Pohe Awatea Stephens (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Toarangatira, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāiterangi, Ngāti Porou) is 24 years old. He graduated from Te Whare Waananga o Waikato (University of Waikato) with a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) and holds their Bachelor of Arts in Te Reo Maaori / Tikanga Māori. He is currently completing a Bachelor of Māori Performing Arts through Te Whare Waananga o Awanuiārangi and is employed at Te Waananga o Aotearoa, Kirikiriroa as a Kaiako tutoring the Level 4 Certificate in Te Puutaketanga o te Reo Maaori.
His passion is to retain the Maori language for our tamariki (children), rangatahi (youth) and future generations. He acknowledges Tainuitanga and service to the Kingitanga are integral to this kaupapa and he honours Kuia and Kaumatua (elders), marae, hapu and iwi for their support, guidance and commitment.
Inter-Generational Living – Whānau Ora
Multi generational living has always been an integral part of indigenous peoples throughout the world. More specifically, in te ao Māori the Māori world this way of life is the traditional backbone of our people. Whānau family, hapū sub-tribes and iwi tribes share the same concept where whakapapa genealogy binds us together in kinship. Inter generational transmission of knowledge is and always will be essential to retaining our identity as indigenous peoples no matter where we come from. I am fortunate to have grown up at the feet of many elders; their view of the world was vastly different to generations of today. They were vessels of immense knowledge, their stories, their histories, their cultural practises, their values.
More recently I lived in a whare, with 4 generations. My grandmother Apikara Te Kumeroa Haenga of Ngāti Porou from the East Coast, recently passed away at the age of 90. She lived in our home with my parents, my aunty, my brother, my partner, and our 4 year old son. This multi generational living was a privilege; further strengthening our wellbeing as a whānau, spiritually and mentally. She instilled leadership and the right to determine our futures, by looking to the past.
Me hoki whakamuri, kia anga whakamua
E moe rā e taku kōkā