August 10, 2022

Active Whakapapa leads the way in West Auckland

For the month of June, hikoi (walks) were held in Orangihina Park and Henderson Park for people in the community and school students to enjoy. Across 18 events, each walk had the capacity to host 50 people and were all at or near capacity, clearly demonstrating the popularity with the people of West Auckland. Rautaki Māori for Healthy Families Waitākere, Mike Tipene Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, explains.

“Active Whakapapa is a site-specific storytelling experience, sharing the history of Mana Whenua while traversing the whenua. Through Te Reo, waiata and English, a recorded headset shares the history of the whenua underfoot, with pūrākau (stories of origin) generously shared by local Marae, Iwi and Hapū.”

“Alongside our partners and funding from Auckland Unlimited, we brought this experience to the people of West Auckland – reconnecting them to the place they call home.”

Organisations participated in events, with teams taking part in Active Whakapapa to grow their local Te Ao Māori knowledge. Staff from Te Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority, Te Kotuku Ki Te Rangi and Oranga Tamariki were a few of the organisations who took part.

Schools were invited to participate during the week, with many inquiring about when the opportunity for this experience will be available again, wanting to ensure every student has the chance to take part. Schools that couldn’t participate are also requesting further events so their students can experience Active Whakapapa. Henderson North School Principal, Irene Ogden, continues.

“[Active Whakapapa] is a wonderful opportunity [for students]. It links the wellbeing focus, the new history curriculum, and the local environment and is something families can replicate. There is a strong need to find out more of the local history, so children have a connection to their part in it, and hopefully, this will engender respect for the environment.”

Healthy Families Waitakere is committed to continuing the kaupapa, securing 100 headsets which people will be able to hire for community-led events in the future. The team are also looking at scoping for further locations to host events in West Auckland. Massey Primary School Principal, Bruce Barnes, explains.

“[Active Whakapapa] fits with our social science/history curriculum. The starting point is ‘us’, then our community. Active Whakapapa actively supports tamariki and akonga with this knowledge which we as educators do not hold. We would advocate for larger numbers so we can all experience this opportunity.”

The events were a collaborative partnership between Time Unlimited, Healthy Families Waitākere, Te Pou Theatre, Papaya Stories, Community Waitākere and Te Kawerau a Maki, with funding from the Local Activation Fund from Auckland Unlimited.