Kaiāwhina triumph at Future Business Leader Awards

While the Got A Trade? Got It Made! campaign continues, the inaugural Future Business Leaders Awards event, held on 25th August in Auckland to celebrate the achievements of New Zealand’s ‘bright young things’ in the trades and services delivered successful outcomes for kaiāwhina.

The multi-sector industry training awards were held as part of the Future Business Leaders Forum bringing together New Zealand’s future business leaders for Got A Trade Week, the national campaign to raise awareness of the careers that exist in 140 trades and services in New Zealand.

Careerforce nominated nine apprentices and trainees; all of whom were considered to display inspiring leadership traits in their chosen fields. Careerforce trainees from the kaiāwhina workforce won two of the four categories and one took out the top award.

Both these award winners are Careerforce apprentices in the Mental Health and Addiction Programme. Taking the top award Overall Future Leader and the Female Future Leader category was south Auckland mental health worker Christina Taefu who works for Framework in Otahuhu.

Christina was selected from more than 80 nominees from across eight ITOs by a judging panel of industry leaders including Industry Training Federation chief executive Josh Williams.

Louise Upston and Christina Taefu
Hon. Louise Upston & Christina Taefu at the Future Business Leader Awards

“We agreed unanimously that Christina stood out” Josh says. “She is clearly a future business leader in the education and mental health sectors.  Through her community service and commitment to helping others, she is the embodiment of someone who has the passion and the ability to make a difference.” 

I’m really honoured, grateful and excited,” Ms Taefu said after receiving the top accolade. “To me this is all about education. Doing my apprenticeship means I provide a better service and I find better ways of doing my work. I love my study as it aligns with my work, with my morals and my values.   It’s my dream to make a positive impact in the mental health sector of our Pasifika people.”

Winning the Maori Future Leader award was Turaukawa Bartlett, a whanau support worker for Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki – a rural Iwi-based health and wellness service looking after the Hauraki.  “Through his own life experiences, Turaukawa is focused on how his trade can support socio-economic issues,” says Josh Williams.


Louise Upston and Turaukawa Bartlett

Hon. Louise Upston & Turaukawa Bartlett at the Future Business Leader Awards

My training as a whanau support worker has equipped me with the essential skills to ensure all whanau receive the best care possible whilst empowering them to make positive changes in their lives. I am fortunate enough to be the father of a child with special needs and a proud young Maori.  I see education as the key to breaking socially constructed discourses that confine my people and culture,” he says. Turaukawa also says education is the key. “Winning this award is just the beginning for me – it’s a stepping stone for my whānau, for my people and all the people of New Zealand.”

“In our work you go on feelings, but your feelings may not be right. So through this training you get to base your feelings off something you know. It (the apprenticeship) professionalises the standard in our industry. I’m just overwhelmed to have received this award.”

Careerforce had nine apprentices and trainees entered in the awards. All are role models and inspirational ambassadors for the kaiāwhina workforce.

Nominated by Careerforce for the Future Business Leaders Awards:

  • Christina Taefu – mental health and addiction support. Winner: Female Future Leader and Overall Future Leader.
  • Turaukawa Bartlett – Kaupapa Māori health. Winner: Future Māori Leader
  • Daniell Simpson – Youth work
  • Lou Hardy – Disability support
  • Maria Bria – Community services in disability support
  • Rebekkah Marquet – Cleaning
  • Vinesh Govind – Mental health and intellectual disability community support
  • Wendy Biddle – Community support – disability
  • Marie Borell – Residential care
Ray Lind  Turaaukawa B and Christina T

Careerforce Chief Executive; Ray Lind congratulates Turaukawa Bartlett and Christina Taefu at the Future Business Leader Awards