Edmond is one of the students with MATES who are at risk of falling under the radar at school and needed some extra attention and an opportunity to succeed. His teacher nominated Edmond for the MATES programme.

Edmond is a smart and sociable person but did not contribute to group activities. However, Edmond had a special talent- he had a passion for Kapa Haka.

Edmond's mentor comes from a different culture to him (Pākehā). Peter (Edmond's mentor), has an interesting talent as a blacksmith and used this interest to bond with his mentee.

Edmond spent many sessions teaching Peter all about his routines and stories behind them. Peter was able to combine both of their passions, talking about the importance of values and culture to both blacksmithing and Kapa Haka.

Peter brought in his tools and together they made a hei matau (fishhook necklace) out of bone for each other. Whilst they were making the necklaces, they talked about the history and importance of these taonga and bonded over the gifting of them to each other.

Edmond has such a strong relationship with his mentor! I feel like Peter is an older brother to Edmond because of how comfortable they are around each other and the important conversations I hear them having together. They have set goals together and Peter has really pushed his Edmond to show him that he can achieve anything if he sets his mind to it.

This supportive relationship is something I see at MATES a lot, but it is so important to the students! This connection really shows in Edmond, as he is a lot more active in the group and always has a joke or magic trick to show the group at the end of a session. At the same time, he has been a quiet leader in the group, showing his self-confidence and helping others who are shy like he used to be.

- MATES Junior Co-ordinator