Te Huinga

Pulled from Matai O’Connor, The Gisborne Herald.
Photo Credit: Eruera Walker Media.

Te Huinga was a chance for kura kaupapa Māori tauira (students) to connect with others and aspects of te ao Māori through different activities over three days.

Te Huinga was born out of the original kaupapa called Hui Tōpū, which was an event for kura kaupapa to come together. The last event was in 2021 at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori (TKKM) Hawaiki Hou in Tūranga (Gisborne). The next host was set as TKKM o Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti in Wharekahika.

Covid-19 restrictions and cyclones made it difficult to host the kaupapa, Whiti Ora Tairāwhiti manawakura adviser Shyla-Drew Taiapa said.

“But as a part of my role I gathered insights from the wharekura at the beginning of 2022 and Hui Tōpū was a hot topic and how the kura held the mauri to host the next kaupapa,” she said.

Iti Kahurangi and Shyla-Drew have been working with the rangatahi of the kura for a year and a half to plan, shape and bring Te Huinga to fruition.

Te Huinga o Ngā Kura Kaupapa o Te Tairāwhiti was the name the ākonga (students) of Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti came up with.

It’s a kaupapa that includes every wharekura Te Aho Matua ki te Tairāwhiti, schools that are guided by Te Aho Matua.

The kura that took part were TKKM o Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti, TKKM o Te Waiū, Ngā Uri a Māui, Hawaiki Hou, Horouta Wānanga and TKKM o Whātātutu.

“Magic happened at this kaupapa,” said Shyla-Drew.

“Māna Motuhake, Te Reo Māori me ō ngā tikanga te mātāpono o tēnei kaupapa, me te whakawhanaungatanga hoki.”

Tauira played a range of sports including ki o rahi, touch, netball, basketball, pickle ball and volleyball.

“The tauira of Kawakawa did not want the sports to be competitive but based more around whakawhanaungatanga (building connections),” she said.

So no points were taken during any of the games. Instead schools were scored on their use of te reo Māori. The more te reo Māori spoken, the more points each kura got. If students were heard using te reo Pākehā (English), they would lose points.

Tauira had the option to roam between each sport and play alongside other kura. It was not kura versus kura;  the teams were made up of students from different kura.

Shyla-Drew said there were many why this kaupapa was important.

“One of those reasons was whakawhanaungatanga. Te Huinga has allowed a platform for our tauira to value te reo Māori me ōna tikanga. This kaupapa allows our rangatahi to encapsulate all things te ao Māori.”

“The last three years Te Tairāwhiti has been hit by Covid, floods and cyclones. Our rangatahi deserved an exciting, motivating kaupapa to start their school year.

This kaupapa engaged hapū, iwi, kura, businesses and other organisations.

Rangatahi were able to connect with the taiao (environment) through other events.

“To witness over 100 rangatahi walk up their tīpuna maunga Hikurangi was absolutely empowering on so many levels.

“I challenge every uri of Ngāti Porou who can do so, to do this. You will be pushed mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.”

Ngarimu Parata shared kōrero about it.

On the final day, they connected with Tangaroa. More than 100  rangatahi Māori experienced surfing in Te Moana Nui a Kiwa with the guidance of matua Raniera Proctor of Gisborne Boardriders.

“This kaupapa allowed our rangatahi to learn kōrero taonga tuku iho, manaakitanga, be physically active, pāngarau, prepare budgets, pūtaiao, tohu of the taiao, reading tides, planning, organising, communication skills via email or on the phone and whai kōrero.

“The learning was engaging, motivating, relevant and life changing,” she said.

“This kaupapa is life-changing not only for the rangatahi but also for the whānau who get involved.

“Te Huinga is created around ngā whakaaro Māori o ng rangatahi, the dreams and ideas of the rangatahi, and as long as it continues like this it will continue to engage and inspire our leaders of tomorrow.”

The mauri has been passed on to Horouta Wānanga to host the next Te Huinga.

Well Wāhine Celebration

Wāhine came together on Sunday to eat, connect, and celebrate their experiences of Well Wāhine Week 2024. 

“The Closing Celebration is a great opportunity for participants and providers to reflect on the week that was” said Whiti Ora Tairāwhiti Active Communities Advisor Sarah Pocock. 

“Well Wāhine Week is a time when women and girls, mums and daughters, carve out time to look after themselves, try new things, and maybe have a laugh as they step outside their comfort zones. The Closing Celebration applauds participants for taking time for themselves and connecting to activities in our community. It also thanks the providers. Well Wāhine Week doesn’t exist without their support of local women and girls.” 

