Māori Language Week 2015


Māori Language Week 2015

This week celebrates the first day of Māori Language Week/Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori which takes place from July 27th – August 2nd.  The theme for this year is “Whāngaihia ngā mātua” – helping parents to pass te reo on to their Tamariki. This year’s theme is a challenge encouraging our parents to keep the language alive and strong by actively passing our beautiful reo on to the next generation.


Between 1920 and 1960 there was a significant decline in the number of Māori language speakers, today there are only just over 20,000 speakers who can hold a conversation about everyday things in te reo Māori. Our language is central to our culture and identity, and is a taonga tuku iho that deserves to be cherished and fostered for future generations.


Once again we celebrated the weeklong event by cladding the iconic Pine Man with a jumbo sized ‘Te Wiki o Te Reo’ shirt.  The Pine Man is one of the most recognised landmarks in our Tokoroa community and is situated on State High Way 1 near the Information Centre.


Our staff got the chance to get involved in daily competitions of mū tōrere over the week. Mū tōrere is a traditional Māori board game that originates from the east coast. It’s purported that in the mid-19th century Ngāti Hauā chief Wiremu Tamihana reputedly offered a game to Governor George Grey with the whole country going to the winner, but Grey declined.


Other activities included quiz games and charades. The week concluded with a bake off to create the best parāoa parai (fried bread) which included some with chocolate as well as mashed boil up to keep to the theme.


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Mid-Year Staff Day Out 2015



Mid-Year Staff Day Out 2015

Once again we rallied the troops here at the Raukawa Charitable Trust and set off mid-winter for our Staff Day Out!  Our mid-year outing provides our staff the opportunity to relax, regroup and refocus ourselves as we enter the new financial year which also happens to be the start of the Maori Lunar New Year.  We not only focus on team building and whanaungatanga, but we also celebrate staff success and achievement.


We arrived early at Tōtara Springs in Matamata and quickly divided into five teams – this is where the competitiveness kicked in.  Each team fought their way through a series of challenges that tested leadership, team work and quick thinking.  Over lunch our management team presented their business group strategy plans to staff, this gave the opportunity to learn more about what each of our departments will be focussing on over the next 12 months.


Our 70 plus staff work across five different towns, so this event brings our kaimahi together again – one of our staff members commented on the day and said “… the staff day out was awesome!! I enjoyed getting to know colleagues outside of our mahi and from different teams.  We should keep staff day out, as it shows us we are appreciated by the organisation we work for and it’s also an opportunity for staff to unwind and build stronger relationships…”


Whanaungatanga would be the best word to describe the whole day which was demonstrated by all and made the day really enjoyable.  Our next outing will be in the warmer summer months closer to the end of the year.


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Mucking in for Matariki

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Mucking in for Matariki

This year the South Waikato District Council and Raukawa Charitable Trust (RCT) marked the Māori Lunar New Year with a collaborative project that sought to improve our natural environment and bring our community closer together.  The project involved the planting of indigenous rākau to enhance the mauri of our urban environment at Lake Moananui in Tokoroa.


With gumboots, wet wear and shovels in hand, staff and community volunteers braved the elements to plant 2000 native rākau along the southern edge of the lake.  Once the planting commenced, it gave kaimahi from both organisations and volunteers the opportunity to work side-by-side (in pairs) to get to know one another a little better. The sharing of kai was another important theme for the project, so the RCT rolled up their sleeves to prepare a hangi for those that came down to the event.


We would like to acknowledge the Waikato River Authority, Mighty River Power and the South Waikato District Council for their time, effort and sponsorship of this marvellous event.  We would also like to thank our community volunteers, Richard Gaby and the Parks and Reserves team, as well as our RCT staff.


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MP pays visit to the South Waikato




MP pays visit to the South Waikato

Minister of Social Development and Local Government, the Hon. Paula Bennett, visited Tokoroa on the 26th February, and met with members of the South Waikato SST Advisory Group (Advisory Group) at the South Waikato District Council Office. The Minister met with local Mayor Neil Sinclair before enjoying an informal round the table discussion about the progress of the Trials with members of the Advisory Group.


