Waipareira Trust calls for coalition of Auckland elders

Wimutu Te Whiu and Rev Amiria Te Whiu outside the Hoani Waititi Marae in Glen Eden. They want Maori collectively to hold ...
Chris Skelton

Wimutu Te Whiu and Rev Amiria Te Whiu outside the Hoani Waititi Marae in Glen Eden. They want Maori collectively to hold politicians to account for tackling poverty and homelessness.

The Waipareira Trust is calling for a collective leadership alliance of Maori elders across Auckland.

The proposal for Poumata Kaumatua Kuia will be moved at a hui on October 19 at the Hoani Waititi Marae in Glen Eden.

It has been a long time vision of Maoridom to reclaim the "traditional leadership" role for their elders, Waipareira Trust's kaumatua Wimutu Te Whiu says. 

Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust chief executive John Tamihere wants a unified Maori voice to push for solutions to issues.
WAIPAREIRA TRUST/SUPPLIED

Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust chief executive John Tamihere wants a unified Maori voice to push for solutions to issues.

"It is the kaumatua's job is to support their people, but at the same time they are a servant of the people. As elders, it is their duty to guide."

Te Whiu, who is acting chairperson of the proposed coalition, says the aim is to create "one voice" for Maori elders across Auckland so they can address issues such as family violence, poverty, housing, mental health, education and child abuse.  

The coalition will be comprised of Auckland-based Maori aged 60 and over. 

Acting secretary of the proposed collective Reverend Amiria Te Whiu says the elders with their wealth of experience often bring a unique perspective to a problem that may otherwise be at a gridlock.

"We have had a trend towards moving away from the kaumatua voice, especially if I look at the Nga Puhi settlement and the changes under the Maranga Mai," she says.

However, Amiria Te Whiu says this tendency is not isolated to Nga Puhi.

"It is happening all over the place," she adds.

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The collective already has 150 kaumatua and kuia on board and Wimutu Te Whiu is hoping more people are going to come forward. 

"We are asking for people from all over Auckland. The coalition has a higher purpose, it is for the sake of our children and grandchildren. There are issues that we can address better as one group."

Amiria Te Whiu says it will be top priority to  "better inform" the kaumatua and kuia about the issues that are faced by Maori.

"Once we do so, we can have better discussions about the ongoing socio-economic problems within Maoridom."  

*The motion for Poumata Kaumata Kuia will be moved on October 19, at Hoani Waititi Marae on West Coast Rd, Glen Eden at 10am.    

 - Stuff

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