10 Tuesday January 24 2017 SELWYN TIMES 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. MUSCLE CAR MADNESS including ROCKABILLY BEAUTY PAGEANT Petrol heads, motoring, Retro fashion and music enthusiasts get ready... Trillo Metals Muscle Car Madness is only days away .... This weekend at Rangiora A & P Showgrounds celebrates the 27th year as the South Island’s Largest Car Show.. This world-class event continues to thrive, giving its fans and participants exactly what they want. Car displays will change daily as day entries are welcome to enter on the day, Two Highboy Roadsters will be on display direct from the United States, and many travelling from the North Island to join over 1200 cars on display each day at Muscle Car Madness each day, there will be something for everyone to view, from Rare and restored Classics to high perfomance Muscle cars, Hot Rods and custom cars to Rat Rods, Buses and Trucks, bikes, and retro caravans. Enthusiasts bring your car and display bit for the normal adult person gate fee (tidy vehicles of good standard only.) Enjoy a visual feast of colours, chrome and V8s everywhere! Muscle Car Madness will entertain all the family, from Burn out Competitions, Trade displays including Airbrush Venturi who will be onsite adding custom airbrushing to cars etc, check out all sorts of automotive memorabilia, Kids can enjoy fun rides food, and icecream... while Mum can visit the retro beauty zone for makeovers, and clothing... 10 Live bands will be playing over the weekend, including the ‘Hillbilly Hellcats’ from Colorado who will play daily at 2.30pm, along with ‘Baxter’ from Australia, ‘Sign of the Firebird’, ‘Brothers Grimm’, ‘Sound Control’ and the ‘Wingers’, a great “little kids” band. Kabella Baby are sponsoring the popular Retro Beauty Competition on Saturday afternoon with classes for all ages. For more information phone: Correna 027 545 7877 or 03 347 8388.
SELWYN TIMES Tuesday January 24 2017 11 chance for offenders “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.” HANMER SPRINGS LOVELY 2 BEDROOM COTTAGE Thyme Cottage is an awesome place to take time out!! • Queen bed in 1st bedroom • 2 x single beds in 2nd bedroom • Fold out couch in lounge • Sky TV • Stereo and DVD • Flat screen tv 32” • Heat pump • New kitchen • Dishwasher • Coffee machine • Slow cooker $ 120 .00 per night *mid week rates available (not during holiday periods) • Extremely well equipped kitchen • Portacot, highchair & baby bath • Toys and games for children • Front fully fenced • Private BBQ area • Reserve beside the house • About 10 minutes walk from pools and restaurants • 5 minutes walk to the Golf Course We have our property managed with Hanmer Holiday Homes Book via internet www.hanmerholidayhomes.co.nz or index search: 11 Dorset Street, Hanmer or phone 03 315 7336 to make a booking. Your local luxury Convenient Location Local Free Car Parking Luxury of Choice ANZ ASB ATM BNZ Coffee Culture Corianders Expoz’ Art Fascino Shoes Harcourt’s helloworld Highgate Hair Monkey Spices Postie Ray White Robert Harris Rolleston Bakery Rolleston Central Health Rolleston Drycleaners Rolleston Florist and Gifts Rolleston Haircuts Snap Fitness Subway Unichem Viva La Moda The Warehouse Westpac 70-76 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston 9 Masefield Drive (entry from Countdown and McCauley Street) rollestonsquare.co.nz Ph 03 347 9192 Proudly managed by Colliers Real Estate Management Limited