On Thursday 20 June, Whaaea Kahiwa and Whaaea Rawinia took seven Year 12 Maaori students to a workshop called KATTI – Kei a Taatou te Ihi. It is a workshop designed to help Maori students realise their own potential held at Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Mangere campus.

Initially, our Pukekohe High School students wanted go home when they realised they would be separated into groups mixing with other kura.  By lunch time our students had made so many connections with other students they were more than happy to stay – it was an awesome sight.  By the end of the day leadership qualities were oozing from our Pukekohe High School students. Charismah Te Rangi and Eileen Davis were the Kaikaranga (callers) of their groups, they had to stand in one spot as their group listened for their voice, guiding their blindfolded group who were carrying a blindfolded person on a chair around a little pond.  We also had Whitiora Purua feature in a video clip. Whitiora is a quiet young man from Pukekohe.  He does not usually put himself in these situations, and so being the main feature of their clip was very different!

The workshop involved a speaker, Toiroa Williams, who came to share his academic journey. Williams is a young 26 year old Maori man from Oopotiki, who has travelled half way around the world while being paid to do so and who is also currently completing his PhD. He spoke about the importance of real friends and whaanau. He exaggerated the fact that without these people in his life he would not have achieved even half the things that he has today. His journey began with his hobby of watching movies.

This workshop is a great resource for our rangatahi Maori.  The trip out of Pukekohe alone was eyeopening for them and experiencing another suburb like Mangere helped them to see that Pukekohe is a great place to be from.

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