The following article is a piece written by Rayden Horton who was the 2015 Tuia delegate for the Ruapehu District and was mentored by the local Mayor, Don Cameron. This piece is a reflection on Rayden's experience with the Tuia kaupapa and what is has meant for him. This section comes out of the Tuia Publication, 'Te Tangi a te Manu', which was published in November 2015 and is filled with reflection and thought pieces from all of those that have taken part in Tuia.
If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, please contact Daniel Henderson from the MTFJ by clicking here.
"My involvement in Tuia started when i was working for Sue Morris when she was the mayor, before our current mayor, Don Cameron. She was presented with the opportunity to send a rangatahi to the wānaga a couple of years ago, but at that time I wasn't old enough, so she wanted to wait until i was old enough to come through. Unfortunately she didn't contest the next election, and the new mayor came through, but either way, they sent me.
I've always had a passion to become the Minister of Social Development because I've felt that, with my past experiences with social development in the past, and a lot of what my whānau has done and what they're doing now, there's a huge need for policy changes. A lot of things need to be simplified these days for others. So i got into that line of work through Dame Tariana Turia. When she took me down to parliament, she showed me the ins and outs of what parliament was and how ministries work. From there I made the decision that this is what i want to do, I want to help our people through the Ministry of Social Development so we can get our people employed, get our kids educated, and make sure that our country is prosperous.
I've found it very inspiring, connecting back to the whenua, engaging more in te reo, and in my Māori side more. It was something when i was growing up, I didn't have a lot of, and so I've had to reconnect myself, but through the Tuia wānanaga it's been a lot easier, engaging with young Maori from around the country. Something that's been quite valuable is Marcus's kōrero about inspiring rangatahi to move forward, lifting the glass lid, those restrictions. It's just something for me - I've tried my best throughout my life to remove those restrictions, and being able to hear that in a different context, and being able to visualise that. I understand now what I've done in the past is lifting those lids, expanding, and is something that I want to continue to do, as well as help others to do the same.
How this Tuia kaupapa has affected my pathway, i think looking more into tikanga, and making sure tikanga is applied in our work places and also my career, in what i do, and making sure our Māori people are looked after. And i think with a better understanding through Tuia of Māori kaupapa, and the kaupapa of Tuia, i felt that I've been able to express that, and to be able to take that on and absorb it all. And to be able to extract it out at home, in my whare and at work.
It's just good to be with our Māori rangatahi from all over the country who have the same vision of helping our community, helping our country and helping our people. This is something that's quite big for me because I'm always trying to look for other young Māori around the country who are inspired to make changes. Tuia wasn't exactly what i had expected when i came to the first wānanga . Because i was working with the council at the time, i understood how councils worked and how governments worked, and going through our mayor, i thought it'd be a whole bunch of other people aspiring to be mayors, and district councillors, politicians, and law-makers. But i found it was very different, very diverse, huge range of different people and different aspirations, but all coming back to that similar kaupapa of helping our people."
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