On 12 December the Waikato Wellbeing Project team, manu taki, kaitiaki and partners joined together with Rahui Pookeka Water Sports to undertake a tira hoe journey from Turangawaewae Marae to near Waahi Pa at Rahui Pookeka | Huntly.
The purpose of the tira hoe was for us to all gain a deeper and better appreciation of the Te Ao Māori dimensions to wellbeing in the Waikato, to better appreciate te mana o te awa, and how it forms the backbone for any conversation about cultural environmental, social, economic wellbeing in the Waikato region.
With guidance from our kaiārahi Hakopa Ngapo of Rahui Pookeka Water Sports, Norm Hill WWP cultural advisor and Ameria McGarvey from Te Puni Kokiri, we were honoured to gain a much deeper appreciation of the history and significance of the landmarks and places on the river.
As we were on two waka ama, we also engaged in some friendly competition, with team whero prevailing over team kakariki. This was a wonderful opportunity for the WWP roopu to come together in person and work together to achieve a shared set of goals. In many ways, this was a great expression of the tikanga of the WWP and the partnerships expressed in SDG 17.
As well as the team from Rahui Pookeka Water Sports, we were grateful to have the support of Ebbett Toyota who kindly provided use of their people mover (The Ebbett Toyota Community Moover aims to help in their big backyard. | Ebbett Group Dealerships).