January 25, 2015
Mokoia accolade for Whata warrior
Being prepared to pitch in and help others helped 18-year-old Levi Whata gain the title of top warrior at this year’s Mau Taiaha Wananga on Mokoia Island in Lake Rotorua.
It’s the seventh year the Tarawera High School student has attended the wananga, which was started three decades ago by Mita Mohi and is now run by his son Patrick.
Senior tutor Eraia Kiel says thinking of others before himself is important for any taiaha warrior.
He says Mr Whata displayed leadership qualities such as always looking out for younger students, helping out with the kai when it came time to prepare for meals, and leading kapa haka.
Mr Whata, who has Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Te Arawa and Ngati Pikiao whakapapa, says the course taught him the need for humility and that those who are selfless go further in life.
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