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Papanui
Christchurch 8053

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June 2009

Hui draws rangatahi to Dargaville

After young people in Te Taha Maori’s Tai Tokerau (Northland) rohe expressed a desire to meet some of their counterparts in other parts of Aotearoa, the adults got busy.

The result was national rangatahi (youth) hui over Easter weekend that attracted 60 young people to Dargaville.

Rangatahi on a visit to Dargaville museum.

Tai Tokerau rangatahi coordinator Dorta Cassidy was one of the organisers of the hui along with Rachel Harrison and Stephen Cassidy. Dorta says as well as Tai Tokerau, young people came from the Tamaki, Taranaki, and Poneke rohes attended.

"We stayed at the Oturei marae and were very strongly supported by members of the local congregation, particularly Rex and Ihapera Nathan and Bella Ngaha."

Dorta says the hui was a mix of education and fun. There were morning and evening prayers plus story telling and dramas based on the Easter story. Other activities days included trips to places of historical and contemporary interest to Maori and the Methodist Church.

"We went to Kai Iwi Lakes, and at the museum we learned about the early Methodist missionaries James Buller and Piripi Rakena. We also had a trip out to Potou Point on the Kaipara Harbour. We visited the land that the local iwi Nga Uri o Hau got back through the land courts with the help of Rev Hanna Hauraki."

During the hui, the rangatahi were divided into four communities – named Compassion, Justice, Hope and Grace. The communities competed in sports, singing and drama performances with Hope taking out the top prize.

Dorta says one of the highlights of the hui was the presence of young people from Poneke rohe, the first time they have taken part in a national event.