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Esther Tamati has more serious objectives to pursue in Rarotonga, after being selected as one of 20 New Zealand secondary school pupils to attend the Pacific Student Leaders Programme in October.
The 16-year-old Logan Park High School Maori prefect said the course would bring together Pacific Island and New Zealand secondary school pupils to develop their personal and team leadership skills, using military-inspired thinking. It pushes young leaders to find the best methods to plan, make decisions, act and review their actions.
While there would be opportunities to experience the sun, sand, culture and food of Rarotonga, Esther said she would be focused on learning leadership theories, and putting them into practice by leading teams in varied scenarios, including business, tourism, survival, conservation and the environment.
''I've learnt recently that there's more than one type of leader - you don't have to lead from the front.
''I always wanted to be the front leader, the person that would always go up on stage and present to people.
''But my leadership style has changed to being more of a quiet, background leader that helps bring people together to create teams.''
She was looking forward to learning about other styles of leadership.
''I want to learn more about team work - how to relate to and understand other people more.''
Esther is already considered a prominent leader in Dunedin. She is a school student council representative, she runs Dunedin's Operation Rangatahi show on Otago Access Radio, she was the Dunedin youth representative at the Festival for the Future in 2018, and she recently attended the New Zealand Future of Youth Conference in Wellington.
She hoped to develop her communication, collaboration and strategic thinking skills, and use them in school and community activities.