20 October 2020
Ōtāne based Tautoko Ratu is a driving force behind Raukura, a whānau-led kaupapa in Central Hawke's Bay aiming to strengthen whakapapa links through revitalising and growing ancestral knowledge.
Tautoko has spent a lot time listening to the community, old and young, and can’t stress enough how important it is to hear directly from people to understand their lives.
An increased sense of identity and purpose not only keeps our community in touch now, but has the potential to reach future generations of parents, grandparents and mokopuna.
"Hearing rangatahi share their lived experiences really helped us to appreciate their world views. Some are navigating difficult relationships, others are expecting pēpi and many are struggling to just find direction in their lives," says Tautoko.
Tautoko sees Raukura as a very practical way to address some of these challenges for young people.
Not only does whānau and hapū knowledge grow, but so does self-esteem and a sense of connection. By strengthening whānau to support rangatahi transition into adulthood, future generations are being strengthened at the same time.
Making community connections
Building relationships and working with others within the community has been key to the success of Raukura. This was evident during COVID-19 level 4 lockdown when Tautoko and his wife, Crystal Pekepo, joined other volunteers to provide much needed kai and support resources to over 260 whānau.
Support from wider whānau members and the community of Tamatea in sharing kōrero tīpuna and tikanga to support rangatahi has been significant.
"Building trusted relationships with our local community has been invaluable to the success we are seeing for whānau through Raukura, as it takes a community to raise tamariki and future mokopuna," says Crystal Pekepo.
A strong focus of Raukura is sharing traditional Ngā Taonga Tākaro with local whānau.
"We share with whānau the ancestral importance of play as a measure to build and develop motor skills for our tamariki," Crystal says.
A series of wānanga
Although some plans were impacted by COVID-19, a series of Raukura wānanga infused in kaupapa Māori, underpinning whakapapa wellbeing were held in the Tamatea community.
These wānanga were an opportunity for whānau to co-create and design meaningful legacies to leave their whakapapa in a healthier state for future generations ahead.
The wānanga included:
- Te Ao Hōu – a tangible blueprint for whakapapa wellbeing incorporating a variety of Taonga Tākaro and Māramataka Māori, Māori Lunar Calendar, to support healthy legacies for future generations.
- Tāne Wānanga – an opportunity for pāpā to come together and share their experiences of fatherhood and to design meaningful resources, tangible and intangible, that can support other pāpā through parenthood.
- Raukura Taiao – a tangible approach to kaitiakitanga especially for stay at home māmā to have time to share kōrero tuku iho and explore the natural world with their young tamariki.
- Wā-Hine – a kaupapa exploring the mana atua wāhine. Empowering māmā to navigate our forever evolving world utilising kōrero tuku iho through atua wāhine.
Tautoko and Crystal look forward to continuing to support and grow the reach of Raukura to ensure our whānau are well equipped with the tools to look after the continuation of their own whakapapa.