Rejoicing in who we are

Pita Tipene

Pita Tipene is of Ngāti Hine and Ngāpuhi and has an educational background having taught in Tai Tokerau secondary schools and worked in a number of regional and national administrative roles in the education sector. His is the current chairman of the Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust and has a number of other governance roles amongst his people including Deputy Chair of Te Runanga o Ngāti Hine, is on the Waitangi National Trust, and the Federation of Maori Authorities.

 

Sam:

Welcome to Sustainable Lens: Resilience on Radio. A weekly show on sustainability topics brought to you by Otago Polytechnic. The show is co-hosted by Shane Gallagher, who’s not here tonight and me, Samuel Mann.  Shane is not here tonight because I’m in Northland, in Kawakawa in the offices of Pita Tipene of Ngāti Hine.

Pita:

 

 Mihi

Sam:

Ngāti Hine, that’s the Hapū isn’t it?

 

Pita:

Ngāti Hine is the Iwi.  Ngāti Te Tarawa the people who live in the valley of Motatau and surrounding valleys. It’s where I was raised. It’s the Hapū and part of the greater confederation of Hapū of Ngāpuhi here in Tai Tokerau Northland.

 

Sam:

It’s a very active group. I’m seeing forestry and health centres and things?

 

Pita:

Yeah we like to think that we’re very active on a whole number of fronts. We’re being left with a legacy of hundreds or thousands of years that people like me need to keep up with. We’re always focused on kaupapa. What’s the word for kaupapa? The various aspects that our ancestors have left for us. We remain focused on them principally. Our vision statement which Maori is Mau Ngāti Hine ano Ngāti Hine ekororo, which if you were to ask me what it means in English, it’s all about self-determination and self-reliance.

 

Sam:

At this point I normally ask people where they grew up, but you’ve just answered it. Let’s just check. You grew up here?

 

Pita:

I did. I grew up in Motatau, which is a small in valley in the inland valleys. I was schooled here in Motatau primary school till I was 14.  Then I went away to boarding school in Auckland. From there I went to university, and then I became a teacher and taught in Northland schools at Whāngārei Boys High and Bay of Islands College. Then I went into working with schools in Northland and eventually it led me into doing more local education work with the hapū, with the tribe. It has since led to a more political role.

 

Sam:

Let’s go more slowly through that shall we? What was it like growing up?

 

Pita:

It was fantastic growing up. When I look back I can see clearly, but when I was growing up I couldn’t see it. In hindsight we had the most wonderful parents and extended family. We were raised on a dairy farm. My job was to help milk cows, make fences and do all the other things you would otherwise do on a farm. We always had lots of food. We may not have been well off as some people would view prosperity, but certainly looking back we were surrounded with love and everything that we needed in life. Particularly the values I think that have led us to being what we are now.

 

Sam:

What are those values?

 

Pita:

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