Healthy Families Rotorua congratulates Rereata Makiha for his achievement in the 2022 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards.
Papa Rereata was announced yesterday as the recipient of the Ryman Healthcare Senior New Zealander of the Year (Te Mātāputu o Te Tau) Award. The award acknowledges people who have made a positive contribution to Aotearoa later in their life, and actively involved in making the world around them a better place.
Healthy Families Rotorua manager, Jenny Kaka-Scott, says the accolade is a boost for mātauranga Māori. She says his generosity in sharing his expertise across Healthy Families NZ, particularly in Rotorua, has been precious.
“Rereata is an invaluable source of kōrero tuku iho. He has led and developed many kaupapa we’ve been associated with, and supported our Te Hekenga-ā-Rongo maramataka symposium and Te Arawa Wai Warriors. He’s also been responsible for developing the next generation of leaders in this space.
“I really love the work he does with tamariki and rangatahi across the country, helping them to become good guardians of the environment for the future. For many of them, that source of information or knowledge may not have been available in their areas.
“Because he’s so strong in traditional practices related to the environment, his work has been able to catch-up a generation of loss. A whole generation would be missing when the language didn’t come across. When the language doesn’t come across the knowledge doesn’t. He’s bridged that,” says Jenny.
Ki te kahore he whakakitenga ka ngaro te iwi.
Without foresight or vision the people will be lost.
Said by Kingi Tāwhiao Pōtatau te Wherowhero to show the urgency of unification and strong Māori leadership.