Kia Kūrapa ki Tuahiwi

Kāi Tahu whānau at Kia Kūrapa.

Kāi Tahu whānau at Kia Kūrapa.

E te huka pikoko ki tō tātou reo, he mihi tēnei ki a koutou i tae tawhiti mai, i tae tata mai ki tō tātou wānaka, arā, Kia Kūrapa.  Ahakoa kā taero o Tūtekoropaka, kia kaha rā.  Tūwhitia te hopo! Okea ururoatia!

Another successful Kia Kūrapa was held at Tuahiwi over the weekend. For Gina-Lee Duncan (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Huikai) and her two children Kyra Robertson (13) and  Ricco Robertson (10) this was their first Kia Kūrapa.

Now based on the West Coast, the whānau made their way home to Canterbury in pursuit of te reo, but went away with so much more.

Te Rau Winterburn and Gina-Lee Duncan

Te Rau Winterburn and Gina-Lee Duncan.

“While we came here for the reo we got so much else – the whanaungatanga, the history, the connection with whānau,” said Gina-Lee.

Kia Kūrapa are marae-based weekend reo learning opportunities for adults from an absolute beginner level right through to intermediate level learners.

Friday night started with pōwhiri and mihimihi to introduce the many whānau who had travelled from near and far to increase their te reo skills.

This is the beginning of Gina-Lee’s reo journey, however her children have grown up  attending a bi-lingual unit.

“They kōrero more than I do. Kyra just represented Buller in Manu Kōrero in Nelson on Friday (10 June) and  although she didn’t get a placing I was so proud of her. They are both really hungry for the reo,” said Gina-Lee.

“So this was a really good opportunity to immerse them in the language at a level that I think is comfortable for them, but the most important thing was whanaungatanga and just meeting our whānau.”

The kaiako at this Kia Kūrapa were Te Rau Winterburn, Karuna Thurlow, Corban Te Aika and Kare Tipa – all of whom presented the learning groups with an array of activities, games and lessons at each level.

“The kaiako all had different skills and approaches, which related to any individual, which was cool as it catered to every kind of personality.”

This year’s programme also included an afternoon excursion to Kaiapoi Pā with Ngāi Tūāhuriri guest speaker,  Joseph Hullen.  Joseph provided an informative tour of the pā and an insight into Ngāi Tahu history in the area.

“It was awesome hearing those stories, going there and listening  to Joseph Hullen. He helped us envision the whole pā and all of the access points.”

Gina-Lee’s experience is just one of many shared by the whānau who attended this Kia Kūrapa. The next Kia Kūrapa will be held at Puketeraki Marae in September. For more information please call 0800 KAI TAHU and ask for Victoria Campbell or email [email protected]