In early January, I was fortunate to travel to Waipawa in the Hawke’s Bay for the Te Taitimu Trust Tamariki Hui. I was accompanied by three rangatahi from our hapū and a small rōpū from University of Otago.

At the pōwhiri we were treated like movie stars (check out the Te Taitimu Trust website for a short clip of the week’s events). The honourable Tariana Turia led the rōpū on for the pōwhiri, which was followed by a dip in the swimming hole. The rest of the day was spent on kapa haka, learning karakia for Tangaroa, team building activities, games and getting to know the mentors.

The hui ran for five days and we attended a large number of workshops, including a full day at the beach learning stand-up paddle boarding, snorkelling, surf lifesaving, Māori games, re-seeding pāua and swimming. Other workshops focussed on making healthy kai, plus road and fire safety.

The final day featured a concert, prize giving, final mihi and karakia. It was a long trip but the hui was an awesome opportunity. Thanks to the Te Taitimu Trust.
Nā, Aroha Ellison.

Back row: Neil George, Aroha Ellison, Tamati Parata, Thomas George (under waterfall). Front row: Teanahera Parata, Anne-Marie Jackson, Samantha Jackson, Savannah Flack.