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Winter Community Newsletter 2010 - Youthline Marae Stay 2010

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Article Index
Winter Community Newsletter 2010
Therapeutic Texting
Measuring Outcomes for Young People
Youthline Teams Up With MyiD
Our Partnership with Massey University
Manukau Centre Development
Youthline Receptionist Goes To Outward Bound
Youthline Turns 40
A Young Person's Journey With YTS
Urge Interview
Youthline Alternative Education
Research Symposium
Youthline Marae Stay 2010
Epsom house
Youth Mentoring Is
Something Worth Reading
Clinical Services Integration
All Pages

The Marae Stay 2010

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi
- With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive


The Youthline Marae stay for 2010 took place on the 17th and 18th of July. This year was very significant because we were not only celebrating our 14th year staying on Te Puea marae but also Youthline’s 40th anniversary.


At least 100 people attended the powhiri on the Saturday, being welcomed onto the marae in torrents of rain, which cleared almost straight after the karanga finished. There was a huge staff representation on the day. It is fantastic for our new volunteers to see that kind of support from staff, particularly since the marae can be thought of as the journey to the center of the organisation – for many, falling just before they begin having their first volunteer experiences in “the hub”. Thank you so much to the Youthline staff for attending this powhiri and particularly to those who went above and beyond, offering support wherever needed – like a real whanau.


I was blessed with the opportunity to perform the kai karanga alongside Camille (Cherrill’s niece). This was one of the most moving and profound moments for me to be a part of and I felt so humbled to be involved in the powhiri process as a non-tangata whenua woman, with the support, guidance and teachings of those who are.

Inside the Wharenui as part of the powhiri, the mihi’s spoken were unsurprisingly very culturally diverse. Youthline youth worker Henry – Samoan from Wanganui – spoke in English, Youthline volunteer Phillip from Taiwan – spoke in Maori and longtime Youthline volunteer John – Pakeha – spoke in Maori. Followed by this, Kaumatua Rawiri and Jayne (as acting Youthline CEO) spoke to staff and volunteers. Both of their speeches were extremely moving, drawing on their own personal journeys and sharing from the heart with openness and transparency. This rolemodelling was much appreciated by volunteers, since they would have an opportunity to do sharing in a similar way throughout the weekend. Jayne honoured Stephen in his absence and his amazing leadership, and spoke to the role that Youthline has had in her life - really highlighting the varied ways Youthline has an impact on so many.


Rawiri shared a heartfelt story about the importance of whanau, and providing unconditional aroha for young people. He highlighted the organisations role in encouraging young people to find the ‘constants’ in their lives, things that will keep them going when times get tough. His question for us to consider was “what is whanau?”, and challenged us to help young people ask that question themselves when seeking support. Jayne, on behalf of Youthline, accepted that challenge wholeheartedly.


This year, the marae team consisted of twenty extremely dedicated volunteers and staff, led by Phillip Chao and myself. Thank you to the team for their incredible support: meeting monthly since February. The goals for the weekend as a group were to strengthen connections within the Youthline community, engage in thinking about culture and reflect on how one’s own culture relates to biculturalism and foster personal growth, self-awareness and resilience. Their tasks as a team was to organise everything from the registration packs (consisting of booklets of waiata, the history of the Youthline wananga and the legacy of Te Puea Marae) and advertising for the event, to seminars on bi-culturalism (including understanding tikanga and kawa). Also, a pre-wananga barbeque gave newer volunteers an opportunity to connect before the marae, learn waiata and the powhiri process.The marae team also volunteered to give some amazing workshops at the marae. These included poi-making, haka, pepeha and waiata, theatre-sports, providing lots of variety and opportunity for people to engage.

Another huge thank you goes out to Wendy who organised all of the amazing food including pikelets and cream, hearty soups, vegetarian curry, beautiful hangi and Pavlovas, as well as lots of fresh fruit and bread. Not only did this nourish our puku’s, but it’s been clearly explained to me (and sung about at the marae) that the kitchen is the engine of the whole marae. A common saying is, “if it’s all good in the back, it’s all good out the front, and everything, then, is all good!” Sharing food at the marae together is about cleansing tapu, and connecting over our commonalities, reflecting on our differences, and sharing nourishment. Thank you to Wendy, Cathy and all those that helped in the kitchen over the weekend.

Youthline staff member Julian and the marae team facilitated the Marae concert, held on Saturday night. Performances included haka, fantastic mc’s and music, funny skits, great songs, gorgeous dancing, “lean on me” sung as a group and fantastic fire poi. It really revealed the hidden (and not-so-hidden) talents of our volunteers and staff.
A signed book with heartfelt messages from Youthline was presented to the tangata whenua of Te Puea marae. Julian created a slideshow of photographs from the weekend as a gift to the volunteers and there were emotional mihi’s of thanks to those who have been touched by the weekend, for those who led, and those who put their hearts out there over the weekend.


Where to now? I have thoughts of turning the marae team into  a “biculturalism team” –  providing opportunities to take the marae organizing one step further, such as learning Te Reo (mihi’s, karanga’s, karakia’s), poi, and waiata. This would include better understanding concepts unique to Maori culture and their mental health models. Perhaps most importantly, we would look at ways to strengthen our special connection with Te Puea marae, such as offering our help to them and perhaps volunteering in areas with high Maori populations. The goal is that each marae is a unique experience, giving opportunities for young leaders to step up, and creatively foster bi-culturalism as a way to engage and empower our communities.

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people! It is people! It is people!


Written by Morgyn Hartdegen