Kaumatua and Tamariki at Tahuna Pa

We returned to Tahuna Pa near Waiuku recently, to have lunch with Moea Minhinnick, her daughters and mokopuna. We picked up two special kaumatua on the way: Joan Macdonald, elder of the Tamaki Treaty Network and indefatigable worker for social justice and peace, and George Flavell, Ngati Te Ata kaumatua historian and environmental kaitiaki from Waiuku.

Tanya, Nganeko, Joan, George, Charmaine at Tahuna Pa

Tanya, Nganeko, Joan, George, Charmaine at Tahuna Pa

We were joined at Moea’s place by her mother Kahurangi Nganeko Minhinnick, who updated us on one of the many issues still causing the iwi concern – another attempt by NZ Steel to mine known sacred burial areas at Maioro.  (In 1990, the tribe occupied the entry to the mine site at Maioro to stop the mining after koiwi were found there. How often do they have to go on fighting this issue? How would we feel if someone were wanting to mine our family cemetery for money?)

As well as whanau and political updates, we were unexpectedly treated to a tamariki concert at the end of a school holiday programme on the marae. A very joyful occasion organised by the young people themselves, involving tamariki from pre-school to teenage years. The organisers had created such a safe and special environment that the young people were able to step forward and perform with skill and confidence.11-preteens 10-babies 09-youngsters

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