Train Me Quality Services LTD (“Train Me”) is a whanau owned and operated vocational education and training provider. Although we have chosen to organise under a company structure, we self-identify as a Maori kaupapa social enterprise, given our intention to use commercial models and methods to generate revenue to deliver social impact on a sustainable basis.
The Company delivers training through its two strategic business units, the School of Shop which operates in the retail training space, and the ManaiaSAFE Forestry School which operates in the forestry training space.
Governed by Train Me’s Board of Directors, the genesis of the ManaiaSAFE Forestry School can be traced back to a broken economic system that has been injurious to the Maori people for generations. A system where Maori men were dying needlessly in New Zealand’s commercial forests; where Maori families were suffering intergenerational economic hardship; and where Maori people made up 50% of New Zealand’s burgeoning prison population.
A causal factor of the perpetuation of this broken economic system has been the lack of effective strategic leadership towards improving socio-economic outcomes for Maori through culturally responsive vocational education and training.
In 2013, Directors of Manaia Safety Systems LTD Henry Koia and Steve Beach were determined to bring an end to forestry deaths while creating meaningful employment for the benefit of local people. They developed a safety compliance system to help logging contractors comply with law designed to prevent workplace harm. While testing their prototype safety system the true extent of the knowledge gap within the forestry industry became apparent. In 2016 they joined Christine Beach’s training company Train Me. From that union came the ManaiaSAFE Forestry School.
In many ways, the ManaiaSAFE Forestry School can be seen as the manifestation of community uprising against forestry deaths; widespread economic hardship; and wasted Maori potential.