The Rangatira Student Leadership Conference is a three day event for young leaders across the North Island of New Zealand. It empowers students with the skills, connections and confidence to make a difference within their schools and community.
2019 marked the eighth year of Rangatira, with 100 students and an incredible leadership team of mentors. Hear some of the yTeam’s highlight moments.
Josh Ellingham | 2018 participant, Palmerston North Boys’ HS | Full time morale booster | “My mates tricked me into dying my hair pink at the start of the year”
My conference highlight was after the Real Me night on day 2, where the Palmy Boys performed a haka to the mentors as a mark of gratitude. Being the only Palmy Boys mentor and performing the haka back to my peers was the ultimate form of respect, pride and passion. The emotion which ran through me could not be contained and will be something I will treasure and for the rest of my life, what a proud moment. Churr.
Leah Porima | 2014 participant, Hamilton Girls’ HS | Hard-working, approachable, active | “I come from a family of 6 and have a twin sister”
My highlight of conference was the Ungame. I loved seeing especially the boys in my group open up and share personal stories. Prior to the Ungame they presented with a typical ‘lad’/ tough mantra but it was cool to see the softer side come through. I think it definitely made us a lot closer as a group. I am still in touch with lots of the people from my conference group from when I was a participant, 5 years later. In the 2 years I have mentored since attending, the Ungame has definitely remained one of my highlights of conference.
Kiara Klopper | 2018 participant, Napier Girls’ HS | Organised, loving, loyal | “I’m slightly obsessed with the UFC”
One of my favourite moments was signing our RAW squad bandanas at our final squad meeting. Everyone was smiling and laughing and it was amazing to visibly see the deeply personal connections that had been formed over conference. There was a real atmosphere of love and support in the room and it was definitely a full circle moment for me!
Oli Burns | 2017 participant, Napier Boys’ HS | Humorous, zesty, confident | “I have lived in Rarotonga for part of my life”
One highlight moment for me was at the start of the second day. I was talking with a participant about our own strengths and values and he began to open up about his family, his life story, and what really mattered to him. It was a beautiful moment where this big tough rugby player was being openly vulnerable. He then went on to say that he’d just felt the conference hit him. For me to be able to see this moment unfold while having a conversation with someone was hugely softening as I could see first-hand the impact we as mentors were having on all these participants. Chur.
Eliot Fenton | 2013 participant, Rotorua Boys’ HS | Determined, understanding, caring | “Love to wear a kilt, eat haggis, drink whisky and play bagpipes”
Continuing to see the development and shift of Rangatira, the participants, and the mentors coming in to create a more authentic and genuine experience. Helping better themselves and others, creating the ripple effect for years to come.
Mel Tahere | 2016 participant, Napier Girls’ HS | Fun loving, open, down to earth | “When I left for uni my Mum kept my A3 Head Girl portrait on my bed for 3 months – kinda creepy, I guess she missed her favourite child”
Leaving Rangatira as a participant I felt so inspired and ready to tackle issues big and small in the world. Leaving the conference this year as a mentor was a whole different ballpark. I felt so overwhelmed with love and gratitude. The privilege I had to work along such inspiring, unique and talented individuals who taught me so much, not only about themselves, but also myself. It makes it hard to pick just one highlight. In saying that, after the Real Me night, us mentors were honoured enough to receive a haka from almost all the schools who attended. I have never felt something so passionate, so real and so heartfelt. It truly humbled me, I felt every word – it is something I will never forget.
Daniel Lynch | 2018 participant, Napier Boys’ HS | Authentic, loves bantz, curious | “I have no cartilage in my right ear making it floppy”
Highlight moment would be meeting all the different personalities that yLead brought along! Was an unreal experience talking to so many like-minded, yet such different people in one room! Absolutely loved it.