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.

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