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Māui Pōmare 2018

E tū e Puanga i te Tahi o Pipiri huaina tō whare. Tō whare Apakura, te whare o Muri Whakaroto i tōpū mai ai ngā mate huhua o te tau kua hori. Hēoti kei te ranga ika kahurangi kua kūtere ki taipō e moe. Ara ake ko Matariki i Takurua āīō huaina tō whare. Tō wharekura, te whare o Rua Wānanga i haupū mai ai ngā hua kōrero e whaioranga ai te iwi e. Hēoti, kei te hunga matauraura o tai awatea tīhei mouri ora.

The sight of Puanga on high followed by Matariki signifies the Māori New Year phase inciting remembrance of those who have passed on in the previous year. It’s also a time to plan for the year ahead, set family goals and for some it’s a time to identify some working and educational goals. But by far the most significant objective is planning for good health and wellbeing.

Tū karatete mai ana rā te tupua toka āhuru tuatawhito a Taranaki maunga ki taiuru e. Koiā tonu te pou herenga waka, te pou herenga kaupapa, te pou herenga tāngata. Nāna anō hoki ngā kōrero tuku ihonga i whakarere iho mai hei whakahihiko i te ngākau tangata kia whakatinanahia ngā moemoeā o te whānau, o te hapori me ngā iwi puta noa.

Taranaki Maunga stands majestic on the western shores of Taranaki, an iconic landmark symbolising a steadfast pillar uniting people and place. Rich in heritage and natural diversity, Taranaki Maunga drew people from afar to reconnect physically and culturally. The opportunity to reconnect occurs annually with this event Te Rā o Māui Pōmare.

Anglican Church Reverend Albie Martin conducted the service, beautifully complementing the occasion acknowledging the life and works of Tā Māui Pōmare and addressing the people in attendance with dignity and grace. At the completion of the service, Wharehoka Wano proceeded to introduce the programme of the day.

Image: Tikituterangi Raumati with Sir Richard Faull holding a human brain.

Once again Miria Pōmare and her whānau gave their time to attend this significant event. Her speech acknowledged the works of Tā Māui Pōmare and how his tenacity and passion helping Māori out of poverty in the medical sector and political arena was relentless. His legacy remains as an inspiration to this day.

This year 2018 Te Rā o Māui Pōmare event was fortunate to have Sir Richard Faull, neuroscientist and academic, in attendance. He shared stories about his upbringing in Tikorangi and presented his whakapapa ties to Ngāti Rāhiri and spoke passionately about his field of expertise. He spoke to a captive audience who were intrigued by his 40 year career specialising in human neurodegenerative diseases, and astounded the audience when he brought out a human brain to showcase.

General Manager of the Whyora Programme, Tanya Anaha, gave an informative presentation about supporting pathways to a career in health which included cadetships, internships, scholarships and employment. It was an opportunity for her to celebrate the successes of those who have and still are engaged in this fantastic programme.
Pouwhiringa at Parenting Place (based in Auckland) Te Waka McLeod, presented a PowerPoint about parenting programmes supporting whānau to thrive in the many diverse communities. These take place all year round and are designed to give parents practical insights, encouragement and solutions to whānau. The presentation was also an opportunity to announce our local facilitator, Karlos Drinkwater.

After lunch in the Wharenui, Hēmi Sundgren and Liana Poutu from the Taranaki Maunga Negotiation Team presented an update on the Maunga negotiations with the Crown. And to close the presentations was Dr. Ruakere Hond, who spoke about Te Mātāwai, the national body providing opportunities for the community to revitalise te reo Māori in their own setting.

The event also provided a forum to acknowledge two special senior citizens of the community. Namely Alice Doorbar, the recipient of the Queens Service Medal for Services to Health and Māori in the New Year’s Honours List 2017 and Tiki tū te rangi Raumati the recipient of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Māori and the Community in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2018. An acknowledgement well applauded by all in attendance.

Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT) was well presented. CEO Barbara George and her team, along with Miria Pōmare, presented the two Māui Pōmare nursing scholarships to two worthy first year nursing students O’Jay Bailey and Jody Timu-Kaea. In addition, a new feature of the day was an expresso coffee cart serviced by WITT students from Waitara undertaking the New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service with Strands in Restaurant Services and Barista course. Supervised by Tāne Morgan, this feature attracted the masses.

Pikipiki maunga tāngaengae, pikipiki pari tāngaengae a Māui Pōmare ki tāna i tūmanako mai ai. Ahakoa ia tupu Māori mai ai ki raro i ngā rekereke o ngā mātua tūpuna, whāia kaingākautia nei e Māui ngā mātauranga Pākehā hei awhina i a ia anō kia whakapiki i te hauora o te iwi Māori e noho tāmi nei. Inā hoki rā tōna māia, tōna kahanga ka whakawhiwhia a ia ki te tohu kairangi hei tākuta Māori mātāmua, hāunga rā tū rangatira ai a Māui Pōmare i runga i āna mahi whakapiki i te hauoranga o te tangata o Aotearoa whānui.

Image: whānau laying the wreaths.

As a last comment, Sir Māui Pōmare exemplifies the importance of education and the positive impact it can have on the health and well-being on our people. Like many other indigenous leaders around the world, he set a course of lifelong learning and established strong networks to enable him to create national health reforms resulting in sound sanitary infrastructure and healthy living conditions. Māui Pōmare’s achievements continue to inspire and nurture the human spirit to this day. With intelligence and conviction, his life’s work remains as a significant example for future generation to come.

Acknowledgements to the Manukōrihi Pā Trustees for coordinating the day.