First Tū Māia Ira taonga delivered!

Tim and Tayla with Tū Māia boxes

The ātaahua wahine here with Tim is Tayla. Tayla works for VOYCE Whakarongomai.  Recently she came and collected the first 56 ira taonga Tim carved for our care experienced tamariki and rangatahi.  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about have a read of this story here)

Yesterday a number of these taonga were gifted to rangatahi in the care experienced research group.  Here’s what Voyce shared with us about the gifting;

“It went so well! They were deeply loved by all of the rangatahi. Thank you so much! One rangatahi mentioned how much the taonga meant to them, having been pulled away from te ao Māori when they were put into care.”

We are away whānau! With your support the first 56 Tū Māia ira taonga have gone out to journey with care experienced rangatahi around Aotearoa. And the rangatahi loved them.  We know there’s still a way to go to reach all our tamariki but we are so excited that it has begun and that they are already reaching in to hearts. 

And if you are wondering, what is the Care Experience Research Group exactly?  Well, care experienced rangatahi came together with members from VOYCE and Auckland University to put together an ethical framework on how people, media, politicians, businesses etc can work with and consult with care experienced rangatahi in an ethical way. 

Too many young people were being hurt by their interactions as they felt used by, or not honoured by these interactions. So the rangatahi research group gave their words on how anyone can work with young people with care experience to make sure that the interaction is ethical and mana enhancing!

Working together they created this book, Kia Tika, Kia Pono – Honouring Truths.   From the website;

“Kia Tika, Kia Pono was co-created by rangatahi who are care experienced, staff members from VOYCE-Whakarongo Mai, and researchers from Waipapa Taumata Rau/ The University of Auckland and Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare, University of Otago (Wellington). It calls on adults seeking to engage with children and young people who are care experienced to ensure that their practice is tika and is pono: “the right people, doing the right things.” It also describes the elements needed to ensure that adults and organisations honour and respect children and young people who are care experienced and their contributions. Doing so requires processes that recognise these children and young people as expert leaders (rangatira) on their stories, lived experience and knowledge, uphold their mana, and add value to their lives.”VOYCE instagram post

How cool is that? A book written BY care experienced rangatahi to help those working with them understand their perspective.  

And that is who the first Ira taonga went to, the rangatahi who’s voices helped to create this vital pukapuka.  We couldn’t think of a better place for the gifting to begin. 

Kāhu hawk pounamu pendant

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