Kōkiri 9 – A Force for Tikanga Māori

Published in Kōkiri 9, Pipiri - Hōngongoi 2008

Karauria Hoera Paki Ruru (Te Aitanga-ā-Māhaki, Te Whānau-ā-Taupara), a Combat System Specialist for the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), says the Navy has provided overseas adventure.

Career highlights have included operational duties in the Persian Gulf; being part of New Zealand’s protest over nuclear testing at Muroroa; attending the 50th anniversary of the battle of Crete; visiting Korea and the Solomon Islands; and countless other deployments around the world.

Karauria Hoera Paki Ruru is currently the Māori Cultural Education Officer for the Navy and conducts Māori-based workshops. These range from courses for new trainees, right through to the highest ranking officers including the Chief of the Navy.

“I had the privilege of being raised by my grandparents, Hoera ‘Digger’ Ruru and Glady Ruru, who have sadly passed on,” says Karauria Hoera Paki Ruru. “They raised me and my family amongst kapahaka, tikanga and Māori language.”

Now he is the one passing the language and cultural skills on. He is currently the Co-Chair of Te Rūnanga o te Iwi Heramana – the governing body for all things Māori within the RNZN.

In addition, he is one of three tutors for the New Zealand Defence Force Roopū Kapahaka Te Hokowhitu a Tūmatatenga. The kapa haka group carries out ceremonial duties for the Chief of Defence and has performed in Gallipoli, Italy, England, Tonga, Australia and New Zealand. Karauria Hoera Paki Ruru also tutors the RNZN Roopū Kapa haka.

“I encourage our rangatahi to join the Royal New Zealand Navy, or any of the other services. My career has made me realise how lucky we are and what we have got. On top of travelling and seeing all the sights of the world, the Defence Force provides you with an education. I can honestly say that the RNZN has made me the person I am today,” he says.

To find out about any of the careers in the New Zealand Navy call 0800 NZNAVY to speak to a Navy Recruiter or visit www.navy.mil.nz

Kia mau ki ënei kupu harahara, kia māia, kia pūmau, kia ngākau nui, kōnei rā tō tūranga teitei e

Hold onto these words – courage, loyalty and commitment – so you can pursue your high position of dreams and aspirations.

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