26 Apr 2013

Hikoi aims to educate Ngai Tahu youth

8:04 pm on 26 April 2013

Ngai Tahu elders hope a youth hikoi to Kaikoura and Marlborough will inspire rangatahi to engage more in tribal activities and make them think about leadership roles in the future.

The hikoi (journey) is part of Manawa Hou - a youth initiative designed to pass on knowledge of traditions, history and stories to help young people from the tribe to get a sense of their Ngai Tahu identity.

A group of 20 high school teenagers from all over New Zealand will be mentored by young adults at the weekend.

Esteemed kaumatua Sir Tipene O'Regan says the young people are very keen to learn more about what it means to be Ngai Tahu.

He says a major part of the whole kaupapa, or philosophy, of the hikoi programme is to let the rangatahi demonstrate their capacities.

Sir Tipene says they aren't cherry picking any future leaders yet, but it is about creating a pool of talent from which the tribe can draw on in years to come.

The group will be taken on a trip to Kaikoura where they will stay on Takahanga Marae on Saturday before travelling north to Waikawa Marae near Picton.

They will learn about the tribe's migration from the North Island in the mid-1700s and the close relationship they have with the whenua and significant areas where Ngai Tahu settled.