Life-long lessons learnt at Te Ara Kairangi youth leadership camp

Just over two years on since its Treaty settlement, Maungaharuru Tangitu Trust in Hawke's Bay has held its first youth leadership camp, Te Ara Kairangi.  It's a programme designed to develop strong leaders for a capable hapū of the future.

Learning to overcome their fears.  Activities that help build their confidence and leadership potential.

Renee Pahi says, "I got stuck at the beginning then the instructor came and helped me and I was so scared that I needed to go to the toilet.  I'm actually pretty proud of myself, I was about to give up but then I was like, might as well finish it."

It's the first time in decades that hapū have camped on Maungaharuru, sleeping on the whenua that was returned as part of their Treaty settlement in 2013.

Forty of their descendants made the commitment for the week-long camp to re-connect with their ancestral land. 

Te Roa Takie (Ngāti Kahungunu) says, "I'm really happy that I was able to be a part of this, because it's really helped me to understand how my ancestors lived."

Delaynie Henderson (Ngāti Pahauwera) says, "Being able to connect with all my wider relatives who I never knew when I first arrived here, but now I really feel like they are my family."

They're planting the seeds that will actively involve them with their marae and hapū.

Hori Reti from Ngā Manukura o Te Tairāwhiti explains, "One of the main purposes is to get our youth back onto their marae so that can help them achieve their goals and strengthen to connection to their homelands."

This week-long adventure for these young people will leave a life-long impression.