A Budget increase for preschoolers with extra learning needs has been welcomed by two education leaders in Tauranga, but they are both hoping for more support come Thursday.
So is one local mother who says the new funding is "hardly a drop in the bucket".
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Thursday's Budget would include an extra $21.5 million for the early intervention service over the next four years, about $5.4m a year.
The service provides early intervention in behaviour, learning, and speech and language support for children under 5.
Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin said the increase would halve the current waiting list of preschoolers needing additional learning support.
Peter Monteith, principal of Inspired Kindergartens (formerly known as Tauranga Region Kindergartens), said he was pleased the early childhood sector was "finally getting some traction".
"Hopefully this is just a first step, but it's good that early childhood is being recognised because we've been the Cinderella of the education sector. As the Prime Minister says, the earlier you intervene, the better the options are for children."
Monteith said it would be interesting to see what impact the extra funding would have in kindergartens, as the number of available hours of learning support had been significantly reduced in the past.
"If there is more staff and that reduces waiting times, that's all good, and if there are more resources for teacher aide support, that's all good too. It's all very positive, but we'll be reserving judgement to see how it actually delivers on the ground.
"Given the policies of the three parties in Government, there's an expectation that there will be something reasonably significant for early childhood in the Budget."
Greerton Village School principal Anne Mackintosh said she was "over the moon" about the preschool budget boost announced on Sunday.
"It is such a great start. Putting in additional funding and support in the early years will have huge rollout benefits for all."
Greerton Village School is struggling under increasing financial pressure and says the funding model meant to help with its large number of high-needs students is "broken".
Ministry experts are travelling to Tauranga this month to meet with the primary school over its concerns.
"Being the eternal optimist, I am very hopeful that there will be additional support for all treasures across our country and that a fair and positive outcome will also result from our meeting with the Ministry of Education on May 25," Mackintosh said.
Business consultant and parent Erika Harvey, whose autistic daughter Piper, 7, attends Greerton Village School, said the $21.5m boost was "hardly a drop in the bucket".
"I am hopeful that broader support is announced Thursday so schools (like Greerton Village) aren't punished for being inclusive and instead are rewarded with the funding they need to continue."
She said the funding model for learning support was broken and structural changes were needed.
"Not all disabilities are physical, so the model needs to change to stop so many who are already falling through the cracks. We've got to do better."
Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin said the Budget increase would see an extra 1750 children receive help this coming year and contracted early intervention service providers would support an additional 150 children with the highest needs.
"Within two years this number will increase to an additional 200 children."
However, the numbers are small when compared with more than 13,000 preschool children who received an early intervention service in 2015-16 for reasons such as speech delays and autism.
Ardern said on Sunday that this week's Budget would contain a major funding boost for a significant package of learning support initiatives.
The extra money for early intervention was only "one of the components of the package".
A longer-term "action plan" for learning support is also due to be taken to the Cabinet in October.
- Additional reporting: NZ Herald
By: Scott Yeoman - Bay of Plenty Times
Ministry of Education experts will travel to Tauranga this month to meet with Greerton Village School over its funding concerns.
The decile-two primary school is struggling under increasing financial pressure and says the funding model meant to help with its high-needs students is "broken".
The Bay of Plenty Times reported just over a week ago that the school would have to "top up" a funding shortfall of $118,482.26 this year, according to principal Anne Mackintosh and board of trustees chairwoman Desiree Burborough.
The money would have to come from the school board's operational grant, the pair said.
They said the hours of support for high-needs students had to be increased over and above what was funded because of their extreme needs and health and safety issues.
The ministry has now asked to meet Mackintosh on May 25.
Its deputy secretary of sector enablement and support, Katrina Casey, said it had been working with the school for some time and would continue to do so.
Casey said the meeting would include subject-matter experts from the ministry's regional and national offices.
"It's really important that we are all on the same page about the situation at the school and are giving the school all the information they need."
The ministry provides Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) funding for special and high-needs students to help pay for teacher aides whose support is decided according to a child's learning needs.
Greerton Village School has 24 ORS-funded students, 10 more than 2016, and at least five other students have "challenging behavioural needs". More high-needs students are expected to join the school before 2019.
Having 24 ORS-funded students at one school has been described as "incredibly high" by another school leader and the ministry has said it is a "relatively high number" for a primary school of its size.
Mackintosh said having a meeting planned with the ministry was "really encouraging".
"I'm really delighted that they're going to come and visit and have a meeting with us and they're coming to see our school in operation and all the wonderful things we do for our kids," she said.
