Te Iwa o Matariki

If Matariki is the star associated with reflection, our connection to the environment and the gathering of people, then we have been fortunate to have had many positive experiences gathering leaders in our sector to connect with the environment through our Atua-Matua wānanga led by Dr Ihirangi Heke and Toi Tangata programme manager, Callie Corrigan.  The Toi Ako professional development and learning opportunities led by Hariata Tai Rakena and Jessica Meads have also allowed kaimahi from all over the motu to apply new learnings to their communities and their work.

Waitī and Waitā are the stars associated with fresh water and ocean water, respectively, and all the food sources within.  Waipuna-a-rangi is the star associated with the rain that falls from the sacred sky. We are exploring the meaning of these bodies of water, the whakapapa and life-cycle of water to the wellbeing of our own internal waters through Wai Ariki – Our Water, Your Future.  You can inumia te waikaukau ā ō tātou tīpuna at www.waiariki.org.nz.

Tupuānuku is associated with the fertile soils from which growth is nurtured and is aligned to our ‘Growing the Puna’ project which supports the growth of an emerging Māori food, fitness and health workforce either through our student internships or kaimahi mentorship and secondment programmes; moving forward, these are just some of our aspirations we associate with this star.

Tupuārangi is the star associated with the fruits and berries that grow atop of trees in the forest. With this star we liken the idea of identifying the sweetest berry to get best gains and in the case of our work,  it has been writing to the advertising standards authority on their review and supporting the policy drive of reducing consumption of sugar sweetened beverages.  Although there has been some debate on the usefulness of policy tools for Māori communities, it is rather obvious that picking the sweetest fruits will support a flourishing people.

Ururangi is the star associated with the wind and from an organisational perspective Toi Tangata will look to this star for inspiration to constantly seek out new winds that refresh our thinking and take us in a new direction.

Pōhutukawa is the star associated with guiding those who have passed on.  We pay our respects to the Māori leadership that passed on in our year, in particular, our former board member Matiu Dickson. Ka tangi tonu te ngākau, e te rangatira.

Hiwa-i-te-rangi leaves us with hope. As we reflect on the year that has past and the work that we have undertaken we look to this star and imagine. With this star we share our aspirations for the future, our aspirations for the year ahead.

Nā Leonie Matoe