Posted on 17 February 2016
Our third Mana Rangatahi wānanga was held in January and we received great feedback from those who participated in it.
This wānanga saw rangatahi journeying to Rotoiti, Kawatiri, Motueka, Golden Bay, Farewell Spit, Waikoropupu, and Riu waka over a six-day period.
Some of the highlights included doing a karakia for a grey spotted kiwi before it was released at Rotoiti, whitewater rafting down the Kawatiri river, climbing the sand dunes at Farewell Spit and visiting the healing waters of Waikoropupū and Riu waka.
This was the first time in a long while that a rōpū of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō had visited some of these wāhi tapu as a collective ope. Upon our arrival at each wāhi tapu, karakia, karanga and waiata were performed to acknowledge our unique connection to them.
One of the kaupapa that came through was the important role that wai plays in our iwi.
Another highlight was the presence of the boys from multimedia agency, Maui Studios. They captured the experience on film and will produce a short documentary on the wānanga. They also facilitated a workshop on their profession and how education is important to reaching your potential. They were great role models for our rangatahi.
Some of the tuākana with a track record of participation in past wānanga were given roles of responsibility and were either the facilitators for the day or tutored various activities.
The cultural transformation that occurred over the six-day period was amazing as our rangatahi went through a process of emancipation, learning about themselves as they retraced the trails of their ancestors.
This was further highlighted when they stood with pride during the poroporoaki at Omaka Marae on the final day of the wānanga, when the rangatahi welcomed their whānau onto the Marae and gave a presentation to them about their Mana Rangatahi experience.
They stood with pride and confidence as they shared their experiences. The presentations came to a close with a moving and powerful performance of our Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō haka.
To all our rangatahi out there, please keep an eye out for the dates of this year’s wānanga. We would love for you to come and experience the Mana Rangatahi kaupapa, meet your whanaunga and journey through the whenua of your tūpuna.
Feedback from some of our rangatahi:
Nellie Robinson: "I liked learning about our whakapapa while going to the places and getting to know everyone way better. I liked seeing my sisters fitting in straight away on their first Mana Rangatahi."
Horouta Wilson: "It was cool to learn about the history of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō and where our tūpuna would go to heal and also seeing all my cousins and meeting new ones as well."
Kiripounamu Nepia: "I loved learning about the importance of wai and all the different ways the rivers, springs and oceans were used. I also enjoyed the nz weather, swimming in the rivers that our people once swam in or travelled in. It's always a special feeling knowing that you’re doing the same things that our tūpuna done. Mauri ora."
Paige Smith: "I enjoyed learning our whakapapa as we went to different places around Te Tauihu and I also enjoyed bonding with my cousins again."
Tamaiti James Wilson: "I enjoyed watching my brother Maunga grow and come out of his shell way more and watching my brother Ngakau getting in to everything and how he just fitted in."