Reconnecting through Mau Rākau -Rongo Taua Trust

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Ko Aotea te waka,

Ko Taranaki te maunga,

Ko Ngāti Ruanui te iwi,

Ko Wharepuni te marae,

Ko Rongo Taua te Kaupapa,

Tihei Mauri Ora!

The first graduation for rangatahi on the Rongo Taua Trust Mau rakau wānanga was held at Wharepuni marae near Hawera on the 2nd of October, 2020.  Held over the first week of the school holidays, the Rongo Taua wānanga provides opportunity for over 50 rangatahi (tāne) Māori, to experience a Māori immersion lifestyle in marae living, tikanga and traditional Māori martial arts.   Mentored by matua tāne, Rango Taua builds identity for tāne Māori, strengthening confidence and wellbeing within themselves. Rongo Taua is a newly formed Taranaki charitable trust and development program designed for the purpose of reconnecting rangatahi Māori with their identity and culture.   Rongo Taua aims ‘to have our boys become better sons, better men, better fathers and better role models for their own whānau and society in general.  Rongo Taua engages with matua who volunteer their time to provide mentoring for young Tāne Māori.  Through positive tāne Māori Role models, our young tāne are re-connected to te reo me ōna tikanga Māori. At the graduation ceremony, participating tauira received certificates and performed mau rakau drills for their parents, marae kaumatua and visiting manuhiri, showcasing what they had learnt that week.  The event was well supported by whānau, the local hapū, schools, and community groups.  There was an excellent turn out to the graduation, which clearly highlighting the success of the programme.  This wānanga was the first of two Rongo Taua Kaupapa planned for 2020 – 2021.  The Trust aims to provide further support to tauira involved in the matua tāne programme, especially between wānanga and as they transition into different career pathways. This initiative was supported by the Māori Suicide Prevention Fund (2020/21).