"They'll be able to see first-hand what our situation is with our treasures."
"I really feel more supported, and I really believe that they are genuine in their efforts to try and come to some solution for our issues."
At a meeting with local ministry staff late last month it was suggested Greerton Village School would have to slash $100,000 off its wages, Mackintosh said.
And if the school could not do that, the ministry said it would help them do it, she said.
Business consultant and parent Erika Harvey, whose autistic daughter Piper, 7, attends Greerton Village School, was at that meeting.
"It was almost like: Too bad, if you don't do it, we're going to do it, that's the only solution, end of story," Harvey said of the wage-cut suggestion.
She said making those cuts could lead to health and safety problems because some of the children need the teacher aide support to stay safe at school.
It could also mean the school would have to turn away children who needed extra support because they would not be able to afford it, Harvey said.
The Bay of Plenty Times asked the ministry about the $100,000 wage-cut suggestion and whether that was still its position.
"As the meeting hasn't yet happened we're not in a position to be able to talk about possible outcomes that might fall out of it," Casey said.
Bay of Plenty Times
By: Sandra Conchie and Scott Yeoman
A Tauranga school struggling under increasing financial pressure says the funding model meant to help with high-needs students is "broken".
Greerton Village School principal Anne Mackintosh and Board of Trustees chairwoman Desiree Burborough told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend the school would have to "top up" a funding shortfall of $118,482.26 this year.
The money would have to come from the school board's operational grant, the pair said.
The Ministry of Education provides Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) funding for the school's 24 special and high-needs students to help pay for teacher aides whose support is decided on a child's learning needs.
However, "the hours of support have to be increased over and above what is granted due to their extreme needs and health and safety issues", Burborough said.
The school has 24 ORS-funded students, 10 more than 2016, and at least five other students have "challenging behavioural needs". More high-needs students were expected to join the school before 2019, Mackintosh said.
"This adds additional pressure while we strive to do the best we can."
The school has 21 externally funded teacher aides working with the children with significant needs. It also employs other teacher aides (two fulltime equivalents) who are funded by the board.
In November, the school received a discretionary lump sum grant of $10,000 after a Ministry of Education official visited. While they were grateful, Mackintosh said "it was a mere drop in the ocean".
She said ORS funding levels had remained the same for years "yet teacher aide wages have risen". Mackintosh said there was a difference between the hourly rate used to calculate ministry funding and what Greerton Village School was paying teacher aides.
Schools employ teacher aides and decide their hourly rate but the ministry contributes towards that.
While invited to apply for further funding by upgrading some ORS-funded students to ''very high'' needs status, she said that was an "arduous" and time-consuming" process.
Mackintosh and Burborough described the current funding model as broken and inadequate and met with the ministry to discuss it.
The "million-dollar question" was what the school would do if it failed to get extra funding. It could not legally turn away any child living in its school zone.
Business consultant and parent Erika Harvey, whose autistic daughter Piper, 7, attends the school, was asked to investigate and later sent an open letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern calling for a taskforce to be set up to solve the problem. She also launched a petition.
Harvey said helping special and high-needs students, including Piper, to become inclusive members of the school had put "intense" pressure on the school's finances.
"Piper at 5 was still in nappies, had violent outbursts, couldn't communicate, and she was not only a danger to herself but other students and teachers as well," Harvey said.
This was no longer the case, she said.
"My once angry, non-verbal child can be found each morning on the school radio, singing songs in assembly, and participating in other activities including the kapa haka group."
Harvey believed the school had become a victim of its own success, with families moving into the area to send their children there.
Western Bay of Plenty Principal Association vice-president Matt Simeon said, apart from Tauranga Special School, 24 ORS funded students at one school was an "incredibly high" number.
"I know of a few schools that have eight, 10 or maybe 12, but 24 would compound the problem, especially given the minimum wage for teacher aides has risen to $16.50 an hour," he said.
The ministry's Katrina Casey said it was working with the school to get its finances back on track and would continue to support it.
"As part of this process we will be looking into the amount of funding the school is receiving in relation to its ORS students and ensuring it is accurate."
She said schools varied greatly in the number of ORS-verified students, but Greerton Village had a "relatively high number" for a primary school of its size.
Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin said the Greerton Village School community was not alone in being under ORS-funding financial pressure.
"We've inherited a problem with ORS funding, and with funding for those children who don't meet the strict ORS criteria," she said.
"I'm working with Education Minister Chris Hipkins to see if we can get extra funding for this in the budget."
