Fantastic Futures Event – 21 June 2023

What an incredible day it was at FANTASTIC FUTURES, organised by Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA). Founders Heritage Park in Nelson was abuzz with excitement as we warmly welcomed 160 students from 10 local high schools, along with around 30 local businesses, industry representatives, and training organisations. Darcy and Edward from Nelson College welcomed all the students to the Granary and MC’d the event.

To kick off the day, we involved an interactive game using the GooseChase app for the students and businesses. Each business had ten-minutes with each group of students before the buzzer went off to get the teams to their next destinations on the map. Each business set up their own stand, presenting the students with intriguing questions to answer or challenges to overcome. This interactive approach ensured that everyone remained fully engaged and motivated throughout the day. The stands were teeming with activities, ranging from mocktail-making, guessing different chip flavours, experimenting with mixing decks and lights to climbing scaffolding, VR headsets, and trying on personal protective equipment. Students also had the chance to chat with local business ideas and create connections for the future. The Energy Centre hummed with conversations, fostering an atmosphere of enjoyment while facilitating valuable learning and inspiration.

Students heard from some guest speakers – Maddi talked about the LifeLab website, Mark from Whenua Iti Outdoors outlined some key interpersonal skills required in life and Hayley spoke about the Youth Employment Success platform. A delicious morning tea and lunch was served by Beachside Conference and Events. And alongside lunch, the very talented Nayland College students Kahu and Alyahna (JOLA BURNS) treated us to a captivating musical performance.

Students and teachers then had some free time to reconnect with the businesses, ask further questions, and deepen their understanding of the various industries. The day concluded with prizes and celebrating the winning teams of the game.

Involved on the day – NRDA, Proper Crisps, Fulton Hogan, Talley’s, Port Nelson, Jellyfish Restaurant & Bar, VenueTech, Datacom, Natureland Wildlife, Primary ITO, Vailima Orchard, Viridian Glass, OneFortyOne, Nelmac, Cutting Edge Signs, Careerforce, Mainfreight, Marine Farming Association, EPIC, Chop City Barbers, Go with Tourism, Genia, Te Whatu Ora, Geeves Scaffolding, Kūmānu Environmental, Sea Level Wines, CCNZ, Chambers & Jackett, Datacom, ETCO, Viridian Glass, Cawthron Institute, Aquaculture NZ, Youth Employment Success, Te Pūkenga / NMIT, Waimea Nurseries, Gibbons Naylor, Beachside Conference and Events, Allied Health teachers, careers advisors and volunteer team leaders from Ministry of Education of New Zealand and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).