed down from her Mum, Aunties and Grandmother and she has learnt from the best. “I just get such great satisfaction and positive energy from watching people eat and enjoy my food, the look on their faces is just priceless,” she says.

In 2014 Jaz was determined to travel to Cambodia as part of a mission trip to feed street kids in Siem Reap in Cambodia. The need being the many street kids born into significant poverty struggling without any of the necessities of life and without many of the things in life many of us take for granted.

To get to Cambodia she needed money for flights and funds to feed and clothe the kids. Jaz set to work with a plan and strategy in mind, using the cooking skills and family recipes from her Māori and Rarotonga heritage to create tasty home cooked kai to fundraise for her trip. After only a few weeks she had made enough money to purchase her tickets and off she went.

Jaz describes the poverty “as like nothing I have ever seen before”, “a family of 10 children in age range from three months to 13 years dressed in less than rags, it was heart-breaking”. During her 10-day trip Jaz fed over 400 street kids, spent time teaching them health and hygiene and gave a lot of heart and love.

Jaz returned home with a different perspective on life, she wanted to apply her skills for creating great food to provide a better future for her son. Jaz approached MSD for help to go at it alone with her business and after a short amount of planning and paperwork she was able to get help with the purchase of new equipment.

Jaz launched into her new journey as a business owner placing Eze Feedz at the forefront of her daily life. Jaz has been operating on her own the since 2018. Days start before the birds are chirping and her son Ezekiel is by her side for the ride before he heads off to school in the mornings.

Jaz is extremely proud of her achievements and says “I definitely know that without the support of MSD and my customers, we wouldn’t be where we are today. The staff were very supportive of my journey allowing me time to grow and letting me see how things would work out.”

Bay of Plenty Regional Commissioner for Social Development Mike Bryant says “it’s really awesome to see people like Jaz setting goals and achieving them. We are really proud of Jaz and it’s so awesome to see her now helping others to get back into the workforce. We want to encourage anyone needing help and support to get into employment to come and talk to us about the products and services that may be available to help get people back into the workforce.”

Jaz wants to empower others to achieve their dreams. She says “if you want something you have to be prepared to work hard and navigate through the hard times. Kia kaha, kia māia be strong and courageous.”

Pictured is Jasmine (Jaz) Hayward

Pictured: Jaz with her food truck.

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