Iwi encouraged to ‘think ahead’ at Hui-ā-Tau

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere, Tā Mark Solomon challenged Ngāi Tahu whānui to think out to 2050 at this year’s Hui-ā-Tau at Arahura. He said that post-Settlement the iwi had prepared a robust vision to take it to 2025 but as that was now only ten years away, the time had come to start thinking beyond the next decade.

This year’s Hui-ā-Tau coincided with the opening of the magnificent, new Ngāti Waewae whare tīpuna, Tūhuru, at Arahura, which was formally blessed at a dawn ceremony on 21 November, the day before the Hui-ā-Tau.

Around 500 Ngāi Tahu whānui braved the wet weather to support the kaupapa of this year’s event, which saw the introduction of three new concepts: live steaming where whānau could log-on to their personal computer or mobile device and view the Hui-ā-Tau from anywhere in the world; the Te Here and Te Apārangi wānanga, which allowed whānau to ask questions kanohi ki te kanohi; and the introduction of Ngāi Tahu cadets as kaimahi for the Hui-ā-Tau.

Speaking at the Te Here wānanga, Tā Mark said that while solid delivery of 2025 aspirations would continue – especially in the areas of culture and identity, environment, education, whānau wellbeing and Papatipu Rūnanga development – it was also important to consider what the world might look like for future generations and what the iwi needed to achieve for them.

“Technology is advancing rapidly and we will find unique ways to keep ourselves connected and grow our presence in the region and beyond,” Tā Mark said.

Despite cold winds and torrential rain, whānau were unanimous in their praise of both the whare tipuna opening and the Hui-ā-Tau kaupapa. The office of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu would like pass on its deepest gratitude to Ngāti Waewae for their many months of hard work, their manaakitanga and their coordination during both events. It was a memorable weekend.

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