Te Kauae Star Compass Engages Community

“When I look up at my tipuna, I wonder what they think of something like Te Kauae, and how things would have been different had the questions we are asking now been asked back then.’’

Māori communities in South Auckland met last Friday to engage the conversation around the possibility of having a Te Kauae Star Compass structure as a way of connecting and engaging Māori through the practices of maramataka.

A collaboration between Healthy Families South Auckland, Manurewa Marae, Manurewa Local Board, Time 2 Train and Te Puni Kokiri, the community engagement saw navigator Piripi Smith speak about the journey of the waka navigational compass Ᾱtea a Rangi Trust created in Hawkes Bay in 2017.

Whilst day two of the activation was postponed due to terrible weather conditions, members of the community, mental health experts and local board officials attended.

Mental Health Foundation Māori Development Manager Ellen Norman says she has observed a movement across South Auckland of people who are wanting to provide leadership around connection and identity.

“Here in Manurewa I see a movement of likeminded pākeke wanting to provide that leadership to our rangatahi, our urban Māori to our kaumatua and kuia here in Tamaki Makaurau and that leadership is around connection, identity, connecting with Papatuanuku, Ranginui and having our stories retold. I’m here to talk about all of that from a mental health perspective.

“I see the mahi that we’re doing with Te Kauae here in South Auckland as another part of that collective impact that we’re trying to create, that groundswell of knowledge, revitalising matauranga Māori and for that needs to be given a space and time in South Auckland will only help our rangatahi to reconnect to who they are and where they’re from.”

Zara Motutere says Te Kauae is an awesome opportunity to not only create a space for engagement, education and empowerment.

“It is also a step towards acknowledging indigenous systems of knowledge and normalising Matauranga Maori.  A space like te kauae will provide our whanau with opportunities to build solid relationships with our taiao and our hapori.  It will activate places, mobilise people and foster a sense of community ownership and pride.  Te kauae will trigger a movement towards a more sustainable future for Manurewa.”

Valerie Teraitua of Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae also says it was great to witness the beginning conversations of Te Kauae.

“It’s great to be part of Te Kauae Star Compass, the beginning conversations around whether the Te Kauae Star Compass is visible in our community, first and foremost it isn’t.

“I’ve noticed a disconnection with our whanau and who they are as Māori…I believe Te Kauae Star Compass would be a great way to connect them physically and spiritually. It’s about wairua, if our spirits aren’t well, then everything else isn’t. Te Kauae will connect the wairua through matauranga and sharing but also through the matauranga of the pou pou that creates the star compass and for us to connect as Māori,” says Teraitua.

A date for day two of the activation is yet to be determined.

To view photo albums of the morning session please follow the link: https://www.facebook.com/healthyfamiliesmmp/