Whole whānau happy about dad’s new work
Jason Matete just wanted to be back out working. Now the father of 6, former Army Reserves soldier, security worker, field worker and community volunteer is part of the Tairāwhiti Economic Support Package Redeployment Programme, working with Recreational Services under the kaitiaki project.
“It is just awesome,” he says. He had been a stay-at-home dad for a year or so while his wife Kahmen Paea studied Te Reo, and the previous decade was spent between the Army Reserves (formerly the Territorials) and security work. Jason is a mentor and volunteer with Te Ora Hau at the skatepark, helping youngsters get their own lives on track, and has coached hockey through all of his kids, some of whom have been Poverty Bay representatives.
“It is so nice to be outside and working as part of a team like this.” Ironically, some of his work takes him to playgrounds and sports grounds like the ones he would take his own little ones to. “Meeting new people through this has been a lot of fun and I have learned so much.”
He’s been planting trees and is proud to go past the work he and his team have completed. “You get a real buzz helping to make Gisborne look better for the community and visitors,” says Jason. “My family are all very happy about it too.”
Through the programme he has completed his GrowSafe qualification, along with first aid and traffic control. He’s also working towards his health and safety level 2 qualification and wants to finish his driver’s licence.
The work will run through until late September and Jason is hopeful it may lead to a full time position.
Recreational Services regional manager Damon Brown says the programme is proving to be great for both the organisation and the community. “It is nice to have new faces joining our teams,” he says. “They each bring a different dynamic and we are always hoping to find positions for them once they complete their time in the programme.”
The kaitiaki project is one of five that are part of the $23.755m Redeployment Programme which was established 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.