Web Banner Tairawhiti

Helping heal the earth

30 Jul 2020

Helping heal the earth

There’s something about the word kaitiaki that has a nice way of rolling off the tongue, according to Tairāwhiti Economic Support Package Redeployment Programme participant David Murphy.

“It’s a job title that sounds cool,” he says. “There is a real spiritual aspect to it and I feel my work in this programme is charging those batteries.”

He’s been in the programme, working for Recreational Services, for nearly six weeks and is hopeful it will lead to a full time job. He is one of 145 people who have been redeployed across five projects within the programme. One of those is the kaitiaki project, which has redeployed 42 workers across Tītīrangi, the gardens, cemetery and Recreational Services teams.

David has a varied work background which includes driving cranes, working as a draftsman and in the print industry but he wanted to get away from working with chemicals. So he followed his heart into studying horticulture and art. He completed his Level 2 and 3 qualifications in horticulture and was looking for work when COVID struck.

David was immediately attracted to the kaitiaki project. “I love the ocean and nature, and the best part about this work is that we are helping to heal the earth.”

Even in his down time David is likely to be out doing his bit, walking his three dogs at the beach and picking up rubbish.

Through the programme he has gained other qualifications in traffic control, first aid and GrowSafe. “This is exactly what I was looking for so has been great for me.”

The $23.755m Redeployment Programme is in response to the impacts of COVID-19 and aims to provide work and training for up to 200 people.

It is funded through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, administered by the Provincial Development Unit and managed by Gisborne District Council. All those on the programme come through the Ministry of Social Development, with many others to ensure all not only find work but pick up new skills, qualifications and the opportunity of meaningful, long term employment.