Ngā Ringa Raupā - Kura Walker

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

A descendant of Rua Kenana who grew up nurtured in her culture handed down by the old people since she was a child.  Some call her Nanny Paraoa. She's a familiar face in the Papakura community, sharing the knowledge, sharing her culture, and sharing her rēwena bread with anyone and everyone.

Kura Walker spoke to Te Kāea and she says, “I was about 8 years old when my nan who raised me, taught me how to make rēwena bread.  I was a bit hesitant at the time to even touch the flour and other ingredients, because I thought it was adults work, but she encouraged me, and showed me how.

Well, I baked a rēwena and I won't lie, it turned out rock hard, like stone.  But she told me it was okay for a first time, it will improve after the second and third attempts.

I share my bread with my sisters.  They live here and are elderly.  I share with anyone who wants some rēwena bread.  All I ask is that they provide the flour and I'll bake them a bread.

When I went to teacher training at Auckland University, a thought occurred to me in my third and final year.  A friend and I thought about weaving, so we embarked on that journey.

Up until this day, weaving has been a part of my life.  I teach weaving in schools, kura kaupapa, bilingual, mainstream.  Teachers call me to come and teach their kids.

These things I do because of my passion.  I'm passionate about passing on the knowledge to our children and I'm passionate about sharing all the knowledge that was handed down to me and teaching to children no matter who they are or where they come from.

I will keep on doing what I do, because a hero’s work is never done.”