Forty-five exceptional rangatahi Māori and Pasifika young minds from high schools across Aotearoa were united in Tamaki Makaurau Auckland last week to attend the entrepreneurial education programme, ‘Young Navigators,’ by Young Enterprise Trust. The initiative, sponsored by One NZ, alongside Pacific Business Trust, and New Zealand Māori Tourism, is designed to immerse Māori and Pasifika taiurua (students) in three days of enterprise-focused activities to connect, collaborate and learn.

The programme is a fusion between the organisation’s flagship programme, ‘Young Enterprise Scheme,’ and a fast-paced startup weekend.

In teams, the students were hosted by one of seven New Zealand companies; One NZ, ARA Journeys, Spark Foundation, Deloitte, Grid Auckland, Pacific Business Trust and Ngahere Communities who mentored the students as they tackled ‘The One NZ Business Challenge’. Students were challenged to create a business leveraging technology and innovation to build a resilient food system, improving any aspect of the food supply chain with the aim to address and alleviate the burden of food insecurities for whanau in Aotearoa.

Young Navigators Cohort, 2024.

Team Ara Journeys took out first place in the 36-hour business challenge with their innovative solution addressing the challenge. The winning team members were Rimu Tayor (Mount Albert Grammar School), Mariah Taungapeau (Otago Girls High School), Akkadian Winterstein (Aorere College), Hu’i vaka (Wesley College), and Alize Ross-Araia (Hastings Girls High School), Lotia Lio (Chanel College), Thurston Ngametua (De La Salle College). The team was guided by there alumni mentor, Rosa Merideth, and company host from Ara Journeys, Amber Taylor. The judges were impressed by the teams plausible business plan and the scalability of their idea.

Young Navigators student, Nikora, reflected on the programme saying, “it was really good to share that experience with Māori and Pasifika as it’s not very common to have that same environment in our school business classes.”

Young Navigators student, Nikora (right).

“The One New Zealand Foundation and One NZ are proud to sponsor Young Navigators this year. This programme ensures Young Māori and Pasifika students can ‘be’ and ‘see’ themselves in entrepreneurship. It also equips our young people with the tools to create intergenerational change,” says Ezekeil, Head of Foundation at Te Rourou One Aotearoa Foundation.

Young Navigators participants were chosen from applicants who are all participants in The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) programme. They represented a total of 25 schools from 11 regions. The YES programme has over 5000 participants, who create and run their own businesses throughout the school year as a part of the entrepreneurial education programme.

Supporter Spotlight: Offers and services from NZ Entrepreneur supporters!


Squarespace website and ecommerce builder platform


Drip Waterproof Socks

You might also like...