Funding - by the numbersFor Term 1 of 2018, Ministry of Education records showed Greerton Village School would receive more than $73,000 in teacher aide funding across several initiatives.
Those included: In-class support ($4600), behaviour service ($2000), school high health needs fund ($4800), language learning initiative ($400) and ORS ($62,000).
Greerton Village School received 2.9 full-time equivalents of additional teacher time for their students who are verified into the ORS, the ministry said.
The school received $28,900 of Special Education Grant funding in 2018, which is delivered in its operations grant and is being used to help top up the ORS funding.
Greerton Village School accesses specialist supports from the local Ministry of Education Learning Support (speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, education psychology, special education advisers).
I didn’t expect to be here. To be honest, I don’t think any mother expects to join the club I’ve found myself in.
You see, I was just like you once. I was at the top of my career, eagerly awaiting my scans to know everything was okay with the miracle I had growing inside of me.
I remember the first time I felt my baby move. I’d lie awake at night imagining the fun we’d have together. At this stage of my pregnancy, I was just like everyone else.
Piper came into the world unexpectedly on January 1, 2011. Before we knew it, she was almost 2 years old.
Suddenly she stopped copying words, couldn't grip a spoon, and started crawling instead of walking. It's a feeling you can't describe when your gorgeous, perfect child goes from hitting all their milestones to hitting themselves and others, letting out ear-piercing screams for no apparent reason.
People stare and make snide comments, assuming you are a bad parent. The close friends slowly disappear, and your antenatal group no longer invites you to play dates. Your whole life slowly starts to fall to pieces and you’re left wondering how you got here.
After a long battle, Piper was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. At 5 years old, she was still in nappies, had violent outbursts, would strip all her clothes off when she became overwhelmed, was a flight risk, couldn’t communicate, and was not only a danger to herself, but other students and teachers as well.
We were lucky to receive high ORS (Ongoing Resource Scheme) funding, but people who had never met her only allocated 10 hours of school support a week. How could she self-manage the remaining 20 hours of the 30-hour school week? We sought a review countless times, but were denied.
Eventually, I was forced to leave the fulltime career I had worked so hard to achieve due to the lack of support from the government. This had serious financial implications for us.
However, I’m not writing just to talk about my family; we are only one of the many families in New Zealand on this journey.
I’m writing because we need help. My daughter's mainstream school is facing huge financial pressure due to the current funding model.
They have 24 ORS funded students and follow their legal obligation of providing an inclusive education to all children, never closing their doors to a child with special needs. This has left them with a deficit this year of $118,482.26.
Here's how. A school receives $18.47 per hour for an ORS funded student before the deduction of GST, holiday pay, sick leave and ACC, leaving $15.90 as the actual per-hour cost.
The average teacher aide (TA) wage at my daughters’ school is $19.47, due to the specialist skills some students require. This difference of $3.57 per hour for a large team of TAs paid over 45 weeks of the year works out to a deficit of $118,482.26 this year alone.
It seems that the schools who follow the law of inclusion are punished by being unable to meet their financial obligations. Yet schools who resort to managing these high-need, ‘expensive’ children by excluding them for disruptive behaviour are rewarded. The system is broken.
My daughter is an example of how drastically a child can improve when fully supported by an inclusive education system.
My once angry, non-verbal child no longer takes her clothes off in public, and can be found each morning on the school radio or singing songs at assembly. She is obsessed with Māori culture, participates in kapa haka and has recently joined the school's singing group.
All children deserve the same right to flourish.
I know there isn't a golden bullet to solve this, but if we continue to do the same thing and expect a different result, then we are mad.
I’d love to see a taskforce established that includes representatives from finance, principals from significantly affected schools such as the one mentioned above, teacher aides and a couple of parents like myself.
As a business consultant, I’m used to looking for new models to solve old problems and I’d be willing to work with you and others to get the job done!
Erika Harvey - Piper's mum
The full version of this letter can be read here. Erika Harvey ispetitioning Government to fully fund inclusive education - read more and sign here.
‘Every child in New Zealand deserves the support they need so that they can succeed in education,’ said Labour during the election campaign. Now it’s time to back up those words with real funding for children with autism and other special needs, writes Erika Harvey.
