Tuia is a programme where mayors throughout the country provide mentoring to promising young Māori with leadership potential.

Since 2011, Wellington's mayor has been part of the initiative.

Former participant Tuparahuia Pita says when he was approached to be part of the programme he was reluctant.

“Initially I actually said no. It took a little bit of convincing and explaining what the kaupapa was, and what the programme was all about, and then I slowly got into it and then spent an awesome year as part of the programme.”

The main aim of Tuia is to develop young people to be the leaders by pairing them one-on-one with mayors.

“The programme itself brings together rangatahi from around the country to spend time together to learn about themselves and about each other, so that's one of the highlights is about connecting with all these other rangatahi that are doing awesome things in their community.”

However, Wellington Mayor, Justin Lester, wants to expand his programme.

“We've enjoyed working with rangatahi since 2011, and to see them grow from year to year, from when they come into the programme, the engagement they have with other youth - Māori youth around the country, the community service projects they undertake; it's been great. So we're going to take a couple of rangatahi this year and make sure we grow it.”

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