Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Orini ki Ngāti Awa is proud to support its students Miriama Taumataoioi Himiona and Ipo Umuhuri, in their plans to travel to Belgium, Germany in September as part of Te Hokowhitu a Tumatauenga Pilgrimage Tour, where they will take part in a commemoration for WW1 Māori soldiers.  Tumuaki Taiarahia Melbourne recognises the opportunity for the students to explore their own whānau histories as descendants of veterans, alongside other whānau of Tuhoe and learn of the culture and histories of the people and lands they fought for and against. 

 “Miriama and Ipo are hardworking students, and this trip is an excellent opportunity that they will be able to both contribute to and learn from. The learnings they gain will be able to be shared with other students, whānau and iwi and will provide the work they do in the future, with context that is shaped by a wider world view”. There are 10 selected commemorations that the group will participate in, including visits to areas that their forefathers fought in and their final resting places. The students are also expected to speak at a number of venues. Grandparent and Founder of the kura Nuki Maxwell, who will be accompanying the students, says one of the aims of the trip is to “put a face to those of our people that did not come home after the war”. Another is the focus on the WW1 Maori Pioneers. 

 “It is a good opportunity to place importance on the memory of WW1 Maori Pioneers. We hope this would be continued back home through the revival and the implementation of the Armistice which came about because of our WW1 veterans”. The trio is currently approaching whānau, community organisations and land trusts that they are affiliated to. Taiarahia Melbourne says some financial assistance has been provided for the trip, but the onus is on the students to come up with remaining travel costs.  “Please support our students. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that is dependant on the assistance of the wider community”. 

To help make a difference email Taiarahia Melbourne taiarahia.melbourne@tkkmteorini.school.nz

Miriama Taumataoioi Himiona, Nuki Maxwell, Ipo Umuhuri