Wānanga at The Nugget 2016

Earlier this month and back for a second year, Toi Tangata held a wānanga at Waihi Community Marae and participated in the multisport event The Nugget. With a curious name like ‘The Nugget’, it is easy to be confused about what it may be. Starting in 2010, The Nugget is a yearly, epic, multisport event held in Waihi. Not for the faint-hearted, the event consists of a 23km road cycle, 10km kayak, 10km road cycle, 10km coastal trail run, 23km mountain bike, and finally, a 1km run.

This event provided the opportunity to engage in a range of whakapapa learnings and mātauranga while providing the excitement of the wero that challenged us to get on board kayaks, mountain bike over some challenging farmland and run across some stunning terrain.

Some of our Toi Tangata staff took up the challenge for the first time. Danielle Jones, who has been with the team for seven months now in the role of kaiarahi tautoko, shared her experience: “I’ve never really had the opportunity to challenge myself like this before and being with Toi Tangata means I’m really lucky that I get dragged along to these kinds of things. I didn’t realise mountain biking was in my job description, but I’m glad it is!” She enjoyed the challenge and took a few learnings away: “You think you know your co-workers… until you do a multisport event together. Next year, I’m packing more chocolate!”

Kaiwhakahaere Matua, Leonie Matoe, also took on the wero of the whole event: “The Nugget took you through, over, and across amazing terrain. All the officials were good sorts and even the road bike was fun. The challenge was knowing you had 23km worth of mountain biking after hitting the wall in the last 2kms of the run! However, there were times where just being present in the mauri of the environment was enough to pick you up and push you through.”

We also had whānau come down from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe, Taipa, Team Bros and also from Taumarunui. Erina Wehi-Barton nō Ngati Maniapoto really enjoyed the wānanga: “I loved it and I appreciate all Toi Tangata and Time2Train’s efforts in bringing us all together, allowing us to engage in the taiao and our ara tupuna in a safe environment and highlighting the whakatauki ‘kotahi te kohao o te ngira e kuhuna ai te miro ma, te miro pango, te miro whero: There is one needle hole which we thread the black, white and red together. There is unity.”

One of the highlights was the achievement of Whitiora Rolleston, who took out the title in the Under 18 age group. We are looking forward to sharing a bit more about his journey in an upcoming article. Kona Hippolite from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe was the only wahine under 18 to complete the whole event. We look forward to watching her progression in multisport events as she trains towards Coast to Coast in 2017.

A big mihi must also go out to Frank Haimona from Time2Train who was behind the scenes registering people, organising transport, handling the dynamics at transition points and providing a range of equipment. Time2Train is a business that is trying to make long term change for our people using events as the pathway. Frank is keen to “make events more accessible and easier,  breaking down barriers and helping whānau give it a go.”

If this sounds like your type of thing, check out some of these upcoming events: The Peak to Peak event in Queenstown, the Motu Challenge in Opotiki, and also the wero of Coast to Coast in Te Wai Pounamu. Toi Tangata is looking to align wānanga and professional development opportunities for kaimahi in the sector to these events.

Nā Callie Corrigan