Over the course of ten days, wāhine had the opportunity to participate in over 50 free events, ranging from waka ama, line dancing, various sports and wellness seminars. 

Workshops and activities were also held up the coast in Wharekahika, Tikitiki and Ruatoria. 

“The Closing celebration was such a great way to round out Well Wāhine Week” said Naturopathic Doctor and Women’s Health Expert Amanda Roe. 

“As Providers, it’s nice for us to meet each other and connect. It brings us together to see what more we can offer our amazing community when we combine our efforts, too. What’s also really cool is seeing former participants returning each year, trying new things, and some of them even hosting their own sessions!”  

Local businesses sponsored prizes for wāhine who had participated in events during the week. The combined prize value was over $2,000.  The sponsors were Akaia Blends, Functional Again, Louise Hansen Coaching, Aspiring Aesthetics, Women’s Native Tree Project, Petals Cafe, Tatapouri Bay, Far East Coffee, Kingpin, AM Espresso, Pharmacy53, Gisborne Boardriders Club, Lisa Murphy of Qi Gong, Gisborne Harrier Club, Kora Floral Boutique, Down to Earth Natural Health and YMCA. 

Plans to run Well Wāhine for its fifth year are in place for next year. 

Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti Rebrands to Whiti Ora Tairāwhiti

On Thursday 21 March, Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti officially launched its new name and brand, Whiti Ora Tairāwhiti – healthy, active, connected. 

The new identity reflects the organisation’s focus on not only sport, but active recreation, play and the wider well-being of the communities here in Te Tairāwhiti. 

“We love sport, and it will always be a critical part of what we do” said Whiti Ora Tairāwhiti Chief Executive Stefan Pishief. 

“However, it is only one part of what we do. Our previous name of Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti created confusion, and could act as a barrier, with people believing we were only focussed on sport delivery. We’ve been on a significant journey of change in recent years, and we wanted our name to reflect that, and to ensure the breadth of what we do as an organisation is better understood.” 

The name Whiti Ora Tairāwhiti was born from engaging with a range of community members and from the board and staff examining the roots of who, and what their organisation was about. 

“When our board and staff got together to develop a new strategic plan it became more and more apparent that it was essential that we look at a change of name” said Whiti Ora Tairāwhiti Chairperson Steve Berezowski. 

“Not only to better relate our core functions but to also assist funders to having a better idea of what we did for our community.” 

Whiti is to shine/bring light, and Ora is wellbeing/health. Together, and for Whiti Ora Tairāwhiti, they interpret the new name to mean ‘radiate the joy of living’. To extend it even further, it’s to radiate the joy of living through sport, active recreation, health and play. 

“We considered a range of naming options, but we felt Whiti Ora Tairāwhiti best encapsulated what we are about as an organisation as well as symbolising this amazing region we live in,” said Stefan Pishief. 

Whiti Ora Tairāwhiti worked with local designers, Tai and Rina Kerekere, to bring the logo to life. 

“The rebrand of Whiti Ora Tairāwhiti offers an important reflection and approach around being healthy, being active, being connected” said Tai and Rina Kerekere. 

“Branding, design, art, anything and everything creative that wraps around Whiti Ora Tairāwhiti should be fun and bring to surface warmth and positivity – activating and illuminating notions of innovation, connection and exploration!” 

This identity has been developed with the help of staff, the Whiti Ora Tairāwhiti board, whānau and communities, stakeholders, and Tai and Rina Kerekere. 

Celebrate the wāhine of Tairāwhiti

Well Wāhine is back for its fourth year! 

Whiti Ora have teamed up with local providers to celebrate International Women’s Day and bring ten days of activities focused on wāhine health, movement and wellness. 

Between Friday 8 – Sunday 17 March there are over 30 activities on offer ranging from whānau fitness, yoga, rugby, badminton, surfing, line dancing and so much more. 

Providers will deliver free sessions for women, girls and gender diverse people to connect and be active in a safe, inclusive and fun environment. These events will happen in spaces and venues across Gisborne and stretching up the East Coast.  

“We look forward to this time of year, when we bring together all sorts of wellbeing, fitness activities and seminars” said Whiti Ora Active Communities Advisor Sarah Pocock. 

“The feedback from participants has shown us that it’s all too easy for wāhine to de-prioritise activities that get them moving or connected. As girls, women, mums, and nans, we face many barriers to being active and having fun.” 

“Well Wāhine Week takes the cost, pressure, intimidation out of the equation. Some are pro-actively child-friendly so mums can bring their little ones to be looked after while they get down to the business of improving their own wellbeing. Participants find the all-women environments safe, judgement-free and empowering. And it’s exciting to see providers using this week to try new things and learn about what works for the wāhine of our varied communities.” 

