June 23, 2023

Whakawhanaungatanga through Active Whakapapa

The Active Whakapapa kaupapa is bringing people together to learn local Māori histories through pūrākau (oral storytelling), while being physically active and present in the taiao (natural environment).

The hīkoi has brought hundreds of people together to share in this unique storytelling experience and is being used to support whakawhanaungatanga (relationship building).

“We’ve had a lot of success with schools and community participating in Active Whakapapa. This has led to several requests from groups like the National Placemaking Team at Kainga Ora, Healthy Families Rotorua, a group of Family Court Navigators, and Te Kawerau a Maki, who see the value in bringing teams along to share in this experience,” explains Mike Tipene, Māori Strategic Lead for the Healthy Families team at Sport Waitākere.

The passing down of knowledge through pūrākau is a customary practice of whānau Māori. It serves as a vehicle for sharing hītori (history), whakapapa (genealogy), and kōrero tuku iho (ancestral knowledge). Its value extends beyond storytelling, holding immense cultural, educational, and spiritual significance. 

“The groups approaching us understand Active Whakapapa is more than just a hīkoi. If we look at Te Whare Tapawhā, we can see its impact on our overall hauora (health and wellbeing). People get to be physically active, connect to space and place, and share this journey with others, strengthening whanaungatanga (relationships),” says Tipene.

Whanaungatanga is a central role in the Active Whakapapa kaupapa, Tipene continues. “People remember how a story made them feel and will share it with others. Some of our recent connections were made because people have talked about their experience of Active Whakapapa with others and connected them with us.”

Healthy Families Waitākere is committed to continuing this kaupapa, with the intention that more Māori and Tangata Tiriti (people of the treaty) have access to local Māori hītori and mana whenua are empowered to tell those histories.