Peter | Tokomaru Bay, Gisborne

“I tend to always think about my nanny. My mother passed away early, so I didn’t get to spend much time with her, but with our nanny, she sort of looked after us as kids, and had a big influence, and still does, to these days. As kids, she was deeply into the Hāhi Ringatū, which is like church, and as kids, we would also always go to these hui, the rā’s they called it, and we would jump in a van, and all venture off, sometimes in the early hours in the morning.

It didn’t matter what time, but we would all jump on this van, and we’d head out to wherever the rā was. That gave me an opportunity to travel as a kid, all over the place, to places like Wairoa down to Napier, and as a kid, because it was all on a Marae, we were living practically on the Marae which I hold dear to me now, just because of the values they had. They would whakapono to their church. It taught me things like whanaungatanga, tuakana-teina, how to live close to each other, how to respect manaakitanga and all of that. My nan, her sister was Nanny Ngoi, a song-writer, and she wrote many songs. So, we were able to soak all that up. There was just heaps of things that we learned as kids, just going on these little ventures with my nanny. To this day now, she’s a big influence in how I want to try and be. I also want to try and teach my whānau and be involved in that set-up as well, so that my kids can have the same upbringing that I have. They don’t have to follow it, but I’d like to just share that with them.

I think it’s really important to surround yourself with people that can be good role models. I mean, I’m not the perfect man in the world, everyone’s got their ups and downs, but being able to grow up with my nanny and them, they taught me how to be independent. They taught me how to cook kai, gather kai. All those things in life, it’s just life skills, really. It’s unfortunate that out there, there’s families that haven’t got the right role models, so that’s why it’s very important to have good role models, to surround yourself with, good vibes, good people, and it doesn’t just stop with you. That could be your whole whānau. You want to surround your whole whānau around these good people, and then for your tamariki, just giving them a choice, you know?  Show them what’s there, and this is a good pathway to achieve that. It’s really important to, especially these days, surround yourself and be close to people that are good role models, and are good people out there in the community. 

Ka pai. So, kia ora tatou. Ko Marotiri te maunga. Ko Mangahauini te awa. Ko Te Whānau-a-Ruataupare me Te Aotāwarirangi ōku hapū.  Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi.  I tipu au ki konei, ki Te Akau o Tokomaru. 

So, I like to travel around, I’ve been to a few places. Lived overseas. Hopefully whatever I’ve learned from there, I want to try and bring that home, that’s my goal, really. I love to do kapa haka. So, one of my mahi now is to help out our community or our ako, to continue their kapa haka here in Tokomaru Bay. We’ve always been renowned for kapa haka, so yeah, that’s just me. That’s a piece of my life that I wanted to share.

There is one phrase that a lot of people use, but our nanny wrote it in a song, and it goes like this. Whakarongo, titiro, kōrero. So, basically that means just to listen, to watch, and then to speak. So, the thing that I love about that, is that everywhere you go, you listen, and then you observe, so that’s where the titiro comes in, and then the kōrero is to bring it all out. So, you take all this in, and then it’s your chance to give back. So, in simplest terms, it’s whakarongo, titiro, kōrero, that’s how we can weave our way through this world. It’ll help, if you hold onto those things.”

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