TangataWhenua.com Issue 7 Editorial

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We honour our beautiful Maori people

He honore he kororia he maunga rongo ki te whenua
He whakaaro pai ki nga iwi katoa

Before we start, our whanau here at TangataWhenua.com want to mihi to all those visionaries who have passed from our lives recently – they who gave us reason to smile and to laugh, who challenged and supported our own journeys, who gave us life and who added love to the days and nights we all shared together. We won’t forget the light you brought to our lives and will continue to nurture the living legacy you have left behind. Moe mai ra.

When I leave a tangihanga, my shoulders always feel a little down, my sadness a little deeper than any other day. It does make you celebrate the life of that person who has passed yet at the same time, it urges you to live every day to the fullest.

With that said, we would like to thank you all for supporting our efforts this year and over the past 6 years. It has been an immense pleasure to work with so many amazing groups, talented hapu leaders and mana Maori roopu from all over. It was a pleasure to visit whanau in the Gold Coast, from Noosa to Brisbane to Burleigh Heights, and to hear why so many Maori move to Australia, to the UK, to Asia.

It was also inspiring to attend events where the next generation are the focus. From music festivals to art displays, dance competitions to hui discussing how to support rangatahi. We were saddened to see the end of Taiohi magazine but encouraged to witness the amount of Maori youth programming on TV. Who knows what opportunities will come now that Digital TV is about to be the standard (more channels = maori Maori shows?).

As a young person, I have appreciated the efforts of many community leaders who have stepped up to help find solutions to the complex problems we are all facing. Each community is unique but some of the issues are shared and 2009 brought many of those cyclical problems into the light of day. We will continue to open dialogue and share information with all who want to make our country a better place.

Speaking of better place, does anyone have information of the ETS and its potential impacts on Maori? We have listened intently but still feel we need to learn more. Any advice appreciated.

Last week saw Te Waka Awhina, a gathering of Maori who work in local and regional councils at Tangatarua Marae in Rotorua. We heard that there could be as many as 18,000 Maori Council workers throughout the country, which is an impressively staggering number. Many thanks to the Rotorua District Council for hosting such a brilliant 4 days, to Keneti Keneti and Mauriora Kingi for providing exceptional cultural guidence and to Bella Tait and team for their hospitality and for providing a broad range of speakers and experiences.

Also on Saturday, a small hui was called to discuss Wairua called Te Waka Whakapono. It was an eye-opening wananga where elder leaders of faith came together to look at how common ground could be created for Maori to collectively address some of the issues we all face. Many of us agree that often, it is the wairua that is missing yet in the larger scheme of things, what does that mean? Is it missing or are we too busy to understand the fullness of what is occuring? What I enjoyed was the positive passion from those gathered, raising issues that will be addressed in the near future.

On a personal note, our babies have come down with Hand Foot & Mouth (HFM) disease, which is a cross between school sores and chicken pox. It is infectious to other little people, so we’re keeping them home while they get better.

I have also been asked to briefly look ahead to 2010. Our plans are:

  • To continue updating TanagataWhenua.com 2.0 with positive Maori news, challenging Maori views and to keep exchanging panui from all over the world;
  • To publish RANGIKAINGA regularly, with shorter panui but more indepth reports on topical Maori issues;
  • To support innovative Maori projects like Google Aotearoa and Te Huarahi Tika Trust;
  • To utilise our skill in promoting Maori movies like BOY from Taika Waititi, dance competitions like Dream It Live It (18Dec/Rotorua) and to continue developing essential Communication Systems for Maori organisations;
  • To enter the connections business here in Rotorua by developing a Wi-Max broadband network with a range of must-have services;
  • And to break the mould by pioneering new initiatives in ICT that will directly benefit Maori. We have ideas like Cellphone Application Workshops, Online Matariki Events, creating a Maori-focused Social Networking Site and even visiting Schools to encourage students to consider ICT careers.

If you have any ideas about what you want to see us do in the new year, please send a message to potaua@tangatawhenua.com and we will get started.

Again, many thanks for your support and we have appreciated you clicking in to what we have to say/tuhi tuhi every day, every week and every month.

Our values remain AROHA, WHAKAPONO, WHAKAMARAMA and it is toward a brighter future that we steer our waka. Please keep connected, please keep sharing and please remember all those who have left us and made such a massive impact on us today and into the future.

Arohatinonui ki a tatou te whanau,

Potaua, Nikolasa, Atutahi & Hiona
TangataWhenua.com

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