Kiwa Kahukura - Scholarship Recipient
Kiwa was a 2020 recipient of the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust Uru Tau Tertiary Scholarship. He has gained a Diploma in Youth Work and is currently studying a Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts Majoring in Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Canterbury.
A people person, a youth advocate, a leader; Kiwa Kahukura is a local Motueka talent keen on filling a challenging, but incredibly necessary, role in our community that requires a unique skill set – youth work.
Born in Lincoln and raised up and down the West Coast, Kiwa has attended many schools throughout his young life, and for him, it seems to have positively influenced who he is as a person. Not only did he take to each school community as if he’d been there from the beginning, but he quickly got involved in extra-curricular leadership work, did well academically, and in his final year was the head boy at Greymouth High School.
Today, Kiwa’s motivation is to support local youth as they head out into the world. He is passionate about working with young people and is developing some serious experience alongside his studies, including instructing at Whenua Iti Outdoors through their Manaaki Tāpoi programme – a programme to connect young Māori, was a Street Ambassador around Motueka and in 2020 held a youth work role based at a high school in Christchurch.
His work at the school involved group mentoring, one on one mentoring, leadership programmes, attending the school’s cultural oversight group, and advocating for students who have been treated unfairly. This year he continues to volunteer with youth work and mentoring.
“I’m working at a school that is committed to change, but they’re working through decades of colonization and a white stream education system so there’s work to be done.”
Outside of his studies and youth work, Kiwa enjoys facilitating, speaking and leadership. He recognises, and is passionate about, the possibilities presented when you’re in a position of influence and says that to create positive change for his people he needs to strive to be in those leadership roles.
He is proud to have contributed to the Te Tauihu Intergenerational Strategy.
There is no doubt to Kiwa’s passion and commitment to youth development. He says, youth development in his opinion is based around the idea of tūhonohono, which means to join or to connect.
“When young people experience positive and healthy connections to their community, whānau, culture, peers and school, they are more likely to experience better outcomes in life, education, health and work. They also have increased confidence, resilience and a strong support network around them for when things aren't going well.
In my mahi I help young people to form positive connections in these worlds as well as supporting them to find their Tino Rangatiratanga so they can live the life that they want to live.”
Kiwa’s goal is come home to Motueka and ‘go hard in the community,’ including exploring opportunities in local government or iwi mandated social services to further impact the community in a positive way.