Laura Smith, member of Kāti Huirapa and a descendant of Tane Parata who recently graduated from the Invercargill Campus of the College of Education, with a Bachelor of Teaching endorsed in Primary Bilingual Education (the Pōkai mātauranga o te ao rua). This is a wonderful achievement and we wish Laura all the best in her future teaching career.

Laura Smith at graduation.

Laura Smith at graduation.

Rangatahi Tumeke

On 11 July, Brendan and I took six Puketeraki rangatahi down to the Catlins to be part of the kaupapa ‘Rangatahi Tumeke,’ initiated by Steph Blair. Rangatahi Tumeke is a kaupapa where Ngāi Tāhu/Ngāti Mamoe uri are able to meet, participate and have fun. The five-day kaupapa involved fishing, floundering, eeling, kayaking, and kōrero about the Catlins area.

For our rangatahi here at Puke, it was a great opportunity to learn how to live off the land, meet distant whanaunga and also make new friends. Our whānau here would like to thank Whaea Steph and her whānau for the invitation to this awesome kaupapa. E kore e mutu ngā mihi, engari e kī ana te kōrero, ā tōnā wā mā te aroha te aroha e utu. Nā Waiariki Parata-Taiapa.

Wānanga experience
When ma told me I had a camp in the holidays, I thought ‘how boring.’ I thought my holidays were over – all of this history and learning stuff. I’m not saying that the camp wasn’t learning and all that but I had to look at my motives and reassess my aims.

It was more relaxed than I thought. Mum made it sound like it was the most important thing in the holidays. She was right. She claimed that learning opens doors and gives you visions.

It gives you the opportunities to get educated and experience success. Like being educated in the land and sea and being able to take ownership and responsibility.

The people made it twice as nice. They weren’t just friends, they were whānau. Some became closer than others. Whaea Steph Blair was great, along with Josh and the whānau. She had a way of explaining things that was not too long nor too hard to understand. She made it easy and worthwhile coming.

I’ve got some new tricks up my sleeve thanks to Steph. It was a great time – new people, new skills. Lots of aroha to everyone who went and a shout out to the Puketeraki crew. Nā Cairo Te Wahia Griffing.

The rōpū gathered at the front of the whare, Tahu Potiki at Awarua Marae in Bluff.

The rōpū gathered at the front of the whare, Tahu Potiki at Awarua Marae in Bluff.