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Day 3 of WIPCE

Today was yet again another fantastic day of presentations.  I was drawn to the workshops of people I had met over the last few days, particular those from Aotearoa.  Thanks to the amazing opportunity I have had to attend WIPCE,  I have developed new relationships and friendships with many people from all around the world but especially from Aotearoa. 

 Top 2 for the day:

‘Setting the examples – Māui and Tāwhaki – by Te Awanuiarangi Black of Aotearoa

Awa  works for Te Wananga o Raukawa and is a very charismatic and passionate presenter.  I was struck by his obvious knowledge and commitment to te ao Māori and I will absolutely be staying in touch with him.  His workshop began with him paying homage to those who have gone before us, the trailblazers, our tupuna who were at Parihaka, Hikoi whenua, Tama Toa and as recent as the 2003 walk on Parliament for the foreshore and seabed rights.  He reminded us that we are the beneficiaries of their hard work.  Awa then cleverly used the stories of Māui and Tāwhaki, stating that we need to look back into our traditions, to these ancestors and start referencing our own stories, not looking at what others are doing to preserve their culture, but start learning from our ancestors and their ways to preserve who they were and where they came from.  Awa was such a great speaker, I stopped taking notes as such and just started writing his quotes, word for word, here are my favs:

  • Both Māui and Tāwhaki were great achievers but the difference was, Tāwhaki followed the tried and true path, and in comparison, when everybody was going right, Māui was going left
  • I am giving you A Māori world view, not THE Māori world view, there is no such thing
  • Within our pūrakau, traditional stories, are encoded knowledge and ways for us to be
  • Māui did it in one way, Tāwhaki did it in another way, both of them left legacies…for us! Both achieved greatness, even though they both faced adversities.
  • It is a waste of time gathering knowledge and skills if it is only kept for yourself
  • Everyone of us has a bit of Māui and Tāwhaki in them, but remember, you cant teach a Māui like a Tāwhaki, and vice versa
  • What’s the lesson? Learn from our ancestors!

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‘Takitoru –  from parallel to partnership, a ritual of engagement based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi for safe cultural practice' by Rāwiri Waretini-Karena of WINTEC
What can I say about this presentation?  It resonated with me on so many levels, firstly, through the process of mihi, I learned that Rāwiri and I are related, a new cuzzie for me!  
Also, Rāwiri's presentation was powerful, moving and honest to the point where it moved me to tears.  He shared a whakapapa of sorts of his whānau over four generations, looking at some of the negative influences that have impacted on his whānau and his own life journey, like jail, violence, gangs, alcohol, gambling.  The term he used for this was 'symptoms of inter-generational trauma'. He then linked this back to the changes to Māori lifestyle and beliefs as a result of colonisation and the Treaty.  This is an exercise he actually walks his own students through, looking at depth at the Treaty and supporting them to research and fully unpack and understand what Māori agreed to share, and what Māori agreed to keep.  This was a real insight into the disparities within the Treay and the reasons for the need for claims and settlements.  Rāwiri did an amazing job of showing that the 2 major stakeholders, Māori and Pākehā, need to come into shared space.  Teh question is how do they come into that shared space but still keep their dignity, identity and autonomy?
I started wondering just how much does the average Kiwi know about the Treaty, what it says in English and in Māori and what it meant to both groups?  If I was to stop 100 people on the street in any of our main centres and ask them what they knew about the Treaty, besides the who and when of the signing, how many people could answer with some conviction and accuracy?  What do you think?  I also thought, until we start teaching NZ history well, in particular Te Tiriti o Waitangi, in our schools from Y1-Y13, will we never be able to move forward as a bi-cultural nation.  We need to understand the past before we can make peace with it and come together as one.

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Whoops, aroha mai e hoa ma, I have gone on far too long again, SORRY!  I am new to blogging and have enjoyed WIPCE immensely, so a recipe for disaster in terms of keeping it short!   Mauri ora whānau  : )