Te Kāwai Toro – The proactive Māori development sub-committee of the J R McKenzie Trust

Each year, Te Kāwai Toro invites ngā kaikōkiri (groups currently supported by the Trust) to join the Committee and J R McKenzie Trustees, to an annual hui at the Brentwood Hotel in Wellington.

This year, the Hui Kaikōkiri was held on the 5th and 6th September and 12 rōpū presented an update on their mahi. The purpose of the Hui Kaikōkiri, as the name suggests, is centred on ngā kaikōkiri. The hui is an opportunity for rōpū to share their kaupapa (purpose, subject, programme), journey so far, successes, what they have learnt, and the progress made.

Te Kāwai Toro also provided an update on its mahi, and it was an excellent opportunity for the Committee, Trustees and staff to hear and speak with the change makers they had made a decision to support.

Rather than a ‘report back to the funder’ gathering, the hui was a time for ngā kaikōkiri to meet, interact and build strategic relationships with each other with the ultimate goal of collectively achieving Māori development objectives and succeeding as an organisation with a Te Ao Māori outlook.

Back Row: Tiaki Coates, Robyn Scott, Chelsea Grootveld, Melissa Campbell, Rachel Hoskin, Jennie Harre Hindmarsh, Cran Gage, Pikihuia Hillman, Kim Whaanga Kipa, Mateawa Keelan, Caleb Hulme-Moir, Ngatoia Skipper-Whaanga-Pincott
Middle Row: Joan Smith, Beverley Richards, Arapine Walker, Shayna Te Riaki, Dr Lily George, Maria Baker, Kirsty Maxwell-Crawford, Nikki Walden, Nan Wehipeihana, Jane Montgomery, Tori Levy, Jerry Norman
Front Row: Will Goldsmith, Shay Wright, Louise Ihimaera, Rāwinia Kingi, Karanga Kingi.
Also in attendance: Atamira Nuku, Karen Hepi, Deidre Ōtene, Annabelle Dick, Marama Tākao [not in the photo]

The innovative tikanga Māori-led thinking, with a focus on solution-based outcomes, was a major theme for the day – ngā kaikōkiri spoke about Māori development initiatives they’re leading such as; providing technologically-advanced learning tools and solutions for all ages – rangatahi to koroua and kuia – in rural regions/towns of New Zealand. They are boosting New Zealand’s enterprise and e-commerce ecosystem within tangata whenua to build the Māori economy, and implementing community-led health initiatives with a Te Ao Māori lense to improve nutrition education, and reduce the recurrence of Type 2 and pre-diabetes.

The two days of presentations provided positive solutions to the trauma that too many Māori are enduring. We were inspired and uplifted by their courage, experience and expertise, and at time tears flowed, or the room erupted into laughter. There was definitely Magic in the air.

E ngā ihu oneone, e ngā whatiwhati kō, e ngā manawa tītī, kei whea atu, kei whea mai, koia kei a koutou katoa
E kore e mimiti te puna o mihi ki a koutou i ngā kaikōkiri o te motu nei.