Thu 5 Jul 2018

Remembering Sir Maui Pomare

Every year, coinciding with the time of Puanga and the advent of the Māori New Year, whānau, hapū, iwi and people from around Aotearoa converge on Owae marae to celebrate the life and legacy of Sir Māui Pōmare.

 As one of the great totara of Māori leadership in the early 1900’s he is remembered for his contributions towards improving the health and social status of Māori through his roles as a medical doctor and politician.   The overarching kaupapa (theme) each year is hauora (health) and this year the focus was mātauranga (education).

This is an important event on WITT’s calendar as it offers a chance to celebrate the legacy of Pōmare, to support iwi-driven community action and to profile programmes from WITT’s Faculty of Health and Wellbeing.

Saturday began with a memorial service by Reverend Albie Martin followed by an address on behalf of the Pōmare whanau by Meria Pōmare.  WITT Tumu Whakarae Barbara George then presented the two WITT Maui Pōmare Scholarships to this year’s recipients O’Jay Bailey and Jody Timu-Kaea, both first-year students in WITT’s Bachelor of Nursing.

After the presentation of scholarships were presentations from guest speakers Sir Richard Faull (human brain development), Tanya Anaha (Why Ora), and Te Waka McLeod (Parenting Place).  Each of the presentations gave insight into different ways in which education was being used to increase our understanding of health, to improve health service delivery and to promote whānau ora. 

WITT’s presence also came in the form of an information stand to promote the Bachelor of Nursing and the Level 3 Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Health Care Assistant).  This enabled the community to get a glimpse at the contributions WITT makes towards increasing the skills and capabilities of the health workforce.

Outside attendees were also treated to the talents of two WITT barista students, Link Noble and Sonny Rapira-Martin who served up hot espresso coffee under the watchful eyes of WITT barista tutor Tane Morgan, and mobile coffee cart owner Ashley Carley.  Link and Sonny are both studying a New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Level 3 and were both born in Waitara. 

From WITT’s perspective, the day was a positive way to maintain and build on whanaunatanga (relationships) with iwi stakeholders, the health sector and the wider community and is looking forward to celebrations next year.  


Photo credit: Ian Clothier