I didn’t expect to be here. To be honest, I don’t think any mother expects to join this club that I’ve found myself in. You see, I was just like you once. I was at the top of my career eagerly awaiting my scans to know everything was okay with the miracle I had growing inside of me. I remember that first feeling when she moved and how I’d lie awake at night imagining the fun we’d have together. The family adventures we’d go on, the friends she’d make, answering all those silly questions kids have about life. When I was six months pregnant I saw a child screaming and hitting his mother while I was out shopping. The mother spoke calmly and asked if he wanted to leave. I couldn’t believe she didn’t even discipline him for acting like that! I knew I’d never be a bad parent like her, when my child was born.
At that stage of my pregnancy, I was just like everyone else. Piper came in to the world unexpectedly with my water breaking on 1/1/11 and before we knew it, she was almost two years old. Suddenly, as if someone flipped a switch, she became lost inside herself. She stopped copying words, could no longer grip a spoon, and started crawling instead of walking. It’s a feeling you can’t describe when your gorgeous, perfect child goes from hitting all their milestones to hitting themselves and others. When you try and catch their head before they slam it against a concrete floor while expressing ear piercing screams of pain for hours, for what seems like no reason at all.
People stare and make snide comments behind your back, assuming you just have a brat as a kid and you’re a bad parent. The close friends you have slowly disappear, and your antenatal group no longer invites you to play dates. Not because they don’t want to, but because your child is constantly unsettled and it’s probably easier for you that way. Your whole life slowly starts to fall to pieces and you’re left wondering how you even got here.
The hardest part of motherhood, though, was when I officially received Piper’s diagnosis of autism. We immersed ourselves in education unlearning everything about parenthood we knew. We enrolled in various workshops and met others who were on their own journey through the spectrum. But no one could prepare us for what would happen once our daughter turned five and we needed to think about where to send her to school. At five years old Piper was still in nappies, had violent outbursts, would strip all her clothes off when she became overwhelmed, was a flight risk, couldn’t communicate, and was not only a danger to herself but to other students and teachers as well.
We were extremely lucky to receive high ORS (Ongoing Resource Scheme) funding, but people who had never met her only allocated 10 hours of support a week. This was inadequate for Piper and the school, given there are 30 hours in a school week. She couldn’t self-manage the other 20 hours. The school had try and find funds to make up the difference when my daughter first started, due to the severity of her needs.
We sought a review of our ORS countless times but were denied. Eventually, I was forced to leave the career I worked so hard to achieve. The financial implications for our household have been drastic. With only 10 hours of support for Piper, and no after school or holiday programmes in Tauranga for children with special needs, it was impossible for me to continue my career full-time.
A million questions go through your head when you find out you’ve moved into the special needs parent club. You try to figure out how it happened, only to realise it doesn’t matter because you can’t change the past. The only thing you can do is focus on the future, and that is why I’m writing you today.
Since April is Autism Awareness month, I wanted to explain what life is like when you become a parent to a child with autism. Most of all, though, I wanted to talk to you, Jacinda, mother to mother – so you can put yourself in our shoes as you eagerly await the birth of your first child. Truth is, there are 65,000 Kiwis on the autistic spectrum and more being diagnosed every day, and with estimates that 1 in 4 students need some sort of support in school, the chances of experiencing this firsthand are pretty high.
I’ve seen some massive flaws in the system that should be addressed, not just for children with autism but for any child that needs additional support. I understand how impossible it must be to try and splice limited funds in such a way to please every needy group, however children were a central focus to your election campaign, as they should be for every voting New Zealander. I’m tired of the blame game between a National led government and a Labour led government, only to find our pleas for help become a publicity stunt with the children of New Zealand paying the price.
We must unite, to bring material change to life in a way that will matter.
“Only a Labour Government can deliver the resources that schools and parents are crying out for and we plan to invest an additional $4B in education.” [link]
“I say there are clear signs of a government that has its priorities all wrong. Labour will redirect funding to frontline staff working directly with schools and children. Every child in New Zealand deserves to get the support they need so that they can succeed in education. They aren’t getting it under National, they will get it under Labour.” [link]
“Re-carving the same size pie amongst a growing number of needy kids will simply result in more going hungry. It’s time the National government woke up to the damage their underfunding is doing to kids’ lives and futures.” [link]
“Our goal is to uncap the ORS funding and make sure that every child in our schooling system has a right to learning support that they need and that schools are supported properly, and that those who work in our schools as teacher aides are supported and funded properly and actually have pay equity within the system they are working in.” [link]
If schools have a legal obligation to create a truly inclusive education system, what funding model is required to achieve the dream?
