Te Tai Hauāru: Te Paepae at Womad

The sounds of activity and kōrero about raranga, mirimiri and tā moko filled Te Paepae during the Womad Festival in New Plymouth in March. Highlights were the poi making workshops, a hula workshop with Mana Māoli from Hawaii and a taonga pūoro demonstration from Ngā Tae. Award-winning young singer-songwriter Maisey Rika was the guest for the Artist in Conversation session.

This year Te Puni Kōkiri has, again, supported Tui Ora Ltd to showcase Te Ao Māori and support local iwi to manaaki manuhiri to Taranaki.

Paepae in the Park

Summer in South Taranaki wouldn’t be complete without the annual Paepae in the Park in sunny Pātea. Known for bringing free, top-class entertainment to the people, this year’s headline act was the 10 piece roots-reggae-rock group, Three Houses Down. With local bands included in the line up, a total of 14 acts and MC Boss Heke from Painted Black, entertained the thousands packed in to the town’s small Memorial Park.

At the edge of the park, under the shade of pohutukawa trees around 30 craft stalls and 25 food stalls plied their trade – some in the aid of fundraising for local groups. Deep fried taewa, home-made rewena, mussel fritters and slices of watermelon kept the crowds sustained while the music flowed.

Te Amo Taiao cadetship programme

Since the Te Amo Taiao cadetship programme began in 2009, initiated by the late Sir Archie Taiaroa and supported by Te Puni Kōkiri, it has clocked up some impressive runs on the board. The combination of intensive training, cultural knowledge and practical skills gained in the Hinengākau Development Trust’s business unit along with a strong drive to impress has made the Te Amo Taiao team a strong contender for Department of Conservation, Horizons Regional Council and Animal Health Board contracts.

Highlights last year were contracts to establish a mainland kiwi sanctuary and to develop the Kaiwhakauka/Mangapūrua national cycleway track. Both are projects that will support economic growth in the tourism sector during the recession and have put the iwi at the forefront of product development in the region.

The outcomes for rangatahi have been excellent. Of the programme’s nine cadets, three have gone on to further employment, one is at university and two are now in business together.