Raniera Rewiri teaches the importance of tāne finding their voices

By Jessica Tyson

Raniera Rewiri, also known as Plant Based Māori, is teaching others the importance for tāne to feel comfortable to speak up about their feelings.

Over the weekend, Real Talk was held in Whanganui where six influential Māori speakers shared their stories, to inspire and empower others. Rewiri is the first tāne to speak at Real Talk alongside empowering wāhine.

During his kōreo Rewiri shared his perspective about how tāne struggle to talk about their emotions and feelings.

“Wāhine came up to me afterward saying that this would have been a great kōrero for their tane to hear but what I said was it was also a great korero for wāhine to hear to really try and understand or to get that perspective of how tane are struggling to find the language to what we are feeling," he said.

“So being able to speak to that really just helped to provide some understand to the wāhine in the room.”

Rewiri says the responsibility for tāne to speak up falls on the older generations of men in their whānau.

Bridging the gap

“We haven’t been equipped with the right tools or the right language, so I think when we say 'speak up or talk,' how can we talk if we don’t know the language," Rewiri says.

“This space needs to be provided and I think even just our papas, our uncles or even our older cousins need to provide that safe space or try and connect them to certain things because I think talking can be too much of a step forward. So we need to try to work on how can we bridge that gap.”

Rewiri says going through heartbreak and other circumstances led to him finding his voice.

“It got to that point where enough was enough and so I started to meditate. I started to open up to certain people. I started to learn. I started to watch Youtube videos. I started to go to seminars and that’s what provided me with the language and the confidence to really put what I was thinking and what I was feeling into a relatable way.”

For tāne

Real Talk was established last year to empower wāhine and for female speakers from different huarahi, pathways to share their message to other wāhine in the audience. But this year organisers wanted to open the space for tāne, Rewiri says.

“So I was fortunate to be invited to come into Real Talk and see all of the mahi that they were doing last year was something that I felt honoured to be a part of and, since going through it, it’s just a really beautiful space to be in some of the korero that comes out.”

Rewiri is the founder of Tupuānuku, a vegan market stall and catering company based in Whakātane and the host of a podcast sharing inspiring conversations called "planting seeds."

“There are heaps of variety of kōrero in there and then a kaupapa I’m currently working on now is called Te Ara Hou, which is an online programme that is just opened to anyone whois open to personal development, who is open to learning more about our emotions, feeling and our desires and dreams, That’s the space I occupy at the moment.”

Real Talk will next visit New Plymouth on May 22 and Nelson on June 19.