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Buller welcomes new TUIA candidate for 2024

29 Feb 2024

Buller District Council is continuing its involvement in the TUIA programme, with the appointment of Matiu Manuel from Reefton as Kawatiri’s candidate for 2024.

The call for expressions of interest in the opportunity was made through council and Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs channels during December 2023 and January 2024.

Council’s iwi representative, Ned Tauwhare, and Hinemoa Connor, Chairperson Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, helped ensure whānau throughout the district were aware of the opening in the programme. 

One application was received, and Mayor Jamie Cleine convened an interview panel, including Mr. Tauwhare and Cr Annelise Pfahlert, who interviewed via Zoom to ensure the applicant was an appropriate fit for the programme.

The panel were unanimous in approving Mr Manuel to participate in TUIA 2024. Matiu will be the fourth person sponsored by Buller District Council for TUIA participation.

Previous participants have all made significant personal and professional development gains through the TUIA experience, increasing their skills and ability to ‘give back’ to the local community through leadership experience and tikanga Māori.

TUIA is a kaupapa that encourages lifelong connections, with many of the prior participants remaining in contact with each other and their district’s Mayor.

Mr Manuel explains: “I completed my secondary schooling at Reefton Area School and graduated in 2023. I was involved in as many Māori-based events as I could be whilst managing my schoolwork as well. Over the last two years, I have participated in the Manaaki Tāpoi wānanga at Whenua Iti. I was awarded the 2022 and 2023 student of the year for this course. I feel I thrived in that environment, and it made me a better person and also connected me with my culture.”

Matiu was also heavily involved in the Te Tai Poutini Kapa Haka Festival that was held at Reefton Area School for the first time in 2023. He was part of the organising board who made the festival happen and took on the key role of MC, introducing the participating teams on stage as well as keeping the audience entertained and informed between performances.

Matui continues: “This year I am studying personal training and nutrition at the New Zealand Institute of Sport in Christchurch and hope to become a personal trainer.

I was born in Greymouth on the West Coast, but I whakapapa to the East Cape of the North Island and my iwi is Ngāti Porou.

I am looking forward to taking part in TUIA because it will give me the chance to connect even more with my culture and visit other places and other marae.”


For further information please contact:
Mayor Jamie Cleine