Te Aka Haumi o Tahu:a vehicle for connection

Mar 11, 2020

In November last year Te Aka Haumi o Tahu was launched to whānau near and far. This year, Tahu FM presenter Piki Skerrett-White is keeping his finger on the pulse by sitting down with Dr Hana O’Regan to talk about the hohonutanga and timatanga of our fresh new Kāi Tahu business directory.

Piki: He kaupapa nui te kātahi anō ka whakarewahia te waka, Te Aka Haumi o Tahu has been launched. It’s a new business directory created by whānau for whānau. The vision for Te Aka Haumi o Tahu is to connect, engage and give back by keeping the money flowing within the iwi. Tēnā whakamarama mai o tēnei ingoa o Te Aka Haumi o Tahu? What is the background of the name Te Aka Haumi o Tahu?

Hana: The name Te Aka Haumi o Tahu came up when we were trying to think about what an analogy might be, what a whakakauaki might be for this awesome kaupapa we are driving. We fell on Te Aka Haumi because of those words you just talked about – connect, engage and give back. Within Māoridom we always use ‘te aka kūmara’, right? When people talk about te aka kūmara, they’re usually referring to gossip spreading on the kūmara vine or how you get information from one place to another. It spreads like the kūmara vine; it’sthat idea of spreading out, connecting and creating new growth. So, Te Aka Haumi is playing on that idea of the vine that is covering the land, that is growing, extending and moving places, connecting people with other people. The haumi: I know haumi is used in all sorts of ways, you have your ‘homies’, but I’m sure they got it from us because when you think of the word and definition of haumi it means alliance, people that are supporting you, people that you’ve got with you on your waka. So, we like this metaphor, Te Aka Haumi o Tahu, because it says this is a vine that joins all the people that are like-minded,all of our businesses together, under that mantle of our whanaukataka o te iwi o Kāi Tahu.

Piki: Ka tika pai tēnā. Now let’s take it back to the beginning: where did this kaupapa actually stem from?

Hana: So, the first time I heard about the idea of bouncing the dollar amongst some of the iwi was from Canada. They talked about creating a tribal economy where you really work with businesses to support your other businesses. What happens traditionally with our money is that when we get paid, we go and spend it, whether it’s on groceries or petrol, or you pay for your house or your rental – usually that money comes into your whānau and immediately goes out. Often, they talk about one bounce – it bounces in and it bounces out. In one bounce it’s gone from your community. The idea within these indigenous communities was to try and keep that dollar bouncing within. How do you do that? Well you look at where your other whānau are that you might be able to purchase things from. That’s the idea of bouncing the dollar within the iwi. When we heard about this, we thought how do you do that? How do you know who’s a Kāi Tahu business? How do you know who’s one of the whānau? How do you know who’s one of your haumi? We didn’t have an easy way of doing that. Yeah sure, we know some of those whānau and some of those businesses, but we pretty much knew there’d be a whole groundswell of whānau who we might not know, but if we were able to connect with them, they would havethe opportunities to grow and ultimately, to help others to grow. That’s where the giveback comes into it. That’s where the idea came from. We needed a platform that we could use to connect people, make it obvious and promote businesses to ourselves. Just think of the benefits back to our own. We’re supporting our other whānau, but we’re also getting those goods and services we want to buy ourselves. We’re not missing out on anything. We are creating those links between our haumi, between our whānau and in a way we can support them to grow as well.

Piki: Ka pai. Now, hei tēnā kōrero. If I wanted to get amongst this Te Aka Haumi o Tahu waka, ki runga i tēnei waka ki te tautoko ake ki ngā haumi. How can we as a whānau support?

Hana: You have the power! Anyone can support. They can supportfirst of all by checking out this business directory, having a look at who’s around and to see whether or not you might like to connect with these businesses when you need something. It’s so easy to do, it’s tahu.biz, you can’t get much easier than that. You can go and check it out and the good thing is you can select your location or choose a service that you want and it will pop up on an awesome map or a list of the different businesses providing the service you want in your area. So you can support it by literally finding out who’s out there, getting to know who the haumi are within your rohe and the next time you want to buy something or you’re thinking, ‘kua pakaru te wharepaku i taku whare’, I need a plumber, my wharepaku has gone down, who am I gonna call? Tahu.biz! Have it at the forefront of your mind, ‘can I be supporting one of my whānau when I next need to engage a service or buy something?’ That’s how easy it is!

Piki: Kia ora, kia ora!