Ki Uta Ki Tai: Toi Tangata Hui ā Tau 2024

We were thrilled to bring back the Hui ā Tau ā tinana in 2024, marking the first in-person gathering since 2019. This time we ventured to the picturesque Ōtepoti (Dunedin) in Te Waipounamu where we found inspiration at the beautiful Arai te Uru Marae, and reconnected once again with our whānau at Puketeraki Marae. It was a gathering of minds, hearts, and spirits, as incredible kaikōrero from across the motu came together to share their mahi within the Māori physical activity and nutrition sector.

We extend our deepest gratitude to all who contributed their wisdom and passion to our Hui ā Tau: Jack and Tina from Hīkoi4life, Vicky and Kane from Arai te Uru, Georgia from Pōtiki Poi, our very own Haylee Koroi, Brendan, Suzi, Sue, George, Elizabeth and whānau from Puketeraki Marae, Virginia and Jenson, and the team at Dive Otago, as well as Terina, Ngahuia, Rob, Ben and Mitch from Tangaroa Ara Rau.

The essence of our gathering was beautifully captured in the first two lines of a waiata composed by Waiariki Parata-Taiapa, which emphasises the balance and harmony between the mountains (uta) and the sea (tai). This year’s overarching theme, ‘Ki Uta, Ki Tai’, echoed this sentiment, embodying the intrinsic connection between the well-being of the land, waters, and its people – highlighting the significance of oranga. Oranga whenua, oranga wai, oranga tangata.

Day 1

We were privileged to hear from Hīkoi4life about their 14 year journey of establishing the wellness centre in Kahungunu; haukāinga of Arai te Uru shared initiatives on mental health through mahi toi and mōteatea; and Haylee Koroi delved into her recently published paper “Intergenerational Intimacies: A Whakapapa on the Conceptualisation of Kai”. The day concluded with Virginia and Jensen of Dive Otago sharing health and safety practices on diving, setting the stage for day two’s workshops.

Day 2

We ventured to the paradise that is Karitane for workshops led by the Puketeraki whānau and Dive Otago. Activities included waka ama, snorkelling, māra kai, and a hīkoi around Huriawa Pā, reconnecting us with the whenua and moana that sustain us.

Day 3

Led by Tangaroa Ara Rau, we delved into kaupapa wai, exploring our connections with wai and how it influences our well-being. This day served as a culmination of our experiences, as we reflected on our learnings and aspirations to take back to our whānau, community, and organisations.

Our kaikōrero and workshops were pivotal in exploring our responsibilities as teina to the taiao and understanding how our actions impact our environment, whakapapa, and hauora. Participant reflections further underscored the profound impact of our gathering:

“I learned how we depend on wai to survive and how it’s a source of inspiration for me. It was really eye-opening to think about my own relationship with wai and how important it is to me.”

“The wai workshop was one of the big highlights for me. It changed the way I think about wai and how I interact with Tangaroa.”

“I made a lot of connections with awesome people who are doing a wide range of inspirational things within their communities. It inspires me to continue to exercise my mana motuhake and pursue loving and serving my whanau and community.”

“I hope to establish a māra within my own hapū after being inspired by the māra kai workshop.”

Toi Tangata Hui ā Tau 2024 was not just a gathering; it was a transformative experience, uniting us in our collective journey towards holistic well-being and environmental stewardship. As we return to our communities, may we carry the spirit of this hui with us, nurturing the connections between our physical, cultural, and spiritual landscapes.

Our hoa,Te Kahurangi and Terina, from Tangaroa Ara Rau shared their whakaaro of our Hui ā Tau on their pae tukutuku. Read more about their experience