by Helen Martin
Prevented from having their usual bi-monthly hui by the lockdowns, kaumatua and kuia from Wellsford, Kaiwaka, Kaukapakapa, Helensville and Parakai, some in their nineties, were happy to be out enjoying their day at an October hui at Kaukapakapa Bowling Club. This was part of an event that, for the past two years, has seen South Kaipara kaumatua and kuia come together in the spirit of whanaungatanga under the umbrella of the Ngati Whâtua organisation Te Ha Oranga, which is a mobile nursing service funded through the District Health Board providing health and wellbeing services to people, regardless of nationality, within the Ngati Whatua rohe.
While one speaker joked that “It’s all about the kai” the manaakitanga was many layered.
In her korero, Wellsford based Tamariki Ora nurse, Whaea Judy Kennedy, who says that loneliness and isolation have been particularly bad this year for many of their clients, reminded people that support was always available and they could call any time. Music and song percolated through the day, the highlight of which was provided by a series of wonderful, energetic kapa haka performed by Kaukapakapa School, with most of its students, from tiny to tall, taking part. Teacher Ben Bradley, whose hard work and dedication ensures that kapa haka is an important part of the school’s culture, said he was grateful for the opportunity to perform, and that a loving audience “brings out the best in the tamariki.”
“Without Kaukapakapa Bowling Club there would be nowhere to have this event. We’re very grateful to them for providing the venue in return for a koha,” said organiser Whaea Cath Rameka, who works for Te Ha Oranga in Helensville as Whanau ora Kaimanaaki.