Reflecting on WHĀRIKIx 2024: A Gathering of Minds, Wairua, and Aspirations

Phoenix Ruka
April 19, 2024

Kia ora e te iwi,

Ko tēnei te wā whaiwhakaaro mō WHĀRIKIx 2024: He hui ā-hinegaro, ā-wairua, ā-wawata hoki! As the dust settles on an unforgettable kaupapa, we're taking a moment to reflect on the magic that unfolded at Waitangi. It was a day where inspiration flowed as freely as the kāwhe from our gifted kapu, and the air buzzed with the energy of whakawhanaungatanga, and shared aspirations.

The Lead-Up: A Collective Dream Realised

The haerenga to WHĀRIKIx was nothing short of kotahitanga - a collective dream brought to life by our dedicated tīma. From the meticulous planning stages to the final touches that transformed the space into a whare of inspiration, every element was crafted with manaakitanga and a deep respect for our kaupapa. Our mini Mākete (Market), featuring local Māori pakihi, demonstrates the vibrant entrepreneurial wairua within our hapori, offering attendees a chance to tautoko and connect with local pakihi.

Some of Whāriki Te Tai Tokerau Kaimahi and Board Members

A Day of Inspiration and Connection

As the day progressed, kua kī katoa ngā tūru! every seat filled, and the atmosphere charged with anticipation, our kaikōrero took the stage. Their kōrero, rich with mātauranga and insight, captivated us all, leaving us with golden nuggets of knowledge to carry forward. The taonga (gift packs), prepared by our tīma, became vessels of inspiration, with attendees eagerly jotting down notes, moemoeā, and key takeaways.

Gift Pack Taonga

The kai served throughout the day was a highlight in itself - healthy, beautifully presented, and absolutely reka! It kept our manuhiri coming back for more.

Morning Tea Kai
Morning Tea Kai
Spoilt for choice!

Insights Unveiled: Reflections from Whāriki Te Tai Tokerau Board Members and Kaimahi

The Power of Mana Motuhake in Business

Missy Armstrong's reflections illuminated the essence of resilience and leadership inherent in our people. Business, as she articulated, is a vessel for Māori to forge mana motuhake, creating not just economic independence but a legacy of wealth for our hapori. It's a platform where our cultural identity and values shine, integrating traditional practices into our ventures and contributing to a robust economy. This entrepreneurial wairua is a testament to our capacity to uplift our reo, culture, and tikanga, ensuring they thrive for generations to come.

Missy Armstrong

Vision, Authenticity, and the Essence of Self-Care

Our kaimahi shared profound takeaways that resonate deeply with our haerenga in Te Ao Māori, pakihi, and beyond. The importance of a clear vision, the power of authenticity, surrounding yourself with successful people, and the non-negotiable need for self-care were highlighted as pou (pillars) for success. These insights remind us that our endeavours should be rooted in genuine connections and a holistic approach to our hauora (well-being), ensuring we and our teams are nurtured on this haerenga.

Summer Pocklington: Event Manager
Stuart Selkirk: Kaiurungi / Project Lead
James Davis-Sigley: Kaiwhakatairangi / Marketing
Shilane Shirkey: Kaiārahi / Business Navigator

Celebrating Our Successes and Valuing Our Worth

The kōrero around celebrating our achievements and knowing our worth sparked meaningful kōrero. Heeni's insights, paired with the wisdom of our tūpuna, challenge us to proudly acknowledge our successes, breaking free from the shadows of humility that often hold us back. Heeni made reference to the whakataukī, "E kore te kūmara e kōrero ana mō tōna ake reka" – the kūmara does not speak of its own sweetness. This whakataukī reminds us of the humility inherent in our culture, yet it's time we embrace a shift in perspective. Saying 'kao' to silence, we must ask ourselves, if we do not acknowledge and celebrate our own achievements, who will? This mindset shift is crucial in dismantling the tall poppy syndrome and embracing the fullness of our excellence. Miraka’s emphasis on self-celebration and the importance of valuing our mātauranga and efforts reinforces this narrative, urging us to tū rangatira ai (stand tall) in our achievements and contributions.

Heeni Hoterene
Miraka Davies

As we reflect on the richness of WHĀRIKIx, let's carry these insights forward with intention. They are not just lessons but guiding stars for our personal and professional lives, urging us to navigate our huarahi with confidence, authenticity, and a deep sense of community. The haerenga ahead is bright, and together, we can forge a future that honours our past while boldly embracing the possibilities that lie ahead.

“He waka eke noa” – we are all in this together! Let's paddle forward with the strength, wisdom, and unity that WHĀRIKIx has reignited within us.

Our Kaikōrero

An Evening to Remember

The day's mauri seamlessly transitioned into an evening of relaxation and celebration at Zane Grey's Restaurant. Under the glow of the setting sun and the shelter of large umbrellas, our guests enjoyed an atmosphere of simplicity, elegance, and cultural beauty. The local band, The Legacy Band, provided the perfect soundtrack to an evening of katakata, kanikani, and further hononga.

Our kai for the evening was nothing short of spectacular, with starters, mains, and desserts that delighted every palate. The clinking of glasses and the excellent service added to the sense of manaakitanga that enveloped the evening.

The Wairua of WHĀRIKIx

Chook Henare from NZME captured the essence of WHĀRIKIx, saying, "From the time I arrived, I felt the wairua of the kaupapa." She also highlighted the diverse and engaging lineup of kaikōrero who, despite their humility and humour, left a significant mark on even the most discerning of critics. The energy and seamless transitions provided by our MCs added to the vibrancy of the day, creating an atmosphere where every attendee felt both inspired and special.

