Orakei Marae to host indigenous youth summit

By Regan Paranihi

The very first Te Ara Moana indigenous youth summit will be held in Tāmaki Makaurau next month.

This summit is a youth leadership initiative designed, facilitated and evaluated by rangatahi Māori.

The event is expected to attract 300 young indigenous leaders to participate in the two-day long programme which includes indigenous guest speakers, interactive workshops, and panel discussions.

Veeshayne Patuwai, director of the Urutapu Tamāhine programme, says, “We're really excited for Te Ara Moana.  We want to see hundreds of our young people coming together, learning and supporting each other in their indigenous identities.  Our tamāhine have put in a lot of work to pull this event together and I know that this is going to be massive."

Patuwai also says this summit is a forum to celebrate the many indigenous cultures here in New Zealand and feels their point of view can contribute to making the country a better place.

“We want to celebrate our young, passionate and talented indigenous leaders of Aotearoa. We have such a huge range of cultures here from the Pacific Islands, and all of our young people have significant contributions to make to our future."

Attendees will be given the opportunity in creative workshops to express their opinions and experiences regarding the many obstacles rangatahi face in today’s society pertaining to suicide, diversity, addiction, and bullying, in the hope of finding solutions to the issues.

"Te Ara Moana was the brainchild of our Urutapu workshops.  Our tamāhine wanted a space for indigenous young adults to come together, restore traditional knowledge, and learn how to use it to navigate through an increasingly difficult 21st century," says Patuwai.

“The tamāhine involved in the Urutapu program have delivered a number of initiatives in their communities.”

Tickets for Te Ara Moana are on sale now on iTicket.