Toi te Reo | Toi Tangata Kura Reo 2023

This year, Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori was celebrated in style with our first in person Toi Tangata Kura Reo at Toi Oho Mai Campus in Rotorua. Held at the beautiful Tangatarua Marae, close to 100 kaimahi that work in whānau ora and hauora came together to enjoy three days of activities centred around reo Māori.

The first day focused on whanaungatanga, with Matua Eru leading the kōrero about the wharenui. Following that, there were loads of laughs and getting to know one another through waiata and whanaungatanga activities. Our Pouārahi, Ranginui, shared kōrero of the area and wharenui and following this, rōpū performed waiata. Kapa haka in the hauora sector is looking pretty good! Our new kaimahi, Te Aho, led a He Pī Ka Rere session alongside Pīanika, and Chrissy led an Aroaro a Atua session. These kēmu got the blood pumping in the late afternoon ready for a kōrero session night with Maringirangi Pohatu. She shared a beautiful kōrero about Te Tūakiri o te Tangata, an important kaupapa for us working in the health space. 

The second day was spent in noho akomanga, with kaiako in classroom-based learning. We had the privilege of having four awesome kaiako come and share their teachings and knowledge with us. Takoha Ropati shared ways around how to think about how we use kupu and expressions; Kiharoa shared his kōrero on Te Orokohanga o te Ao; and Arapine Walker and Mihi Baker taught karakia and kōrero through Te Ataarangi methods. That evening, whānau enjoyed a night of kēmu, rotating around the tables to play five different types of games all using te reo Māori. The team quiz got pretty rowdy! 

The last day of our hui was a great way to finish off our time together. Te Papa Tākaro o Te Arawa spent the morning taking everyone on a hikoi through to Whangapipiro. Being able to hear the kōrero of the area and also participate in the rock lifting that Te Papa Tākaro kaimahi partake in was a real highlight for those that went. We got great feedback that this was the best way to end the kaupapa. 

From the pōwhiri to the poroporoaki, the aim was to have a space where tikanga Māori could be lived and observed and to sit in a space where being Māori is priority. The wairua was definitely feeling great after seeing everyone come to tautoko this initiative, and also take some time to fill their own cup. This kaupapa is definitely something that is important for our own mahi and personal space (and right!) at the same time. 

Being three years in the making, this kura reo was designed in a way that kept a true Toi Tangata flavour with kēmu and kori tinana while encouraging the use of te reo Māori at the forefront. The main outcome for this kaupapa is connected to a desire to provide a space where kaimahi hauora Māori can be Māori, and where they can learn and grow confidence in reo Māori and tikanga Māori. This relies on those mātanga reo me ngā tikanga to continue to tautoko those who are learning and growing. This kaupapa is a way for the sector to give back, through reo and tikanga, to Māori kaimahi who have committed their careers to the health sector. 

The support of Hāpai te Hauora and Ngā Pou Mana ensured that we were able to commit to this kaupapa and ensure we could all come together to enjoy it. Toi Tangata is ever grateful to our supporting organisations, who we call whānau, that continue to support these important kaupapa for us all. 

Finally, to the whānau from Te Arawa that hosted, shared kōrero, participated in the activities, laughed, and led by true example. Being able to hold the kura reo in Te Arawa was a privilege. Thank you to all that supported the success of the first of, we hope, many to come. 

Toi te kupu, toi te mana, toi te reo, toi tū te tangata. Mauri ora kia tatou!