As a business consultant, I learned that the school my daughter attends is under huge financial duress due to the current model. It is a Decile 2 school, with a roll of 390 students from over 12 different cultural backgrounds; its catchment experiences a wide range of socio-economic disparity. It also has arguably one of the highest number (24) of ORS-funded special education students in a mainstreamed school, in addition to High Health, RTLB and special education and behavioral support requirements etc. The school’s success in assisting their ORS-funded students (to which they refer to as their ‘treasures’ because they have added so much joy to their school) is actually sinking them! Their deficit this year is $118,482 but they continue to follow their legal obligation of providing an inclusive education to all children, never closing their doors to a child with special needs. Meanwhile other schools find ways to manage these high need, ‘expensive’ children by expelling them for disruptive behavior, forcing many parents out of work and in to homeschooling.
I’d like to talk to you about the numbers.
It’s my understanding that under ORS, a school receives $18.47 per hour per student before the deduction of GST, holiday pay, sick leave and ACC – leaving $15.90 as the actual per hour cost allocated (less than the new minimum wage). Although the funding rate hasn’t changed in many years, teacher aide rates increase every year, widening the funding gap between what schools receive to pay for teacher aides, and what they need to pay in teacher aide salaries. Many schools top up the funding gap by using their operational grant, or even fund-raising via their parent support groups, but that still isn’t enough to cover the deficit at my daughter’s school.
The average teacher aide wage at my daughter’s school is $19.47 per hour due to the specialist skills some students require, leaving an average deficit of $3.57 per hour, per student, over 45 weeks of the year, including holidays for their large team of teacher aides. This means the school will have the deficit of $118,482 to meet their commitments to the students who require additional support over and above the allocated funding this year.
This school has truly become victims of their own success, with my daughter proudly one of their success stories. In the two years she has been supported by this school the change in her has been drastic.
My once angry, non-verbal child no longer takes her clothes off in public, and can be found each morning on the school radio, or singing songs at assembly. She is obsessed with Māori culture and participates in kapa haka and has most recently joined the school’s singing group. The school participates in RDA (Riding for the Disabled) and she can be found at the top of their website demonstrating her sweet and loving nature, and is an example of how drastically a child can improve when fully supported by an inclusive education system. As much as my daughter learns from the other students, they also learn from her and understand that we are all different, but all special in our own ways.
Since this school is so successful at polishing its treasures so their individual brilliance can shine, they are now attracting more and more children who require learning support. Parents have heard about this school and have started to move into the school zone so that their special needs children can attend. In some cases, they only bring their ORS children, which increases the financial burden even further.
I know there probably isn’t a silver bullet to solve this, but if we continue to do the same things and expect a different result, then we are mad. I would love to see a task-force established that includes representatives from finance, principals from especially affected schools such as the one mentioned above, teacher aides, and a couple of parents like myself. As a business consultant, I’m used to looking for new models to solve old problems and I’d be willing to work with you and others to get the job done!
Please let me know when it would be convenient to meet with you so we can truly start to work together and make the difference that was at the heart of your campaign.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Mashup, a learn-by-doing ideation event for local teens, is being held again in March. It’s a chance for youth to not only come up with great, problem-solving ideas, but to test them using real world techniques, while being mentored by experts giving back their expertise and experiences.
One such expert is Erika Harvey, an American entrepreneur living in New Zealand. She’s worked for Fortune 500 companies and co-founded InVenture to support entrepreneurs and startups. We spoke to Erika about Mashup, why she got involved and why she believes it’s important to let parents know that local teens should take part.
What is your background?
I’ve worked for some of the world’s largest technology and advisory companies, identifying ways businesses could achieve better outcomes. This led me to start experiencing life as an entrepreneur by building businesses in my free time. I’ve created seven businesses and am currently working with my husband to create Redline Fishing, which is developing New Zealand’s first digitally enabled fishing vessel, with technology set to revolutionise the commercial fishing industry and its sustainability.
What made you want to be part of Mashup?
I love working with teenpreneurs and am a huge proponent of lifelong learning. I’ve been in the emotional trenches of building a business, so I understand the work that goes in to taking an idea and turning it into a profitable business. This is my third year as a mentor for Mashup and I truly enjoy helping others navigate their way through the various stages of starting a business. Young people have an amazing opportunity today to truly change the way we live and work and I love being able to share in their journey of learning.
Why should teens take part in Mashup?
Mashup will give you frameworks that enhance your thinking, develops your skillset, and introduces you to new tools, along with a community of like-minded individuals. The best way to predict your future is to create it, so why not test the waters now by joining Mashup?
