Ngāi Tahu youth on a hīkoi in Southland

Ngāi Tahu rangatahi (youth) from all over New Zealand will descend on Southland this weekend to take part in the first ‘Manawa Hou’, a four day hīkoi (journey) around local marae and culturally significant sites.

The hīkoi is specially designed to introduce rangatahi to their history as well as provide an insight into their Ngāi Tahu identity.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Mark Solomon fully supports Manawa Hou.

“It’s important for the tribe to support our rangatahi, build relationships with them and encourage their engagement in tribal activities, tribal history and stories – as they are our future leaders.”

Manawa Hou is a long-term programme with the vision of eventually having four per year in different parts of the South Island. Place-based learning will be the main characteristic of Manawa Hou, with learning taking place outdoors on marae and in other places of cultural significance.

The hīkoi will be led by eight Ngāi Tahu tuakana (mentors aged between 20-25). The tuakana will be supported by Ngāi Tahu kaumātua and Ngāi Tahu whānau.

Rauhina Scott-Fyfe is one of the tuakana and she is very excited about being involved in the hīkoi.

“I am totally stoked to be part of an awesome kaupapa, which supports our rangatahi to be more engaged with the tribe. We are lucky to have this opportunity to learn more about ourselves, our stories, our customs and who we are as Ngāi Tahu,” says Scott-Fyfe.

The third day of the Manawa Hou hīkoi, Monday 1 October, coincides with the 14th anniversary of the Ngāi Tahu Settlement. To celebrate, rangatahi will be treating their host marae (Te Rau Aroha Marae – Bluff) to a plant out and spruce up of marae premises.

Media are welcome to attend on Monday 1 October to meet rangatahi, tuakana and kaumātua.