Gavin's on-the-road diary - December 2013 

Ko-te-turi-o-Murimotu te Maunga
Ko Tomatoma te Awa
Ko Rangi Te Auria te Wharepuni
Ko Aroha-nui-a-te-iwi te Wharekai
Ko Ngati Rangi (Te Auria) te Hapu
Ko Te Atihaunui-a-Paparangi te Iwi.

Whaia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei.
Follow your dreams, work hard at fulfilling your goals and if you ever bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.

I’m finishing off my report for this edition of National Services Te Paerangi’s e-newsletter while attending a workshop with Ngāti Rangi at Tirorangi Marae outside of Ōhakune, where Tongariro Maunga looms large, almost, it seems, within arm’s reach.

We are along the Whangaehu Valley Road and this morning’s pōwhiri was run by the rangatahi (young people) of the area – the kaumatua and pakeke who would usually have been here beside us are attending the presentation of the Waitangi Tribunal’s report for Tongariro National Park to iwi at the Chateau. A big day for the iwi which has been several years in development.

 Some of the whanau and tutors from Tirorangi Marae, Digital Photography and Paper Taonga Conservation workshop, 12 November 2013.

Left to right: Tauteka Williams, Odette Edmonds, Gavin Reedy, Tiana Rapana Bell, Roberta Williams and baby Morehu-te-Aurere Ratapu Williams, Kaylene Crossan, Norm Heke, Vicki-Anne Heikell, Turanga Pito, Kiriana Adams, Hikoi Te Riaki, Te Oti Mareikura, Chaana Morgan, Dena Harto, Merrilyn George.

It’s easy to report on the facts and figures of a workshop, the statistics and the numbers that get filed away for office reporting, but it’s harder to explain the emotion, the aroha, the relationships that are formed and the excitement our small team experiences when working out in the field amongst iwi. It has been awesome and humbling and I bow to the two maunga Te-turi-o-Murimotu and Tongariro.

We have had a good turn out of iwi members for our Digital Photography workshop, tutored by Te Papa photographer Norm Heke and Paper Taonga Conservation (looking after paper taonga) tutored by Field Conservator Vicki-Anne Heikell of the Alexander Turnbull Library.

The whanau have worked hard with our experts, learning new skills and ‘hands-on’ aspects at this workshop. They will be the nucleus of the kaimahi (workers) for future projects as our intent is to teach whanau to return home and teach others, to take the knowledge and share.

I also managed to grab some time with Che Wilson, the Pou Arahi of Ngāti Rangi, and we have mapped out a plan that will see us collaborating on several kaupapa well into the future. We would like to thank rangatira Che Wilson, Pouhono Marae – Chaana Morgan and all the whanau that participated in the workshop. Ngā mihi aroha ki a koutou.

Kāhui Kaitiaki Māori Hui

I attended the Kāhui Kaitiaki Māori Hui for Māori working in museums at Kohupatiki Marae, Napier. No doubt you will read reports on this hui, but for me it was an action-packed three days and a good chance to discuss and reflect on our roles as caretakers of taonga in our various museums around the country. It was also a chance also to find out about the latest goings on, to touch base, and importantly to reinforce and strengthen our networks country-wide. In my work as Iwi Development Officer, having a strong network of contacts sure comes in handy. We have a good base of whanau working with our taonga, and what I realised also was the high level of expertise that we have in all aspects of our work.

Mihi nui ki a Tryphena Cracknell, Bridget Reweti, their team of organisers, and everyone that attended. It gives us motivation to know we have support around the motu. Also to the hou kainga, Tom and Margie Mcquire, who really know the meaning of manaakitangata:

Tangata e ako ana i te kainga, tu ki te marae tau ana.
Those that are taught the values of their home area, stand with pride on the marae.

Storing iwi taonga

An interesting subject that has popped up several times in recent years has iwi investigating what’s going on around the country in terms of storage collections for iwi taonga. We have actively been involved in this kaupapa and have hands-on experience in working with groups interested in investigating practical affordable methods of taonga storage on their iwi marae or offices. It is a relatively new kaupapa for iwi, and I have been assisting an iwi group who are looking at best practise and how this can be utilised to suit their needs. This is an area that seems to be gathering a healthy interest so I will update you all as we gather more information.

I’ve already planned well into 2014 and have an active calendar with workshops and visits to iwi to present our kaupapa, and in several cases to continue the staged roll-out of projects and workshops.

That’s enough from me for now whanau. I’ve got a busy end to the year with another workshop on the calendar and lots of thinking around next year’s work programme.

Kia noho ora pai ki te taha o whanau i te wahanga o Hanakoko.
Safe travels and enjoy whanau over the summer break.

Gavin Reedy