Te Kāhui Rangatahi o Te Atiawa Wānanga 2019
Hosted at Muru Raupatu Marae this year 2019, the annual Te Kāhui Rangatahi o Te Atiawa wānanga was attended by 45 rangatahi with great enthusiasm. Friday afternoon, the rangatahi were welcomed by Puketapu hapū members, Hōani Eriwata (Pou Kōrero), Marama Sionetama (Pou kuia), Kenny Trinder (kaumatua). Lead facilitator Selwyn Lacker-Priest responded accordingly with the rangatahi supporting by singing “Tokomaru”, which was also the waiata selected for the rangatahi to learn over the course of the weekend.
Following kai, Hōani Eriwata led karakia with the rangatahi given the opportunity to contribute to this tikanga by offering their own karakia. Hōani also presented the forum with some history of the Muru Raupatu Marae and some history of Puketapu hapū which was well appreciated by all. Matapaepae Urwin, the other lead facilitator, outlined the agenda of the evening which included learning the waiata “Tokomaru” and the introduction process. The waiata and introduction sessions were facilitated by the coordinators who were selected to assist the facilitation of the wānanga throughout the weekend. The energy was high and the rangatahi enjoyed each others company.
Saturday morning dawned with each of the rangatahi receiving their specially designed 2019 branded Te Kāhui Rangatahi o Te Atiawa t-shirt. The t-shirts were worn for the next activity which was a haerenga to various pā sites representing places of significance within the Te Ataiwa rohe. The first location of significance was Te Rau o Te Huia pā (and surrounding area), located just off the Main road heading towards Urenui, known as the northernmost boundary landmark of Te Atiawa rohe. Returning south the bus was able to drive slowly past Te Kōhia Pā, then Puketākauere Pā / Onukukaitara Pā, Pukerangiora Pā, Ngāpuketurua, Māhoetahi, Oropūriri, Tārereari/Mangaone where kōrero was presented about these sites.
The bus stopped at Puke Ariki Pā where the group was met by Damon Ritai who shared some history of Ngāti Te Whiti and Tokomaru waka at Puke Ariki Landing. The group was also privileged to be greeted in Te Takapou Whāriki, the Māori section of the museum, where Te Punga o Mātori, the punga of Tokomaru and Poutama Whiria, the adze are housed. The group was able to touch the special anchor stone. Next stop was Ōnukutaipari (southern side of Paritūtū) where Wayne Capper shared his experience of exploring the islands as part of his mahi and Damon Ritai sharing his historical knowledge about the islands, people and people. Heading south the group was shown the mouth of Herekawe River, noted as the southern boundary point of Te Atiawa rohe. Heading towards Ōmata following the coastal road the tour took the group past Te Horo Pā, before returning to New Plymouth via the main road passing Ngāturi Pā, more commonly known as the Ōmata Stockade. As a teaching technique on the return trip to the marae, there was a quiz session which encouraged the rangatahi to recall some of the information that was shared by the commentators during the trip.
That afternoon the rangatahi were able to participate in a game called Kī-o-rahi facilitated by Larnee Wallace and another group at the same time participated in a Māori instrument session facilitated by Toumairangi Marsh. Rangatahi were fully engaged with many playing Ki-o-rahi for the first time and/or playing Māori instruments for the first time
That evening karakia was led again by Hōani Eriwata and was participated by all. The evening’s activity included learning the waiata “Tokomaru” and then creating a skit to demonstrate and reinforce the days learning. The rangatahi were separated into two groups of various ages. The facilitators and coordinators also got involved and also created a skit. After an hour or so the groups regathered in the wharenui to perform their skits. The performances were outstanding, with plenty of (Māori) humour and actor brilliance causing fits of laughter. Who needs Netflix for entertainment when you can have your own T.A.flix at the marae! This was also an opportunity to entertain the catering crew who worked tirelessly throughout the two days.
Sunday morning was clean up day and the closure proceedings began. Led by Chyloe Bishop, the group was asked to share their thoughts about the wānanga. They were asked to share what they learned over the weekend, what could be improved and what they enjoyed about the wānanga. The most liked activity was having the opportunity to gain knowledge about the various pā sites and the narratives attached to each site and whanaungatanga, more specifically participating in shared activities that instil pride about who they are and where they belong in their Te Atiawa identity discovery journey.