Waikato-Tainui Rangatahi Summit

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Around 150 Waikato-Tainui rangatahi have gathered at Hopuhopu for three days of immersion in Te Ao Waikato-Tainui.

Conference organiser Johnine Davis of Waikato-Tainuis Tribal Development Unit said the Rangatahi Summit was part of an ongoing programme designed to motivate and inspire the next generation of tribal leaders.

We want to reconnect with our young people and encourage them to bring others with them, to re-engage with their Iwi and to play an active and positive role in helping us deliver the outcomes in Whakatupuranga 2050 the tribes 50 year blueprint for the cultural, social and economic advancement of our people, said Ms Davis.

A range of keynote speakers will address the young people including Tukoroirangi Morgan, Fonterras chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden and CEO John Hutchings.

At the formal dinner to be held at College of Research & Development the rangatahi will be addressed by Victoria University lecturer Ocean Mercier, the first Maaori woman to gain a Phd in Physics, and Maaori Televisions Julian Wilcox.

With more than half of Waikato-Tainui aged under 34 years and nearly a quarter being aged between 1524 our investment in our rangatahi is literally an investment in the future of this Iwi.

Rangatahi will take part in a range of activities that include tree planting at Turangawaewae, learning Waikato-Tainui waiata and a Great Race. They will also hear from a number of people who have built successful careers in business, media, sports, science and the environment.

The Raupatu of the 1860s instilled an unshakeable belief that our people are our greatest resource. Rangatahi are a vital link in the chain that stretches, unbroken, from our tuupuna through our kaumaatua and on down to our tamaarikii and mokopuna.

Throughout the three day event rangatahi will take part in workshops designed to solicit feedback on ideas and concepts that will then be used by the Tribal Development Unit in the development of an overarching Youth Strategy to re-engage rangatahi with their marae and their Iwi.

A Summit Debate on Saturday will explore some key challenges facing the tribe, including communications and what it means to be Waikato-Tainui.

This is the second Rangatahi Summit. The inaugural summit was held in 2007, where it was decided that it should become a regular triennial event.

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