Tōku reo, tōku ohooho, tōku māpihi maurea
Our language, our culture, our way
Our Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tōtanga, our language, our cultural practices, our history, our connection to the land, and our worldview are what lies at the heart of our iwi. Supporting and maintaining these things is a critical responsibility for the Trust.
However, we acknowledge that for many, cultural knowledge may be limited. This was reflected in our settlement, which acknowledged the unique cultural harm caused to Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō by the Crown.
We also suspect that there is a feedback loop between the level of cultural vibrancy, and the level of engagement of whānau, in that, lack of culture inhibits engagement, and lack of engagement inhibits cultural revitalisation. We need to turn this from a vicious, to a virtuous cycle by promoting cultural redevelopment and engagement in conjunction with each other.
While we need to get clearer on our collective needs and aspirations before making significant resource allocation and spending decisions, we consider that cultural redevelopment is one area where the need is so obvious and urgent that it will be a substantial area of investment from the outset.
We are aware that while some whānau are already strongly engaged within Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, there is a large periphery who do not have such a strong connection. Our approach here will be designed to accommodate this range of needs and to develop stronger connections at all levels.
We have developed a sub-strategy for cultural development called Te Ohonga Ake ō Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō; “the cultural re-awakening of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō”.