Te Whanake - Our Blog
Te Whare Taikura o Te Maatu
On Friday 5 August, against the backdrop of our snow dusted maunga Pukeone, we celebrated the opening of Te Whare Taikura o Te Maatu with a dawn blessing and pōwhiri. The cultural center at Motueka High School is a significant whare to us and a place where both Māori and Pasifika will have their academic and cultural needs met.
It’s also a place where all Motueka High School students including Māori, Pakeha, Pasifika, and international students can celebrate diversity and learn about the rich history of the land upon which Te Whare Taikura o Te Maatu stands.
NRAIT member and former Motueka High School student Miriana Stephens told the story of our tūpuna and our whenua to the students, teachers, parents, and community members who attended on the early crisp morning of the whare’s opening.
“It’s built on land rich in Māori history, our history, and will stand as a reminder of the courage and determination of our families to take a stand and ensure the land was returned to us…” – Mirana Stephens
The name of the whare is especially significant. As you know Te Maatu is the garden and forest of the Ngāti Rārua and Te Ᾱtiawa people as manawhenua ki Motueka, so NRAIT is very proud to be involved in a project like this with the school and the other community groups that generously contributed to this project (these are listed at the end).
Earlier last year (8 May 2015) the founding partners came together to sign their commitment to the project. The school’s Māori head of department Hāmihi Duncan summed it up well on the day:
“It’s a space that has been put together by the community for the community.” – Hamihi Duncan
Te Whare Taikura o Te Maatu is just the second whare like this to be built in the region, with the other being based at Nelson College.
There’s still some final touches before it is officially completed, such as installing the carvings, but for the meantime the community is very proud of what we’ve achieved together.
Chair, Ngāti Rāura Ātiawa Iwi Trust
Founding partners: Ngāti Rāura Ātiawa Iwi Trust, Wakatū, iTM Motueka, The Canterbury Community Trust, Nelson Building Society and Motueka High School
Support and donations from: Ngāti Rāura Ātiawa Iwi Trust, Wakatū Incorporation, Rata Foundation, Internal Affairs, The Lion Foundation, Motueka High School Parent Teacher Association, Nelson Building Society, iTM Motueka, Konica Minolta and the Ministry of Education.
Focusing on jobs of the future
This month we launched our new education funding programme with a new focus – a focus on supporting education for jobs of the future.
Our scholarships are now more focused towards subjects in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and also business management related subjects.
For our descendants and for all of Aotearoa, STEM subjects are the future required skills and knowledge needed to fulfil jobs, innovate and create new products and services, but currently our country has a skills shortage in these areas.
Over the last three years the numbers show more graduates are completing their degrees in the STEM subject areas but there is still work to be done, so we want to encourage our rangatahi to explore these subject areas closer when embarking on tertiary education, and talk to the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust about funding support towards their study.
We also expanded the funding grant options to support all our hapū wanting to further their education and training that isn’t considered a graduate degree. Our hapū can now access funding support for trades training, te reo and other adult education, as well as learning support for secondary and primary school tamariki.
These changes are largely a result of what we heard our hapū asking for during our Project Ipukarea road show. You can find out more about our education funding here.
It is also encouraging to see the high school in our rohe, Motueka High, receiving a $1 million investment to grow the capacity of the school. This investment will see new classrooms built that will support new ways of teaching and learning, and will feature the latest technology infrastructure to support digital learning.
He rei nga niho, he paraoa nga kauae
One must have the right qualifications for great enterprises.
Chair, Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust
Our development manager Ivan Tava was delighted to be invited to take part in a recent rangatahi wananga run by our sister organisation, Wakatu Incorporation. The week-long event was designed to advance the personal and cultural development of rangatahi through self-motivation, outdoor pursuits and traditional values. Alongside visits to homelands associated with Ngati Tama, Ngati Koata, Ngati Rarua and Te Atiawa, it was a great opportunity for participants to get to know their tupuna and cousins and learn about their history against the wonderful backdrop of the Abel Tasman National Park and our Motueka homelands.
Of the 16 young men who attended the wananga, 12 were descendents of NRAIT, along with adults Bentham Ohia, Jarrod Buchanan, Kapahau Matthews and Eru Morrison. We were proud to be able to provide the group with our very own basketball-style reversable singlets that feature our homelands Te Maatu and Motueka. A special honour for NRAIT was having the wananga led by Ropata Taylor, a member of our Board and a prominent leader among NRAIT people.
Supporting a whānau class celebration
The end of year hui for the Motueka High School Whanau Class was a great opportunity for NRAIT to show its commitment to supporting educational achievement among our people. The whanau class is made up of 60 students representing iwi and hapu from throughout Aotearoa and includes a number of NRAIT owners.
The hui was held at Te Awhina Marae, with NRAIT taking the opportunity to sponsor lunch and breakfast for the students and staff.
Motueka High School also counts a number of well-known NRAIT owners among its alumni, including our very own Miriana Stephens, who recently featured as guest speaker at the school’s senior prize-giving.
Update on our superstar Tailah Love
I had the pleasure of hearing about one of recent grant recipients Tailah Love and his achievements in the States. His mother, and biggest supporter Trish informed me that he is doing really well and has 11 offers to attend university in America that include top universities Harvard and Stanford. NRAIT proudly supported Tailah to travel to the US and attend scouting camps and we are so happy to see our investment in his future has led to even more success for our talent Tailah.
Tailah has recently been nominated as a finalist for the Tasman Secondary school sportsman of the year. Unfortunately missed out on this award however I'm sure he is satisfied with the 12 awards he has recieved including Marlborough Boys College Sportsman of the Year and the Marlborough District Council Youth Civic award that is presented by the Mayor Alistair Sowman.
We are very happy that our financial support has helped Tailah achieve his goals and very excited to watch him succeed even further. Good luck Tailah from all of us and your NRAIT whanau!
Read our first story about Tailah here.
A chance to test their skills and nerve on a high-speed, high-wire obstacle course through the tree tops of Adrenalin Forest was just one of several highlights at a reunion event held this week in Christchurch for Wakatu and NRAIT scholarship alumni and students.
For NRAIT, the event was an opportunity to reconnect with our alumni and identify ways we can provide further value and support for them in the future. Of the 19 alumni who attended, 12 whakapapa back to NRAIT. We see these students as excellent role models for our young people and great assets for NRAIT in our drive to provide more support for our rangatahi.
A memorable and moving feature of the event was a tour around Christchurch’s red zone and the opportunity to witness the blessing of the Cathedral site, along with meetings with some of the local business owners, a number of whom had been through our Tai Wananga. The two-day event also took in a rugby game and a discussion session with Ngai Tahu’s social and cultural programme manager.
We look forward to picking up on the many ideas the group put forward to add further value and attract more applicants to NRAIT’s scholarship and grants programme.