To train, qualify and employ rangatahi (young people) to work on their own whenua (land).
To help improve the level of employment for rangatahi in their home town in the Bay of Plenty, Tāne Mahuta Aotearoa Ltd's directors came up with a plan which would provide young people with the opportunity to get educated and employed in a field where they can work on the land of their local iwi. With over 40 years of experience in the forestry industry and a unique approach to learning that considers Kaupapa Māori and Hauora (health), we have trained and employed more than 230 young and local people to work in the field.
The mana of the people holds the power and status accrued through one's leadership talents, core values of manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga, rangatiratanga and aroha. Our staff and students reconnect to their cultural identity through the acquisition of skills that help build confidence, strength, and the ability to take the opportunities presented to them.
HE TAONGA TUKU IHO / HISTORY
TĪMATANGA / THE BEGINNING
In response to the alienation and displacement of Māori physically, mentally, economically and spiritually from their whenua, Tainui Kaumātua elder: Eru Thompson shared his vision with us, ‘to have the mana (authority) of the whenua (land) and ngahere (forest) returned to its people. Disenchanted by severed agreements through privatisation, foreign ownership and broken promises, the foundation of goodwill slowly subsided into distrust, wariness and uncertainty.
Out of a concern for future generations, Eru inspired us (Simon and Wini Geddes) to restore the mana of the people, to reconnect with the whenua, to censure the ngahere for better physical, mental, spiritual and economic outcomes.
Tāne Mahuta NZ Limited trading as Tāne Mahuta Trading Trust was registered 22 November 2012.
Eru Te Rikawa Dallas Tawha Thompson, Waikato-Tainui, Te Kawerau-a-Maki, Te Ākitai, Ngāti Te Ata and Ngāti Māhanga, left us November 2014 with a legacy and this whakatauki to say,
“I te poho o Papatūānuku, ka tū te puna taonga Tāne Mahuta mo te ora o te iwi.”
At the bosom of Papatūānuku, Tāne Mahuta is the source of wealth for the people.
- Eru Thompson
KA HOKI MĀUA KI TE TEKO / THE MOVE TO TE TEKO
In 2015 after a call from kaumatua, Simon and Wini Geddes came back to their hometown in Te Teko. They started their Learn While You Earn (LWYE™) programme with local rangatahi. Once qualified with level 3 and 4 certificates in forestry operations, the original class became a forestry crew to begin working on Rayonier (Matariki) NZ Limited pine plantation, in the Omataroa Rangitaiki No. 2 Trust forest.
As the entity protects, preserves and conserves, Tāne Mahuta began providing an economic base to pursue wealth and prosperity for whānau, hapū and iwi Māori through employment, better investment in training and up-skilling, access to resources, while applying whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga, rangatiranga and koha aroha.
E TIPU, E REA / PROGRESS
Tane Mahuta Forestry had trained over 135 rangatahi over the last four years of operation. The programme had proven itself to be a success, meaning the company was able to expand further into the Bay of Plenty. While the classroom remained in Te Teko, the group moved their forestry and base depot to Whakatane.
HE TĀONGA O TĒNEI RĀ / THE PRESENT
Over 235 rangatahi have been trained through Tāne Mahuta Forestry's Learn While You Earn programme. With over 5 crews working for Tāne Mahuta Forestry the company has helped Māori reclaim the right to work on their own land.
With the sudden pandemic of Covid-19, Tāne Mahuta Forestry prepared this online website and official Facebook Page to better communicate with it's kaimahi (staff) and the public.