New Kaitohutohu Māori – Craig Shepard

In the coming weeks we welcome aboard to the team our new Kaitohutohu Māori Craig Shepard. We’ve asked Craig – who’s really known as “Shep” to give us a few insights into who he is and what his thoughts are about the horizon ahead.

E mihi atu nei ki a tātou katou. Ānei ngā mihi o ngā waka o ōku whakapapa ko Tainui, Kurahaupō, Māmaru, he whakapapa hoki ōku nō Tīwana, Ingarani.

Nōku te waimārie ki te tipu ake i runga i te whenua o Te Tauihu, i kuraina au i konei, i hono māua ko tōku rangatira i konei, i whānau mai hoki i ā māua pepi i konei. Ko Te Moana Raukawakawa tō mātou ūkaipō.

I ngā tau 10 kua hipa, nōku te honore ki te mahi i te ao Māori. I te tau 2010, I whiwhi au i tētahi tūranga ki Whakatū Marae Social Services hei kaimahi ā-iwi, ā-rangatahi. Whai muri I tēnei ka whiti atu ki Te Toki Pakohe I Te Wānanga o Te Tauihu o te Waka a Maui hei kaiako rangatahi. I whakapūmau mātou ko ngā kaimahi o Te Toki Pakohe I te akoranga rangatahi Māori ko Ka Hao. Katahi, ka tīmata au ki te tū hei kaiako reo Māori.

Ka tū hoki tōku rangatira hei kaikako, ahakoa he Pākehā ia māna te reo Māori e ārahi ki tāna mahi. Nō tōna ngana ki te reo tēnei. E tipu ake ana māua, ōtira mātou ko tōku whānau katoa i te ao Māori. Te tangata i ākona ki te kāinga, tūngia ki te marae, tau ana!

I te nuinga o tāku oranga, kua whakatipu au ki te taha o te whānau o Ngāti Koata. Ko ako me whanake ētahi o ōku tino wana. E aroha hoki ana au ki te whakamana i ētahi atu tāngata, nā e hīkaka ana au ki te mahi i ēnei mahi ki te whānau o Ngāti Koata, kia tutuki pai ēnei o ngā whāinga kua manakohia e te iwi nei.

I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up here in Te Tauihu, I completed all my schooling here, met my wife here, we started and have grown our whānau here. The region of Te Moana Raukawakawa has sustained us and we strive to do the same in return.

Over the past 10 years it has been my honour to work in te ao Māori sector. In 2010 I received a position as a social worker for whānau/rangatahi at Whakatū Marae Social Services. After a number of years, I moved to work at Te Wānanga o Te Tauihu o te Waka a Māui (NMIT) in Te Toki Pakohe, where I have been for the past seven 7 years. It was there that the staff and I established a program for rangatahi Māori named Ka Hao. From this position I moved to beginning teaching Te Reo Māori.

My wife is also a teacher here in Te Tauihu, and even though she is not Māori she leads the Māori education at the school she teaches at, the is solely because if her drive and eagerness to see Māori education grown. We including our tamariki are all growing in our Māoritanga. We believe in the whakataukī, a person who learns at home, will be able to stand with confidence at the marae.

Having grown up here in Te Tauihu I have spent lots of my life with and around the whānau of Ngāti Koata. One of my passions is growth, and learning. I also love enabling other people to grow and learn, I am excited to be stepping in to this space with and for the whānau of Ngāti Koata, and to help our whānau achieve some of the goals set out by our people.

Mā runga i te ngākau iti,

Nā Craig Shepard