The Social Sector Trials involve the Ministries of Education, Health, Justice and Social Development, and the New Zealand Police working together to change the way that social services are delivered. The Trials test what happens when a local organisation or individual directs cross-agency resources, as well as local organisations and government agencies to deliver collaborative social services.


The Advisory Group is made up of 16 plus agencies and interest groups, including Raukawa, that come together in a community wide agency approach to bring about positive social initiatives for youth. The SST Trails have also been extended to 2015.


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Raukawa Staff cross finish line to raise funds for charity


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Raukawa Staff cross the finish line to raise funds for Charity

18:47:53 are the magic numbers that describe the hard slog of hours, minutes and seconds that it took our team of 10 staff to cross the race line at the Taupō Great Race Relay. Our team “Raukawa Kool Running’s” walked and ran across 155kms of picturesque landscape to raise funds for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and to represent our iwi organisation at this special charity event.


Participant staff member Jess Karipa said “After we participated in the Tri Māori event at Karāpiro last year, we thought we would organise a team to enter the Taupō race….it was a well organised event and we all walked away feeling extremely satisfied with our time!”

In our last pānui, our staff showed their true colours by dressing in Pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October last year, however, this year they truly took it up a notch. The participants were supported by two “camp mothers” – Doreen Flavell and Donna Dean, who supported the team with meals, wake up calls, and a whole lot of encouragement.


Jess says that “…it was an awesome event where we got to represent our, iwi organisation and support a worthy cause, at the moment we are now planning to enter the Rotorua half marathon in May which supports the Child Cancer Foundation.”


Ernst Visser, our Systems and Database technician ran leg 5 and 6 of the race and started his run at 4am in pitch black skies. Ernst, an avid runner, says that “…as I ran around the lake with other contestants there was a part, where you enter the forest, the songs of birds filled the waking forest, it was great you could really feel the spirit of the whole event.” It was still only 6:15am by the time Ernst handed over the relay to the next competitor for their leg of the race.


If you or your workplace are thinking about getting healthy, team building, and supporting a charity along the way – then visit the following link to see how you can enter a wide range of great events – www.eventpromotions.co.nz


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Raukawa Environmental Management Plan Rangatahi Forum


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Raukawa EMP Rangatahi Forum


The end of January saw a Raukawa rangatahi rōpū descend on Maungatautari. A key aim of developing Te Rautaki Taiao a Raukawa (Raukawa Environmental Management Plan) has been to ensure rangatahi aspirations for the future of our environment are captured. But we didn’t want to talk about the legacy we want to leave for tamariki and mokopuna without actually hearing their whakaaro first! The Maungatautari wänanga was one way to discuss and hear this kōrero kanohi ki te kanohi. A pānui was sent to over one thousand 13-25 year olds on the tribal database late last year. Twenty rangatahi took up the challenge and arrived at Maungatautari bright and early, along with two parent helpers, Environment Group kaimahi and Kuia Ruthana Begbie.


The day involved a hīkoi into the ngāhere inside the 47km pest-proof fence. In this setting, the rōpū got to hear and talk about the environment and the significance of areas such as Maungatautari to Raukawa, and the rights and responsibilities that are part of that relationship. The second part of the day involved a guided tour of the wetland with its amazing free ranging takahē and ancient tuatara. The rōpū got to see and touch the skin shed by a tuatara, as well as some of the 26 metres of poo that takahē do every day!


Then it was down to the serious mahi. Rangatahi were asked to talk in smaller groups and then report back about what kaitiakitanga means to them and their aspirations for the future of the environment. The final exercise saw everyone describing one change they would make if they were Prime Minister for a day – some inspired and exciting ideas here! All in all, it was a great day out with all the rangatahi saying they’d like to do more trips like this. The project team would like to thank Ariana Paul for leading the rangatahi work and Whaea Ruthana for her support on the day.


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