The kaupapa of Well Wāhine is to remove the barriers that women and girls may face when participating in sport, active recreation and play. The ten days is all about trying something new, getting out of your comfort zone, meeting new people and overcoming the prerequisite that you must be good at something to start. 

Click here to learn more about the kaupapa, view the full calendar of events and to register.

Tairāwhiti Indoor Centre Rally

Coaches, players, whānau, friends, members of the community, clubs and codes all gathered on Thursday to have their voices heard en masse, and this was captured by various media outlets. 

Hundreds of people attended the rally to advocate for a multi-court indoor centre here in Tairāwhiti.  

The rally was organised by the Tairāwhiti Indoor Centre Advocacy Group. The facilitators on the night were Gisborne Basketball Association Commitee Member, Adrian Sparks and Whiti Ora Chief Executive, Stefan Pishief. 

“For decades attempts have been made to establish an indoor centre here in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa without success” said Whiti Ora Chief Executive Stefan Pishief. 

“The situation is critical and as a community we can no longer wait. The well-being of our people needs to be prioritised as part of our region’s recovery, with an indoor centre also presenting opportunities for wider economic benefit.” 

Guest speakers representing various codes included Camille Collier from basketball, Adam Harford from volleyball, Miah Nikora from rugby, Shelley Duncan from pickleball, Krystal Kemp from netball, and Lee Smith from football. Lytton High School Principal Wiremu Elliot also spoke on behalf of the education sector, and Charlotte Gibson spoke on behalf of Kapa Haka. 

All of the codes expressed how the growth of their clubs are halted because they cannot cater to the demand they are facing. People miss out on participating, programme offerings are limited, and codes can’t host large scale tournaments that would bring in people from outside the region. 

“We know if we had an indoor facility, international and inter-regional games could be right on our doorstep” said Gisborne Netball Centre Game Development Officer Krystal Kemp. 

“How awesome would that be for not only our tamariki but for all who are involved in sport to be inspired? It’s hard for our community to travel out and experience live ANZ and international games. Having an indoor facility can bring those big games to inspire and support the development of our community.” 

Wiremu Elliott mentioned the vital link between education and keeping tamariki active. He also spoke about the influence that people have as individuals to share with their own networks and build more advocacy around the indoor centre. 

Charlotte Gibson spoke about the rich history and massive success of Kapa Haka in Tairāwhiti, but also the limitations experienced through current venue capacity. Tamararo, the country’s longest-running regional kapa haka competition, has been hosted previously at outside venues, but only if weather permitted. 

The current state of the facilities in the region are almost non-existent, aren’t fit for purpose and are in dire need of an upgrade. It needs attention and to be addressed so that people can have more opportunities to be active and healthy through quality experiences. 

“Let’s stop having ambulances at the bottom of the cliff and build a stadium at the top” said Gisborne Basketball Association Commitee Member Adrian Sparks. 

A feasibility study is currently underway that the Gisborne District Council commissioned with the support of key partners. This study will evaluate the potential of establishing a new regional Indoor Multipurpose Centre in Tairāwhiti.  

Have your say on the Tairāwhiti Indoor Multipurpose Centre feasibility study through the online survey on the following link surveymonkey.com/r/tairawhiti_IMC_feasibility 

Introducing the 2024 Tairāwhiti Rising Legends Squad

Whiti Ora are excited to announce the Tairāwhiti Rising Legends Squad for 2024. 

Tairāwhiti Rising Legends (TRL) is an initiative by Whiti Ora, aimed at recognising, acknowledging and supporting the development of talented young athletes within Te Tairāwhiti.  

Since it’s inception, this is the most females any squad has had, with eight females and two males. 

“This year’s application process was very competitive” said Whiti Ora Talent Lead Carl Newman. 

“This is the most applications we have ever received. It’s great to see so many leading female athletes in the district.” 

Back for their second year are Lily Arnold for trampoline, Lucy Millar for sailing, Cleo Parkin for judo, and Hannah Webb for kayaking. These four join the new TRL’s Yahni Brown and Ella Sutton for surf life saving, Capria Morgan Lee for gymnastics, Cheidan Moetara and Hine Brooking for waka ama, and Maxwell Kennedy for kayaking.   

These aspiring athletes will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Throughout 2024, this squad will receive exclusive mentoring and development opportunities to improve their skill set. These include workshops for nutrition, life skills, mental skills, strength and conditioning and media skills.  

The programme aims to assist talented athletes in fulfilling their potential and gaining higher honours.