Te Pumaomao with Takawai and Chris Murphy

Deb and I completed an amazing two-day training early in March 2015 called Te Pumaomao (Nationhood Building Strategies). We recommend this course to anyone who is, or desires to do change work in New Zealand. 

How did we end up in a decolonisation workshop to begin with?

Last year I wanted to learn a new language to put into practice my memory and learning techniques that I teach in schools, so I went searching for a language to learn.

Also at that time, Deb and I were working with a number of Maori women who were on a course to improve their life for themselves and their whanau.   So it all came together. I thought to myself, why not learn the language of this land?

So I called my good friend and mentor Ron Ngata and asked for his list of Te Reo Maori feelings and needs lists so I could start using them in our NVC courses.

He expressed his reluctance to do this until I understood the meanings behind them or the life within this amazing language.

I was a bit taken back and with a further conversation of about an hour, I came away with a game plan to further deepen my knowing into these words.

One of these steps I took was to attend the Decolonisation workshop mentioned above and get a much deeper and more truthful understanding of where Maori come from and how we can all fit together and support each other in the larger scheme of things in Aotearoa. Ron encouraged me to look into Takawai and Chris Murphy’s workshop, Te Pumaomao.

So there we were some months later, standing outside the Te Wai Takere Oranga Marae at Waitakere Hospital waiting to be welcomed on.

And then the course began. This was a wonderful, well facilitated learning event. The humor and “choice jokes” of Takawai while getting a very powerful and insightful message across as well as the care and open heartedness of Chris and her sharing of the Pakeha perspective made this workshop what it was.

What an incredible dance these two put on by sharing from their own lives with such honesty and openness.

I came away from this course further inspired to keep learning Te Reo Maori and with a clear direction forward to further enhance the work Deb and I do.

For me, the Te Pumaomao workshop is best summed up in the flyer by this quote “takes racial misunderstandings and turns them into strategies for building pathways forward.”

If you are someone drawn to really making change in Aotearoa New Zealand, then this course would be of huge benefit to you.

Click Te Pumaomao brochure for further details