The concept of manaakitanga, as noted by Chook, shone brightly throughout WHĀRIKIx, from the timely breaks to the first-class kai served at dinner. The venue, set against the backdrop of a setting sun, offered a breathtaking scene for continued kōrerorero and whakawhanaungatanga, albeit a tad chilly as the evening wore on

This attention to detail and care for the attendees' experience underscored the essence of manaakitanga that defines us. The echoes of our hui still resonate, enriched by the voices of our partners and attendees. Their insights not only celebrate the event's triumphs, but also offer a unique lens through which to appreciate the day's impact.

Our MCs: Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha and Kawiti Waetford
Ngāti Rangi Hapū: Waiwhariki Mānuka/Mānuka oil product range
Arahia Mahanga: PUHI Designs -Māori Designed Earrings
Kōrari Enterprise: eco-friendly paper for business cards, product wrapping, and printing paper -
Nga Designz: Mahi toi/artwork
Ethnicare: Luxurious Handmade Soaps
Solid Kākahu: Kākahu/T-shits made in 5XL, 6XL and 7XL sizes
Wikitoria Tawhara Makiha: He Pātaka Iringa Kōrero: He Kete Kohinga -
Anne Hui: Mahi Toi Peita

A Community of Inspiration

Feedback from attendees, as highlighted by Chook Henare, pointed to The Sandman as a favourite kaikōrero, emphasising the event's ability to resonate on multiple levels. This reflection brings to light the broader theme that emerged from WHĀRIKIx: “My biggest takeaway? Pakihi Māori is built on whānau & whakapapa. We are not in it for ourselves, rather our whānau, hapū, and iwi. I've pondered this over the last few days."

Marcus Winter: The Sandman

A Universal Experience

These reflections beautifully capture the sentiment that WHĀRIKIx is an experience that transcends boundaries, not just for Māori or Pakihi Māori but for anyone looking to be part of a meaningful and enriching community. The sense of aroha for those who missed out is a poignant reminder of the event's value and the shared desire to welcome even more people into this kaupapa in the future.

Whāriki Te Tai Tokerau Partner NZME: Chook Henare

Hearts Full, Hands Together for Our WHĀRIKIx Sponsors

We pause to weave a special mihi to those behind the scenes - our incredible sponsors, BDO Northland, Poutama Trust, Te Hiringa and NZME. Your support was the wind beneath the wings of WHĀRIKIx, lifting us to heights we could only imagine.

Your belief in our kaupapa turned moemoeā into reality, creating a space where inspiration flowed as freely as the waters of Waitangi. It's partnerships like these that remind us of the power of community and kotahitanga.

To our sponsors, your tautoko was more than just resources; it was an investment in our shared future, in the stories waiting to be told, and in the potential waiting to be unlocked. You helped us create a platform where voices could be heard, connections made, and wairua lifted.

May our partnership continue to flourish, guided by the stars of our tūpuna and the hopes of generations to come.

Our Partners and Sponsors!

Looking Forward

As we close the chapter on WHĀRIKIx 2024, we reflect on the profound impact such hui have on our hapori. Events like WHĀRIKIx serve as a powerful reminder of the strength found in kotahitanga, the growth that comes from shared mātauranga, and the boundless inspiration that arises from coming together. It's in these spaces that we not only share our stories and wisdom but also ignite the spark of potential within each other, fostering a collective drive towards growth, innovation, and resilience.

Our ngākau, filled with aroha - for our sponsors, who believed in our kaupapa; our kaikōrero, who shared their haerenga and insights; and our attendees, whose enthusiasm and engagement brought the event to life!

The kōrero shared, the hononga formed, and the laughter enjoyed at WHĀRIKIx 2024 has sown kākano of inspiration that will undoubtedly flourish in the weeks to come. We are filled with excitement and anticipation to see how our attendees will carry forward the learnings and insights gained, applying them to their own haerenga, pakihi, and hapori.

Titiro whakamua, the prospect of a hui once more fills us with hope and enthusiasm. Until then, let us carry the wairua of WHĀRIKIx with us, nurturing the ties that bind us and the aspirations that propel us forward. Here's to the huarahi we will pave, the moemoeā we will realise, and the next chapter we will write together.

He mihi maioha tēnei ki a koutou i tae ā-tinana mai ki tēnei hui, ki a koutou hoki ngā kaihāpai o muri! Ko te tūmanako, kua mau katoa e koutou ngā hua kua puta mai i ngā kaikōrero; hei taonga mō tō ake huarahi!  

“Titiro whakamuri, kōkiri whakamua” - ‘Look back and reflect on this experience, so you can move forward with purpose.'

For those who missed out or are eager to relive the experience, tirohia ki ēnei whakaahua. And remember, the haerenga continues - keep an eye on our upcoming events and opportunities by joining us

Nā mātou,

Te whānau o Whāriki Te Tai Tokerau

Kōrari Enterprise - kō
Wikitoria Tawhara Makiha: He Pātaka Iringa Kōrero: He Kete Kohinga -
Anne Hui: Mahi Toi/Artist
Nga Designz
Nga Designz
PUHI Designs
Ngāti Rangi Hapū: Waiwhariki Mānuka/Mānuka Oil Products
Solid Kākahu: Kākahu/T-shirts in sizes 5XL - 7XL
Ethnicare: Luxurious Handmade Soaps
Eric Rush
Georgia Latu: Pōtiki Poi
Heeni Hoterene: Maramataka Māori
Marcus Winter: The Sandman
Miraka Davies: International Keynote Speaker / Creative Writer
Rewi Spraggon: The Hāngī Master
Thomas Netana Wright: Ao Cacao
Ao Cacao Treats for Attendees
Summer Brons: Natural tanning products
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