What sort of skills will teens learn at this weekend?
You’ll walk away armed with a variety of new business and technology skills. By using them, hands-on, you will gain hands-on insight you can’t find in a book.
If you’re unsure if you (or your child) should participate, just do it! You have nothing to lose and you’ll leave inspired, with connections to a whole community ready and willing to support you in any future endeavours.
Why should other entrepreneurs/business owners become mentors?
Mashup, and programs like it, are only as good as the volunteers who get involved. If you are an entrepreneur or business owner who is passionate about sharing your own experience, knowledge, and giving back so the next generation can do better, sign up!
As a bonus for your time, you’ll also be rewarded by meeting other incredible mentors you may find beneficial to your network.
So, if you love supporting people to step outside their comfort zone, have knowledge to share, have had successes and failures and stories to tell, and want to make a difference in the community, I can’t wait to meet you!
Want to be a mentor? Let the team know at this link: http://clik.vc/beamentor
Tauranga's independent commercial fishermen have succeeded in convincing the council to identify areas with the potential to build a new unloading wharf along the city's waterfront.
It follows a series of meetings between the council and members of the Harvey fishing family who were unhappy at the size of the area allocated to the independents in Sulphur Point's Marine Precinct.
At risk of leaving Tauranga were up to 70 fishing jobs and an annual catch worth $20 million.
Commercial fishermen who operated outside of the Moana Pacific and Sanford groups of companies had pinned their hopes on the information memorandum that went out to businesses interested in tendering for land in the first stage of the precinct.
The memorandum promised to provide facilities for loading ice and unloading fresh fish to meet the needs of the local fishing fleet. It said the precinct would also provide dedicated areas to allow truck access to the water's edge for unloading or servicing of fishing vessels.
But the Harveys argued that the council's solution fell well short of what was needed to keep more than 20 independents from leaving Tauranga.
The precinct plan identified how the ice wharf at Sulphur Point would become a communal user-pays unloading wharf, once the council's lease expired with Moana Pacific Fisheries in about six months. The wharf access through a 625 sq m block bordering Cross Rd would also be retained in council ownership.
"There are over 20 fishing vessels that this Marine Precinct plan is pushing out of the region. We are the local fishing fleet that is being forgotten".
Fishing skipper Dan Harvey, owner of longliner Royal Salute, argued that the ice wharf only provided five metres of truck to boat space compared to Whangarei's 490 metres, Napier's 400 metres, Gisborne's 286 metres, Coromandel's 100 metres and Whakatane's 80 metres.
He said they were down to one wharf for all commercial boats to do work where it was relatively common to see boats queued waiting to unload their catches.
Mr Harvey said there was no unloading wharf.
"There is an ice and fuel wharf that everyone has to use for unloading...our biggest problem is that we need more space to take stuff on or off our boats. We are being forced to operate in unsafe conditions just to unload our catch or to put gear on our boats."
He said the precinct plan still did not allow for an unloading wharf.
"There are over 20 fishing vessels that this Marine Precinct plan is pushing out of the region. We are the local fishing fleet that is being forgotten."
Another fisherman Karl Mattock of the Sea Prophet who was yesterday forced to unload his catch of crayfish across Mr Harvey's boat Royal Salute, said the situation was disgusting. "This is the one and only usable wharf.''
The fishermen's grievances became one of the last issues to be dealt with by Stuart Crosby before he stepped down as mayor.
Mr Crosby said he supported making suitable provisions for the independent fishermen.
"My view was that the original concept was light on providing for their interests."
He accepted there was a need for more wharfside access to fishing boats, even though the current plan did include a communal area for loading and unloading. "They were never going to end up with nothing."
Mr Crosby instructed staff to see what could be done to provide more unloading wharves both inside the precinct and on the town side of the harbour bridge. "What they won't get is a large amount of wharfside access."
Options identified for two additional berths were along the harbourfront between the ice wharf and Cross Rd, and extending the wharf further towards the Cargo Shed behind Maui Ocean Products in Dive Crescent.
Erika Harvey said most independent fishermen thought they would not have to tender because they assumed their needs would be adequately catered for in the precinct.
A big part of the problem was that land neighbouring the ice wharf had been sold down to the water's edge, rather than leaving the waterfront in council ownership. "If you sell to the water's edge, you lose that space forever."
Mrs Harvey said independent fishermen felt they were being squeezed out of Tauranga, with the potential loss of 70 jobs and $20 million a year worth of catch.
