We are on a Horowhenua mission to activate the opportunities we have right here!



 The fifth annual Get-Go Futures Day was held on Thursday 14th March.  Futures Day provides 400 Horowhenua Year 10 students and their teachers the opportunity to visit a range of different employers to understand more about the world of work and explore future local employment options.

 Futures Day is aimed at connecting students’ learning at school to workplace environments and expectations.

 The Get-Go Futures Day event is a work ready employment initiative by THCL, in partnership with Horowhenua College, Manawatū College and Waiopehu College.

 This year career opportunities were showcased across nine businesses who participated in this year’s event; three Horowhenua District Council sites (Aquatics Foxton, Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom and HDC Civic), Pāmu Farms, Lewis Farms, Genoese, TSP Construction, Muaūpoko Tribal Authority, NZ Police (including the 105 centre), Dept. of Corrections, and Dept. of Justice.

 College students had the opportunity to see different aspects of each business, for example: riot gear, court room procedures, farm activities, identifying pests, produce grading, feed out sheds and wetland conservation, housing construction from buildings to roofing and interior design.

 THCL believes that by visiting employers and seeing some of the diversity of the roles out there in the ‘real world’, we can inspire young people and support them to get excited about their future career options and local workplace opportunities. 

 The employers focus on making the day a fun learning experience by providing hands-on activities to engage the students while providing insights into the operational side of the business. The inclusion of elements of competition and/or food are always popular.


Students from Manawatū College and Horowhenua College visiting Lewis Farms experienced three distinct facets of Lewis Farms business operations. 

One activity was to visit the strawberry tunnel house growing area and use microscopes in the ‘lab’ to view pests close-up. Students learned about the techniques used by Lewis Farms to mitigate exposure to pests. Another activity focused on the grading process for strawberries for retail sale and jam making.

The third activity and the highlight of the day for everyone was the ‘waffle’ activity. In groups of 3-4, students designed a dish comprising heated waffles, fresh strawberries, ice cream and chocolate sauce. The design process included a mathematics exercise, involving weighing ingredients, costing the recipe and setting a price for their dish. Creativity was encouraged, with students invested in the presentation of their dish hoping to be voted winner of the ‘best dish’ challenge. 

 At Lewis Farms, the students benefited from real-life exposure to a range of career possibilities, opening their minds to science, horticulture and hospitality opportunities right here in their own region.

Geoff Lewis said their team were excited to be able to showcase the family’s operations to the two groups who visited. With new tunnel houses currently being constructed, the future opportunity for jobs in the strawberry growing houses is exciting for our region’s growth. Horowhenua College head boy and girl said they really enjoyed the day as they had experienced Futures Day 3 years before when they were Year 10 students.  They enjoyed the role of supporting students on the day and looked forward to telling their science teacher about what they learnt on the farm and how much they enjoyed the experience. 

Muaūpoko Tribal Authority (MTA)

MTA welcomed students to Kohuturoa Marae on the edge of Lake Horowhenua.  Their day began with a powhiri from Di Rump (CE of MTA) , followed by talks from various staff members on the roles and responsibilities they have within MTA. Many of the team spoke of having either completed or working towards their University qualifications. 

Students participated in team building activities before taking a tour of the wetlands and areas surrounding the lake. The MTA team shared the history of Punahau, and its importance to the Manawhenua and the wider community. 

The MTA taiao team provided some “hands on” activities which involved planting (rejuvenation of the whenua) and trapping and pest control (protection of the whenua). 

Genoese Foods 

Students visiting Genoese experienced a range of activities which included making pesto, planning logistics and a digital marketing competition. 

The pesto making was a balance of science and maths, with the right measurements of ingredients required to make the perfect pesto. 

Students were given a marketing challenge; to create an advertisement for social media of the pesto product, where they learnt about visual marketing and the skills required to make the perfect post, from Wellington based The Media Lab CE, Antony Young. 

 Winners were selected by The Media Lab and prizes proudly presented by Genoese representatives at the College assemblies. 

Winning Video and Runner Up photo : Horowhenua College 

Runner up below : Waiopehu College 

THCL are proud to continue to offer this day full of opportunities for our rangatahi and see it as an important way of connecting learning with the practical application of skills in the workplace. 

It is only possible because of the support and commitment from local businesses. 

We are thankful to the following employers for their commitment this year – Genoese Foods, TSP Construction, Muaūpoko Tribal Authority, Horowhenua District Council, NZ Police (including the 105 centre), Dept. of Corrections, Dept. of Justice, Lewis Farms and Pamū Farms.