First Turongo, Maahina-a-rangi summit ignites thinking in rangatahi

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Eighty young people from Waikato, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Kahungunu attended the inaugural Turongo, Maahina-a-rangi - Leaders by Design Summit held in Ngāruawāhia this weekend. It's the first collaboration of its kind between the tribes, aimed at developing future tribal leaders.  

Te Ara Taura Chair, Rāhui Papa said, "The saying is, youth are the leaders of the future, I say, they're the leaders of today, because they must recognise, have their ears to the ground and understand now what's required to meet the tribes future goals." 

Interactive workshops, planning sessions and a panel of national and international motivational speakers, such as Jason Mayden media designer at Silicon Valley's Stanford University to ignite create thinking.

Participant, Marie Scott (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa) said, "One of my objectives and dreams is to learn some strategies used by these young leaders to aid me in completing my goals within health education.

"What this does is stir up the dreams within the heart.  Furthermore youth can get tiresome working among their own people.  I'm rejuvenated again in my work," said participant, Tiriana Anderson (Ngāti Maniapoto).

The idea for the summit came from visits made by the Iwi leaders to Stanford University a few years ago. The tribes saw the opportunity to bring experts of world innovation from the university to them.

Ngāti Kahungunu spokesperson, Ngaarauuira Puumanawawhiti said, "Like water flows and gathers, people flow and gather also. That's the essence of this summit to gather these experts and youth from the tribes of Maniapoto, Waikato-Tainui and Ngāti Kahungunu who've come together because of our genealogical ties and hopefully create tribal plans going forward."

Ngāti Korokī-Kahukura participant, Atawhai Edwards said, "If you think positively you'll have a good outcome, if you think negatively, a negative outcome will result.  In the end, what you think is important all the time, no matter who."  

The tribes will assess the pilot programme with plans to host more summits in the near future.