The Harveys found an ally in Western Bay District councillor Margaret Murray-Benge who helped put their case to the city council.
She said the communal space provided in the precinct for the small but successful fishing businesses was pathetic compared to other North Island towns.
"It is amazing what these small fishing businesses are achieving. Dan Harvey had a chef who owns a Michelin restaurant in Singapore out fishing with him. The chef was stunned by the quality of the fish and the sustainable way it was caught," she said.
Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct
- $11.4 million project
- Base for boat building and refit businesses
- 6200 sq m hardstand vessel storage area
- A new seawall
- A 350-tonne vessel hoist
You know when you've met Erika! Tons of knowledge, plenty of expertise, infectious enthusiasm, a listening ear... and sound reality checks.
Erika Harvey, InVenture CEO and Tauranga Startup Weekend mentor, shares her entrepreneurial adventures with us:
Tell us a bit about your dealings with the entrepreneurial world so far Erika?
I have worked for some amazing fortune 500 companies, but in 2006 a cancer diagnosis was a pivotal moment in my life. I realized the only risks I had really taken were job interviews and even though I aspired to do many things, I didn’t because I was afraid. So, I made a list of everything I was too afraid to do, and in 2009 when I received the “all clear” I began to say yes to everything that scared me.
I started by resigning from my job at Dell in Nashville, Tennessee where I had just been promoted and I moved to New Zealand where my husband was from. This was where my entrepreneurial journey truly began and I started to push my own boundaries by building businesses within industries I wanted to learn more about.
I’ve made some epic failures along the way, but without those I never would have had the successes.
Being an entrepreneur is a journey and not destination. You’re constantly challenging yourself, you’re always learning, finding ways to improve, and you’ll question over and over if you’re crazy, and to be honest, the best ones are.
What markets/sectors do you have experience in?
Retail, Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Technology (incl. SaaS), Professional Services, and even Primary Industries.
What’s the most financially and/or socially successful thing you’ve done?
What I’m most proud of is taking a business in significant debt with the owners close to losing their home, find a pivot, and turn their company around to be profitable again in less than 6 months. It’s helping people re-ignite the passion for their business that make me feel the most successful.
What is the most important thing that you think entrepreneurs should know?
You can’t know everything. Own your skill gaps and surround yourself with people you can learn from. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or let the fear of failure stop you from trying.
Tell us a bit about why and how you can help. What are the elements of helping people start a business that get you most excited?
Market Validation and identifying a true value proposition gets me most excited. It’s how you approach the ‘Market Validation’ phase that will set your business apart from others. I tell the clients I work with “stay open to your initial assumptions being challenged, it’s very rare to have a hero product or service that’s come straight out of a box”.
You should be asking ‘Why’ at every phase and validating your decisions with your prospects, as scary as it is for someone to give you feedback you didn’t expect, take it on board. The best businesses listen to their customers, solve their problems, and then sell it back to them.
How can you help Tauranga's Startup Weekend participants?
I’ve been in the emotional trenches of building a business, so I understand all the emotions that come with it, especially when you’re doing it in only 54 hours! In addition to carrying around tissues to wipe your tears on Saturday night after you’ve pivoted the 4th time and feel like you’re not going to be able to pull it off (which you will), I’ll help you see through the haze to find the hidden gems you’re overlooking to pull out a rocking presentation and solid business plan by pitch night.
I’m the queen of finding pivots when all hope seems lost, identifying a true value proposition, helping define your pitch and assisting you in creating a solid PowerPoint. If you don’t need any of that, I can at least entertain you with a few good laughs.
Tell us a bit about why you think TGASW is a good thing? Why should someone who has been thinking about a business idea come to Tauranga Startup Weekend?
If you’ve had a business idea but don’t know where to start or how to get in front of investors, this is the event you don’t want to miss.
In one weekend you’ll be networking and learning from some of the best in the industry and meeting incredible like-minded individuals along the way.
So whether you have an idea you want to test and find a team to help you bring to market in one weekend, or you just want to be apart of a team to learn how you can apply the skills to an idea you want to keep to yourself, startup weekend is the best way to start your journey!
Come and meet Erika and other exceptional business mentors on September 23-25 - Secure your spot here
Thank you to Tauranga Startup Weekend Sponsors
Original Article: https://venturecentre.co.nz/startup-weekend/item/163-being-an-entrepreneur-is-a-journey-and-not-destination-tgasw16
From daring to dream to bringing dreams to life – the topics covered by some inspiring innovators and entrepreneurs at this year’s Western Bay at Work Careers and Business Expo aim to encourage budding businesspeople to explore their ideal career paths.
