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Bay Harbour: January 25, 2017

PAGE 12 BAY HARBOUR

PAGE 12 BAY HARBOUR Wednesday January 25 2017 News Agriculture provides a second AT THE end of its first year, 19 people on community sentences with the Department of Corrections have become the first to graduate from a new agricultural skills training programme. They leave with qualifications – and the chance to change their lives. The ongoing project is a partnership between Lincoln University, Port Levy’s Koukourarata Marae and Community Corrections. It is intended to deliver practical horticultural skills with a focus on tikanga (Maori way of doing things). Corrections Canterbury lead service manager Katey Gibling said the intention was for offenders to reconnect with the land while gaining skills for employment and a taste for achievement and further training. “Many of those we work with are drifting, their lives have become chaotic and without purpose. Through this partnership, and projects like this, we help them to reconnect with their culture and find a way forward,” she said. “Lincoln provide the qualification and having them involved has helped the offenders see that this is a real qualification and they are very capable of MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Lincoln University’s biological husbandry unit manager Bill Martin (left), Brent, and Corrections senior community work supervisors Tom Piahana and Reuben Gent. ​ doing something they had never thought possible for them.” The 12 graduates were presented with certificates recognising proficiency in chainsaw operation, quad-bike driving, tractor driving and the use of farming implements. For Brent, the first graduate of the course, the programme has been truly life changing. “This programme was critical to me getting the confidence to have a go and get back in charge of my life,” he said. Last year, Brent was studying horticulture, then when things ‘got stressful,’ he started to drink heavily and found himself on a community work sentence with a drink driving conviction. “When I committed my offences, I wasn’t thinking ahead. I was dealing with alcohol and anxiety issues. I was losing my friends, failing my studies. I was in a dark place and ended up on a community work sentence,” he said. “This programme was the first big mental shift for me. I started to plan forward again. “I did the chainsaw course thinking that it could make me more employable and I thought the quad bike training could also lead to something. It gave me the confidence to try again. I had gained these skills and thought, ‘I can do this’.” Brent said that in addition to starting to learn again, it was the mentoring support of the community work supervisor who helped him see opportunity. The project’s community work supervisor Reuben Gent said the partnership offered new opportunities for people on community work sentences to access skills and qualifications for employment. The tikanga element helped offenders reconnect with Maori principals and culture. “In addition to practical skills and work aptitudes, the offenders on the programme are gaining confidence and the personal skills and motivation to move on with their lives,” Mr Gent said. 7 DAYS OF RACING 549KM OF RIDING 15,824M OF CLIMBING 5 – 11 FEBRUARY 2017 ENCOURAGED BY KIDSFIRST HOURS FREE EACH DAY FOR ALL CHILDREN 6Ask about no fees. Conditions apply. 2017 OUR YEAR OF INSPIRATION QUALIFIED TEACHERS GREAT LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS thepioneer.co.nz KF 1710 With over 70 Kidsfirst Kindergartens and Early Learning Centres, there's one near you, visit our website for more information... www.kidsfirst.co.nz

Wednesday January 25 2017 BAY HARBOUR PAGE 13 chance for offenders FISHERMAN’S WHARF “Working alongside each other provides time and opportunity to talk about what is going on in people’s lives. Projects like this work at many levels,” Mr Gent said. Koukourarata Marae representative Manaia Cunningham said he was very proud of the way the project was progressing and the difference it was making in the lives of the people working on it. “As a marae we are thrilled to support our community service whanau and we are here to support each other,” Mr Cunningham said. “This education programme has a Maori education framework that ensures everyone’s whakapapa is respected.” For some of those in the project, they will find the confidence and passion to continue their studies in a related field, for example, horticulture or forestry at Lincoln University. Bill Martin, manager of the biological husbandry unit, is the university’s delivery partner in the partnership. “This programme delivers skills that growers want,” Mr Martin said. “The people graduating from STUCK IN: People on community sentences with Corrections have been learning new agricultural skills, such as proficiency with a chainsaw. this programme have certificates of proficiency in useful skills.” The programme offers a way to engage in the community and partner in the Koukourarata gardens. While the initial programme was about rebuilding and shaping lives, the partnership has taken a new turn with the BHU engaging in a two-year research project to develop commercial seed lines of organic taewa, or Maori potatoes, and ensure their availability into the future. “Through this project, we will enable Koukourarata to develop commercial scale production of organic taewa,” Mr Martin said. The tikanga element of the programme also sat well with the university’s whenua strategy and recognition of the importance of engaging with Maori and Pasifika and the land. “Between the three partners we bring commitment, tikanga, the labour, the science and the will to make a difference to the future of this food source which is culturally significant to New Zealand, and especially to iwi,” Mr Martin said. “We are helping people reconnect with the earth, traditional planting and horticultural methods. It’s not just seeds we are growing. It’s ideas and futures.” As for Brent, he felt very positive about his future. He had returned to Lincoln to study landscape architecture and had completed and passed his first two papers. “I stuffed up so much for so long. I needed this, but I didn’t know I needed it. It seems strange to say, but it has been a really important experience for me,” he said. “My sentence gave me purpose. I came home feeling engaged and positive again. Since I have been on sentence, my whole life has turned around and Corrections has been a big part of this.” Lyttelton Harbour Views Kiwi, Thai and Chinese Chefs combine their skills and fresh local ingredients. Not just seafood! Steaks, duck and our famous pork belly; also vegetarian, dairy and gluten-free. Desserts created here with happy eggs and butter. FROM OUR BOATS TO YOUR PLATE 39 Norwich Quay, 8082 Lyttelton. Ph 328 7530. www.lytteltonwharf.co.nz Open Thursday to Sunday, 12pm till Late SELL YOUR HOME THIS SUMMER! Sit back and let me do all the hard work Demand is high in the Seaside Suburbs so if you are thinking of selling call Chris today for a free appraisal. You may be very surprised at your home’s value... Call today for professional, local advice on real estate Chris Moores Harcourts Grenadier Ferrymead 1020 Ferry Road P: 03 384 7950 | M: 027 588 4440 E: chris.moores@harcourts.co.nz Licensed Sales Consultant REAA 2008 GRENADIER Dyers Road Landscape & Garden Supplies • Barks • Peastraw • Composts - we supply the best available • Aggregates - Chip, Round and Basecourse • Pavers & Schist products • Pungas • Decorative Stones & Landscaping Rocks • Trailer Hire first hour free with purchase • Bag & Bulk - pick up or delivered David, Carol & Mike We will deliver! SOIL AND HARDFILL DUMPING Phone: 03 384 6540 183 Dyers Rd, Bromley • OPEN 7 DAYS Weekdays 7.30am-5pm. Weekends 8.30am-3pm www.dyersroadandlandscapes.co.nz FAMILY HOLIDAY ENTERTAINMENT 9 HOLE GOLF cOURSE DRIVING RANGE STILL ROcK OUTDOOR MINI PUTT Ph 384 1566 21 King Edward Terrace, Woolston BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL | 50 FERRYMEAD PARK DR, FERRYMEAD PH 376-5350 | WWW.FERRYMEADGOLF.cO.Nz