A Pasifika Interaction

Like everyone else during the Covid-19 pandemic we’ve been restricted to online hui, but last Tuesday provided us with our first opportunity for a kanohi ki te kanohi hui for the Te Puawai mentoring programme in over three months. For most it was  long overdue catch ups and stimulated some invigorating kōrero – you could just feel the wairua present in the room. 

This programme which began back in December 2019 seeks to equip rangatahi with experiences and networks that help them grow. It is made up of five different rōpū that represent different backgrounds and communities: Māori, Pasifika, Muslim, LGBQTA and disabilities. The diverse make up creates a fusion of experiences and teachings that help rangatahi expand their views and knowledge. Each hui is organised and hosted by a different rōpū, and this makes it possible for all of us to receive a first hand tour into their world. 

Our recent hui was led by our Pasifika whanaunga, and consisted of bringing both ourselves and our rangatahi out of our comfort zones and into their world. This started by easing us into it by treating our palates to beautiful island cuisine and delicacies such as chop suey, pineapple pies and coconut buns. The pasifika rangatahi – with the help of their tuakana – then taught us the traditional Samoan dance the “Sasa”. 

Reflecting on this experience I see how this new experience created a sense of nervousness among our rangatahi, and me for that matter. But I knew that if I hadn’t participated I would be showing my rangatahi that it is okay to avoid new experiences just because we feel a little nervous. So I took a deep breath and made the extra effort to participate fully. They did the same and the result was one of absolute enjoyment and an awesome sense of accomplishment. At the end of the hui we all learned a Samoan waiata about giving thanks and also performed this together. 

I really enjoy this mahi and this project because it allows me to witness firsthand the enjoyment on the faces of our rangatahi as they step into different scenarios, experiences and worlds for the first time. It also provides me with the opportunity to offer practical awhi, and to support their next steps so their growth continues. Next steps include having the reflective conversation around the Pasifika night, what they learned, what they liked the most, and what their key whakaaro from the night were. I also look forward to continuing to build our relationship with the Pasifika rōpū to share insights and grow the networks that have been formed through the project.

Original Text

A Pasifika interaction.

Tuesday the 30th of June saw the return of face to face hui for the Te Puawai mentoring program. A program that began in December and seeks to equip rangatahi with experiences and networks that help them grow. It is filled with 5 different roopu that come from different backgrounds and communities, such as Māori, Pasifika, Muslim, LGBQTA and disabilities. The diverse make up creates a fusion of experiences and teachings that help rangatahi expand their views and knowledge. Each hui is taken by a different roopu, as we are given a firsthand tour into their world. Due to covid we were restricted however to online hui for several months, and Tuesday provided the first kanohi ki te kanohi hui. This made for long overdue catch ups and invigorating kōrero as you could feel the wairua present in the room.

This hui was led by our Pasifika whanaunga, and consisted of bringing both ourselves and our rangatahi out of our comfort zones and into their world. This started by easing us into it by treating our palates to beautiful island cuisine and delicacies such as Chop Suey, pineapple pies and coconut buns. The pasifika rangatahi then with the help of their tuakana taught us the traditional Samoan dance the “Sasa”. This brought a sense of nervousness over the rangatahi and me for that matter. I knew however if I had taken a back step then I would be showing my rangatahi that it is okay to so, hence I participated fully. They did the same and the result was total enjoyment and accomplishment. We were also taught a Samoan waiata about giving thanks that is usually performed at the end of the kaupapa.

I really enjoy this mahi and this project because it allows me to witness firsthand the enjoyment on the faces of the rangatahi and step into different scenarios, experiences and worlds with them. It also provides me with the opportunity to offer practical next steps that will ensure their growth continues. These next steps include having the conversation around the Pasifika night, around their learnings, what they liked the most, what was their key takeaway points from the night.

In terms of communication, I would like to continue to build the relationship between our roopu and the pasifika roopu to advance those learnings and extend those networks that have been formed through the project.

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