Hosted by Priority One and Tauranga Rotary, the annual Western Bay at Work Careers and Business Expo is on Friday, August 12, and Saturday, August 13, at ASB Arena.
More than 80 exhibitors will showcase career and training opportunities in the region under the theme ‘Your place to shine’.
New this year is the Innovators and Entrepreneurs stage, where local entrepreneurs and innovators will be conducting quick-fire talks on the hour and half-hour each day of the expo from 9am-2pm.
Speakers in the series include co-founder of InVenture and one of the creators of Dirty Dog Eyewear Sally Cox, award-winning film director Anton Steel, Venture Centre co-founder Pascale Hyboud-Peron, Professor Chris Battershill from the Coastal Marine Field Station, Pat Mohi from Hawaiki Rising Voyaging Trust, Plus Group CEO Tina Jennen, InVenture co-founder Erika Harvey and actress Tanya Horo.
Tauranga Rotary’s Sue Boyne says the expo also features a Recruitment Zone for the first time. “We have some recruitment firms which will be there showcasing current job opportunities and future prospects.
“Anyone looking for work, part-time or full-time can come along and talk to the businesses in the recruitment zone and get some good tips and advice while they are there.”
The Western Bay at Work Careers and Business Expo is on August 12-13 from 9am-2pm at ASB Arena. Entry is free.
You know when you've met Erika! Tons of knowledge, plenty of expertise, infectious enthusiasm, a listening ear... and reality checks.
Erika Harvey, InVenture CEO and Tauranga Startup Weekend mentor, shares her entrepreneurial adventures with us:
"Coming from a corporate background, I’ve worked for Fortune 500 companies most of my life and identified ways that big businesses can do things better. Working with CEOs globally I identified patterns in their behaviour that were holding their businesses back.
This is how I started to dip my toes in to the Entrepreneurial world. My adventure has been one for a reality TV show (seriously!) you name the issue, I’ve probably experienced it (and more!) All of these problems I faced on my journey have helped shape me in to the person I am today.
At this stage I have created over 7 businesses and built them from the ground up. My businesses range from Behavioral and Operational Services, Software Platforms, Retail, as well as Marine. I’m what they call a serial entrepreneur - I have an idea, and after I’ve done my homework using the Lean Canvas to see if it works out - there is no stopping me to bring it to life.
What are the elements of starting up a business that get you most excited?
What gets me most excited is 'Market Validation' when you’re validating your idea and the feedback you get is opposite to what you thought. This means you have now uncovered a new opportunity to ask people what they want, what they’d pay for, then solve their problems by evolving your idea to fit their needs, then in the future sell it back to them. It's how you approach the "Market Validation” phase that will set your business apart from others. I tell my clients I work with “If your idea doesn’t evolve from conception to delivery, you’re doing something wrong” Have an open mind to change and compliment the needs of your target customers and consumers.
What is the most important thing that you think entrepreneurs should know?
Nothing is ever a mistake or a failure - it's just learning different ways to do things. Every part of building a business is another piece of education you’re now armed with to face the future. Entrepreneurship should be your life's work and a statement of who you are, and what you stand for.
How can you help Tauranga Startup weekend participants?
I’ve been in the emotional trenches of building a business from the ground up and I’ve learned many lessons along the way. Lessons I can help you avoid. I’m a problem solver and quick thinker who loves the challenge of tinkering with a universe that doesn’t yet exist. I’m here to help you evolve your idea, make it strong, give it legs to stand on, and be there along your journey to ensure you get the best out of Startup Weekend (and potentially leave startup weekend with a business to build!)
Why should someone who has been thinking about a business idea go to Tauranga Startup Weekend?
If you’re waiting for the right time - it doesn’t exist. There is never a “right time” and the problem with time is we always think there is more of it, but part of life is….you never know how much time we will each have. So, what have you got to lose? You’re either going to lose 5 years of your life or save 5 years of it by running and validating your idea within 54 hours. It’s a no brainer! Startup Weekend is the best way to meet amazing people who share the same passion and drive as you do and who want more out of life! It’s time to leave your mark and change things up in the market! I look forward to meeting you and helping you any way that I can!
Now, want to know more about building a startup business from the ground up, and surround yourself with people who can help you do just that?
Join in at Tauranga Startup Weekend - November 13 2015
Passionate about Inclusion, Collaboration, Innovation and making a difference.