Extending the values of manaakitanga and whanaungatanga to all who attend.
Facilitated by Whānau Ora Navigator Veronica Young, Kāhui Pakeke runs to a yearly programme that includes guest speakers, housie, fitness, high tea, themed events and the much anticipated annual hīkoi (trip) which has seen them travel to places such as Wellington, Taupō and Whanganui. They pay for these trips with regular raffles and “bring and buy” sessions throughout the year. “It’s never been a hassle to fund raise,” says Kahu Waitoa (85).
For the pakeke,many living on their own, the group brings all important social connection.“It’s bonding with the whānau,” says Joe Broughton, “It gives us friendship. We may not see each other in between so catching up once a month is great,” adds Leslie Tata. Lillian Aranui appreciates being able to spend time speaking to others in te reo Māori. “Some of us stay by ourselves so it’s good to come here and kōrero,” reiterates Winston Halbert.
Isolation is a key concern for older people and staying connected isn’t the only wellbeing benefit for participants. “We ensure their overall health is being monitored, that they are accessing healthcare services and identifying needs they might have at home,” explains Veronica.
The group are very complimentary of their “organiser”. Kahu sums it up, “She’s (Veronica)the bomb.” The other wahine (woman) that they credit for Kāhui Pakeke’s success is Te Maari Joe. The ex- Te Kupenga Hauora - Ahuriri chairperson helped establish the organisation and the group. “She’s our rangatira and keeps us on the straight and narrow,” says Winston.
They continue to talk about the time they share together. Music, dancing, kai; lots of good times. Veronica enjoys her time spent with the group. “These are our taonga and we have to look after them,” she asserts.
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