Recognised seasonal (RSE) workers from Tonga who are employed in New Zealand at Compass Fruit, spent two hours with a positive parenting specialist in Nelson recently as part of their Vakameasina course.
The aim of the Vakameasina programme is to provide 500 RSE workers annually with access to English language, numeracy, financial and digital literacy, health and life skills training during their time in New Zealand.
Vakameasina is a multicultural word coined to capture the concept of workers who come to New Zealand and gain a “basket of treasures” in the form of new learning they then take home to make a difference in their communities.
13 members of the Compass Fruit pack house workforce were already taking part in a ten week instructional programme which is run by Fruition Horticulture, and funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme. The programme hopes to provide RSE workers with better literacy, numeracy, digital literacy and social and employment related skills during their season in New Zealand.
When a member of the group asked for help with parenting skills, tutor Colin Carson, organised for Mrs Brenda Holdaway to give a “Positive Parenting” presentation. Positive Parenting is an Australian programme designed to help parents learn positive behaviour modification techniques.
Several attendees said they learned a lot about different ways of training children. “It’s good to know there are many ways of getting children to behave,” said one young mother.
Brenda Holdaway spoke about the need to spend quality time with children, encourage them to respect boundaries and to feel secure within them. She reinforced the idea that if children have positive input from parents, the need for negative reinforcement often disappears in many cases.
Feedback from the group was unanimously in favour of the presentation and even single people spoke positively about the learning they could share with family members. One worker is a grandmother and she is looking forward to helping her children bring up their children in a positive way.