November 23, 2017
Wananga to sustain and keep Tainui paepae strong
A group which gives guidance on tikanga within Waikato Tainui is loosening the conventions in an effort to increase the pool of speakers available for marae.
Ngaa Marae Toopu held a hui at Taupiri last weekend to address concerns that a generation gap in the transmission of te reo Maori meant many kaumatua don’t have the skills in Maori oratory to sit on the paepae.
That means a younger group of speakers, and hui spokesperson Brad Totorewa says that can come up against the tuakana teina principle, that a young person can’t stand if their father or older brother is there.
The hui agreed the rule is no longer tenable and anyone with the ability must step up.
"That tuakana-teina in the time of old may have been relevant because there were a number of speakers. Now if you apply tuakana-teina to marae where there are very few speakers, you may end up with one person having the responsibility to operate the paepae," Mr Totorewa says.
A group of younger speakers has made a 25 year commitment to develop the skills needed to fill the paepae for Waikato Tainui and the Kingitanga into the future.
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