Te Roopu Māori | Issue 21

Kia ora whānau

With the mid-semester break fast approaching, most of us will use the time off to make a dent in that pile of assignments or get ahead on those exams. However, this mid-semester break we have approximately 50 Te Roopū Māori students hosting 200+ Māori students for the national Māori student conference, Te Huinga Tauira, from August 30 to September 2.

Te Huinga Tauira offers Māori tertiary students throughout New Zealand a safe forum to discuss and debate current issues important to Māori students. It is an opportunity for Māori students to nurture and maintain their cultural identity, to access social and support networks outside of their institutions, and to participate in various activities.

Our speakers at Te Huinga include Heather Te Au-Skipworth and Missy Mackey, who are the founders and organisers of Iron Māori. Iron Māori is an initiative which encourages Māori to participate in sport and physical activity, promotes good health and wellbeing amongst Māori, and helps competitors to maintain active and nutritionally-balanced lifestyles.

We also have Donna Matahaere-Atariki, the current Executive Director of Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora in Dunedin. This is an independent community-based provider of integrated health, education and social services. Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora offers support for whānau to realise their potential by promoting healthy life choices and quality outcomes. Our keynote speaker is the legendary Moana Jackson, who will be speaking about constitutional transformation and also doing a workshop on that kaupapa.

Other workshops will include Traditional Māori Games and a Whakatauki/whakatauaki workshop, involving discussion of Māori proverbs/sayings. This may include both traditional and more modern proverbs that encompass a range of topics relating to wellbeing. Kāi Tahu Whānau ki Ōtepoti History Kāi Tahu representative, Tahu Pōtiki, will discuss the history of Kāi Tahu Whānau ki Ōtepoti. The Ōtepoti Tour will follow the footsteps of political prisoners from Taranaki who were sent to Dunedin between 1860 and 1880.

It has been 11 years since Te Roopu Maori last hosted Te Huinga Tauira, and the organisation of such an event has offered us valuable insight into the general running of an organisation, event management, and overall group dynamics.

I would personally like to thank two people who have played a pivotal role in the facilitating of Te Huinga Tauira. Rimutere Wharakura and Samantha Jackson have been indispensable in organising Te Huinga Tauira, and I very much look forward to September 3!

Mauri Ora mai whānau,

Lisa x
This article first appeared in Issue 21, 2012.
Posted 4:26pm Sunday 19th August 2012 by Lisa Pohatu.