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Looking to the future - Jimmy Totoro

Jimmy Holland for web gallery

Ko Pukeamaru te maunga

Ko Awatere te awa

Ko Horouta te waka

Te Whānau a Tuwhakairiora te hapu

Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi

JIMMY Totoro has prioritised his future by making two significant decisions in the past six months – receiving his mataora (facial moko) and working for Quality Roading and Services.

“This is where I am on my journey,” says Jimmy. “For me, it was about affirmation of what I wanted to do with my future, and where I wanted to go.”

Father to three tamariki Jimmy, 29, is a former painter . . . something he says was a good job, but it could be lonely. “I don’t know how many times I have talked to myself,” he laughs.

From his home in Tuai, Jimmy watched extended whānau and friends already working at QRS develop their skill base with the local civil construction company. “I would see them come to QRS and grow and mature. I’ve seen people work their way up.”

Eager for change, he applied for a job and has been with QRS since late 2022. Jimmy has now earned his wheels, tracks, and rollers licence, as well as qualifications in temporary traffic management and health and safety.

He has a thirst for learning and always wants to know why tasks and jobs are done the way they are. “Why do we put cloth down, why do we use this size gravel?” Jimmy is grateful to senior staffers such as Paul Reedy who readily share their industry knowledge.

Jimmy credits the grandparents who helped to raise him in Hicks Bay for immersing him in Māoritanga. Years later his wife reintroduced him to te ao Māori and te reo Māori. “My wife’s deep immersion in Māoritanga has re-sparked my own.”

“I think you have to be completely comfortable with who you are and that’s where I want to be. This is just as far as I have got on my journey.”

29 June 2023

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Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini. My strength is not mine alone, it is the strength of many.

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