Welcome to the TūHOE blog
Straight outta the valley!
Growing up in the Rūātoki valley, Te Okiwa McLean-Mika (Ngāti Tawhaki, Te Whānau Pani, Hāmua) attended local kura before heading to Te Aute college. In his final year, Te Okiwa was awarded prizes at the senior’s prizegiving including the Meroiti Whānau Whaikōrero Trophy and placing 1st in NCEA Level 3 Te Reo Māori. This laid the foundation for him to gain entrance to University where he chose to study a Bachelor of Māori Development, majoring in Media Studies at AUT.
Te Okiwa Mclean dropped into Te Kura Whare so we caught up with him to see how his studies were going.
“My goal is to become a reporter for Māori news, current affairs. Whether that be Te Kaea, Te Karere. I would like to move home and cover stories from around this region. That’s my ultimate goal, to carry on doing the same work but doing it back here at home.”
Also a keen haka man, Te Okiwa spends his free time with Te Tirahou where they spend most of their time practising their pukana, refining their haka moves and competing in sports days.
“There is a lot of Tūhoe people in Auckland, they keep you grounded. A home away from home. So Te Tirahou is a whānau where we can always get together.”
When asked what being Tūhoe means to him, Te Okiwa looks over to his mates sitting at the end of the table. Shrugs his shoulders and laughs.
“Being Tūhoe means everything, especially living away from home. But the Tūhoe lot in Auckland, it’s pretty tight...you may not have met them before, and then when you meet them, it’s just like you’ve already known them, for a long time – you just click straight away, that bond.”
At this years Te Hui Ahurei a Tūhoe, Te Okiwa performed with the Te Tirahou, judged the tamariki kapa haka AND filmed tamariki and pakeke at the ahurei, as part of his final assignment at Universtiy. Proving he has the skill to juggle his time and priorities.
Sitting under the bright solar lights of Te Kura Whare, Te Okiwa’s eyes begin searching through the window and I get the feeling he is getting itchy feet. I ask him about his hopes for Tūhoe.
“My hope for Tūhoe? A way forward. The Ahurei is a path for our ranatahi and taiohi to see like University students working on projects for the Iwi and for the people.”
...and you know what whānau, just recently this fulla scored his dream job! Tau Ke Te Okiwa!
Check out the footage he captured of Te Hui Ahurei 2016 here