Youth leadership highlights first parade held in Kirikiriroa

Close to 900 people attended the inaugural Te Reo Māori parade held in Kirikiriroa this year to mark Māori Language week. Two of the youngest members of the cross-organisational group responsible for the logistics and hosting this regional event were also charged with leading the group too.

Published: Tuesday, 17 September 2019 | Rātū, 17 Mahuru, 2019

‘Ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi’ is a well-known saying in Te Ao Māori where the old net is cast aside, the new net goes fishing. The proverb refers to the younger generation taking up the reigns. This is very much the case for both Advisor Rangipare (25) and Waikato-Waiariki regional intern Laani Lloyd (22).

The original meeting was called when the idea to hold a Te Reo Māori parade for the first time in Kirikiriroa was mooted nearly four months ago.

Rangipare was asked to attend so that she could share her ideas and thoughts on the kaupapa, then at the next hui both herself and Laani would eventually end up leaving the meeting with the responsibility of leading the preparations.

Laani Lloyd says his highlight besides from ‘finishing the event’ was seeing all the faces as they came around from the hīkoi.

“A big highlight for me was actually watching everyone come in,” says Laani. “I didn’t go down to the parade itself so I wasn’t sure what the numbers were going to be like, but watching everyone flock around I was like ‘oh wow’ the event is really shaping up.

“I think also too just to see the continuous amount of people coming through the area through the day, even when it was raining – they cleared out for a bit, but came back.”

Rangipare agreed and believed it was a kaupapa where all of our communities could come and celebrate Te Reo Māori

Rangipare with her uncle Associate Professor Te Kahautu Maxwell and Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori head Ngahiwi Apanui.

regardless of who you were.

“It was definitely a highlight seeing the CBD pumping with our ahurea Māori, our businesses, our musicians, watching kapahaka and just being involved,” she says.

“It’s rare to see kaupapa in Hamilton where it’s not just Māori participating, but all communities and cultures enjoying and celebrating Te Reo Māori as well.”

On reflecting after the parade they pair are ‘stoked’ at the experience they had and that mostly the event is over, and most of all they are extremely happy that everyone enjoyed themselves.


Ngā Ringa Raupā

“We had more than enough hands to help out,” says Rangipare.

Laani also adding that, “our team was pretty choice, they would say what they were going to do and just do it and we didn’t have to worry about it. We could trust that they would finish it and come back to us when the job was completed,” he says.

A number of organisations were involved with the preparation Te Puni Kōkiri, Waikato-Tainui, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Hamilton City Council, Kirikiriroa Hamilton Māori Wardens, Wintec, Department of Internal Affairs and Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori.

“I think we did really well,” Rangipare says. “Considering in terms of project management sort of is a new space for me. Paperwork doesn’t really suit me at all, but you got to see the value of having good networks and meaningful relationships.

“People just came to support the kaupapa whether it was performances, vendors or just seeing our tari coming to support and the working group. Relationships were a huge part of the success of the first event.

“One of the key reasons I took on the role was because of the support from our colleagues and a shared whakaaro of needing to ensure Te Reo Māori had a presence within our community – that was the driver for me,” she says.

Laani pictured with his uncle, Jason Ake

Laani says despite initial nerves that it was the relationships that was key to the pair’s success.

“For us two being in a position of leadership at this level, it was a bit nerve wrecking and sometimes we were wondering what we were up to, but it was a really good experience and one that I was lucky enough to have,” says Laani.

“I think it was fortunate that we had the networks we had, otherwise it might not have turned out the way it did.”

Regional Manager for Waikato-Waiariki, Rachel Jones is extremely pleased with the pair who work in the Waikato office of Te Puni Kōkiri. She says its opportunities like these that allow our rangatahi to get experience under their belt in a supportive environment.

“It was a beautiful day, and these two were amazing. It was great that they were given the experience to learn and challenge their skill sets, to add to their kete. They will be responsible for the first ever hīkoi in Kirikiriroa – that’s a great thing to be responsible for,” she says.

“I’m just really pleased we could offer these rangatahi work experiences like this during their time with Te Puni Kōkiri so that we can be part of creating and adding to the skills of the responsible leaders of tomorrow.”