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9 August 2018
Cale Borell, a rangatahi from Te Puna, is more determined than ever to achieve great things having begun a mentoring and leadership programme with Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber.
Cale, 19, from Pirirakau hapū in Te Puna, was selected earlier this year to work alongside Mayor Webber in the 2018 Tuia Te Here Tangata leadership development programme.
The year-long programme aims to develop leadership in young Māori across all communities and involves one-on-one mentoring with mayors.
Cale’s whakapapa connections are to the Tauranga Moana Iwi of Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Ranginui and the Pirirakau and Ngati Hangarau hapū – an allegiance of which he is extremely proud.
When he started the programme in February, Cale was at a crossroads in his life.
He had completed the first year Bachelor of Health Science, progressing into pharmacy, at the University of Auckland in 2017. But he was struggling to settle, still coming to terms with the death of his mum Paula Heke, who was killed in a car crash in 2016 when Cale was in his last year of Tauranga Boys’ College. 
So Cale returned home to Te Puna for a break to focus his attention on helping his community and finding more direction in his personal life. 
Cale says the work he has done with the Mayor and attending leadership wānanga with like-minded young people from throughout New Zealand has refreshed his desire to return to Auckland University and alter his studies to a business degree and possibly law.
He is also determined to continue work within the Te Puna community and improve the lives of young Mᾱori by setting an example of strong work ethic and positive living. 
Mayor Webber says he is impressed by Cale’s growth in confidence and self-esteem through the local government mentoring programme. 
“When he began he had some self-doubt but is now committed to continuing his university study,’’ says Garry.
“It’s also encouraging that the Te Puna community is supportive of Cale’s journey and has appointed him on to the Pirirakau Incorporated Society Committee and now he will also resume a position as a Pirirakau representative on the Te Puna Heartlands Group. Cale has also recently been employed by a local Te Puna business.’’
Garry too is finding personal value from mentoring Cale.  “One benefit for me is that if you connect with the younger generation, the learning experience goes both ways.’’
Cale initially caught the Mayor’s attention as a potential nominee for the mentoring programme through his record as an outstanding student at Tauranga Boys’ College.  Cale had excelled in his college studies, and gained seven scholarships to attend university.