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Nov 15

Calling people together

Anya reflects on serendipitious gifts

Ara Taiohi Ngā Kete o te Wānanga

Namaste and massive Diwali blessings to you all

The values of kaitautoko and kaiarahi are values I keep returning to in our work for you as the youth sector’s peak body - our job is to first support and then lead the sector.

We’ve been supporting the sector in a myriad of ways - from working with partners to make sure that we’ve got good population level information to help the youth sector sector track our effectiveness in supporting all young people in Aotearoa to promoting, supporting and creating opportunities for the sector to collaborate for the benefit of young people in Aotearoa. I’ve spoken elsewhere about our submission to the Census 2018 team about the importance of getting good info about people working in the youth sector and the deomgraphy of the youth population we serve; our response to the CYF interim report; about helping the Ministry of Health to reshape the Suicide Prevention Strategy and about presenting our Snapshot data about the community sector who serve LGBTIQ young people in Aotearoa to a wide government audience. Through e-updates you’ve heard about our efforts to raise the standards for people working with young people across the country with the Code of Ethics Champions programme which is rolling out - look for a workshop near you soon!

Ka nui te mihi to those of you who joined us to build pathways to collaboration and healthy relationships at our wānanga. It was a privilege to spend time with you all hearing from innovative services and practitioners in the wide space of the youth sector. Together we kindled something strong, something steady, and something that will grow as we begin to work together more to realise our shared goal of a more connected, better resourced, more well-paid, and stronger sector!

I was recently gifted a taonga for use in my job at Ara Taiohi by my friend Crane Amaru. He has made me this pūtātara ataahua, an instrument for calling people together, to bring people together under a common cause. The mythical significance of the pūtātara is as follows: when Tane descended from the heavens carrying Te Kete O Te Wananga (the three baskets of knowledge) gifted from his father Rangi, he left behind a pūtātara as a koha (gift).

This story echoes in the title of this blog 'Ngā Kete o te Wānanga'- the title signals to all you my commitment to learning and reflection in my work at Ara Taiohi. 

I am so honoured by this amazing gift, and I look forward to bringing it forward into my work of connecting the sector, raising the standards, championing youth development and promoting sustainability at Ara Taiohi. Tēnā koe Crane, and tēnā koutou to all my whānau at Te Kura Tuarua o Taraika ki Pukeahu.

Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa.