Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.
Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see. (Neil Postman, The Disappearance of Childhood (introduction), 1982
Tangata whenua living in Te Waipounamu are younger, by average, than throughout the rest of Aotearoa. Over half (51.8%) under the age of 25 years.
The median age for the Māori descent population in Te Waipounamu was 23.8 years in 2013, the Māori descent population median age was 24.4 years and the total New Zealand median age was 38.0 years. Some regions are particularly so – Dunedin has a median age of 21.7 years!
So what do all the facts and figures mean? It’s simple – we need to listen to our tamariki; learn about them from them; base our policies, our planning, our practice on approaches that matter to them, that mean something to a demographic born this century.
So often we may spend our waking moments wondering what our children will become in the future, while forgetting they are right in front of us today.
Last Sunday, our Navigator Coordinator, Maire Kipa had the privilege of spending time with the shining stars at Awarua marae for some good old fashioned fun with the whānau on Te Whiriwhiringa programme.
The whakaaro of Awarua Whānau Services is that the mahi that is done by whānau deserves to be celebrated. Last weekend they held the second graduation ceremony since beginning the programme just over two years ago.
One of the really inspiring aspects of the noho marae is the tuakana-teina process as the graduates come in and share their journey with the new whanau. Once graduating whanau become Whanau ki Awarua, they can come in anytime for tautoko, attend any courses or programmes they run; it’s about belonging; it’s about connections.
The noho marae are a wonderful opportunity for the whānau to feel cherished; for every child to know and believe they are special.
And while thinking about these demographics; these smiling faces, the ‘majority’ generation – some of you might be interested in taking the voice of the future into a one-off South Island free policy workshop being held in Christchurch in April.
This workshop is free for non-profit health and disability providers, as part of the NGO Council’s strategy to improve sector capability and support communities to have more input to government decisions. This practical workshop will include opportunities for discussion and practice and will be held at: 9:00am - 4:30pm, Monday 23 May 2016; Fern Room, The Atrium, Christchurch Netball CentreTo register up to 2 people from your organisation, please click on this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NPGFQPV.
Have a wonderful Easter Weekend - cherishing the Pa kids in your life – and making time to celebrate them and the precious difference they make to every whānau. Hi Hā!