Trust aims to instil sense of belonging

Published date23 March 2023
The enterprise recently became a charitable trust but during the past decade it has offered camps for youth to connect with the natural environment through a range of activities including fishing, diving, snorkelling, bush walks, kayaking, abseiling, kapa haka and learning how to make a hangi

Founder and director Stephanie Blair said this was all a part of instilling a sense of belonging from a Maori perspective.

During the weekend, the Trust celebrated its 10-year anniversary at Te Rau Aroha Marae in Bluff with about 140 people, including past and present rangatahi who were involved with the programme.

The ceremony started with a powhiri and featured a formal dinner, speeches and cutting a ceremonial cake.

The project focused on growing a passion within the youth to find out who they were and walk in the footsteps of their ancestors, Ms Blair said.

‘‘The heart of the project was mahinga kai [all forms of gathering food] practises and gathering kai and preparing it and then eating, so there is still a great emphasis on going out and doing the things our ancestors have done and those traditional skills, and passing on that matauranga [knowledge] to the next generation.’’

The Rangatahi Tumeke Charitable Trust had supported 300 young people over the past decade which was ‘‘rewarding’’, Ms Blair said.

‘‘I probably get more from them than they get from me but it is such a beautiful thing to give back to them.’’

The need became evident to Ms Blair as a te reo Maori teacher at Dunstan High School, in Alexandra, and teaching at...

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