Raukawa EMP Rangatahi Forum
The end of January saw a Raukawa rangatahi rōpū descend on Maungatautari. A key aim of developing Te Rautaki Taiao a Raukawa (Raukawa Environmental Management Plan) has been to ensure rangatahi aspirations for the future of our environment are captured. But we didn’t want to talk about the legacy we want to leave for tamariki and mokopuna without actually hearing their whakaaro first! The Maungatautari wänanga was one way to discuss and hear this kōrero kanohi ki te kanohi. A pānui was sent to over one thousand 13-25 year olds on the tribal database late last year. Twenty rangatahi took up the challenge and arrived at Maungatautari bright and early, along with two parent helpers, Environment Group kaimahi and Kuia Ruthana Begbie.
The day involved a hīkoi into the ngāhere inside the 47km pest-proof fence. In this setting, the rōpū got to hear and talk about the environment and the significance of areas such as Maungatautari to Raukawa, and the rights and responsibilities that are part of that relationship. The second part of the day involved a guided tour of the wetland with its amazing free ranging takahē and ancient tuatara. The rōpū got to see and touch the skin shed by a tuatara, as well as some of the 26 metres of poo that takahē do every day!
Then it was down to the serious mahi. Rangatahi were asked to talk in smaller groups and then report back about what kaitiakitanga means to them and their aspirations for the future of the environment. The final exercise saw everyone describing one change they would make if they were Prime Minister for a day – some inspired and exciting ideas here! All in all, it was a great day out with all the rangatahi saying they’d like to do more trips like this. The project team would like to thank Ariana Paul for leading the rangatahi work and Whaea Ruthana for her support on the day.