Te Rā o te Raukura 2024

Published: February 15, 2024 · Updated: February 15, 2024

At the end of January 2024, kaimahi from Oranga Tamariki sites across Te Whanganui-a-Tara took part in a community event, Te Rā o te Raukura. Despite heavy rain in the morning, the event went ahead and our teams enjoyed being a part of the day of fun and activities.

IMG 2262
Oranga Tamariki shared a space at the event with our community partners.

About Te Rā o te Raukura

Te Rā o te Raukura is an iwi-run event by Te Āti Awa, which takes place annually in Lower Hutt (with some disruptions in recent years due to Covid-19). The event brings whānau together with entertainment, food, and activities. It is also an opportunity for community organisations and services to run information stands as part of a hauora and mātauranga expo.

Oranga Tamariki was delighted to be offered a table this year, sharing the space with Te Rūnanga o Te Āti Awa, one of our strategic partners, and with Kōkiri marae. We were in the Mātauranga Expo tent.

Our kaimahi were available to speak to visitors about our mahi in the local area, and for those who were interested, explain more about opportunities to support children and young people by becoming a caregiver with Oranga Tamariki.

Reflections from kaimahi and partners

Miriama Henderson, Regional Manager Wellington, Services for Children and Families, explained:

“I was excited when we received the invitation to take part in Te Rā o te Raukura.

For my team, being able to partner with Te Atiawa and work alongside their kaimahi, as well as kaimahi from Kōkiri marae, other marae, and Māori and community organisations across the region, is essential to what we do. They are often the people directly providing the services that support tamariki, rangatahi, and their whānau, so sitting alongside them at this event was privilege and showed our support for them in return.

As a social service agency everything that we do is about the wellbeing of tamariki and wanting to see them safe and loved by whānau, so the kaupapa of this event was a great fit and something that we wanted to be part of.

Despite the weather the tents were warm and dry and the connection between services was incredible. We were really happy to be there.”

Ngahina Daymond-Box, Manager for Tamaiti Whāngai Social Services, said:

“Our experience started on Friday when we gathered to set up our tables. Our engagement was fantastic, working together to make sure our space was set up, suited everybody and put everybody in the limelight. The weather was fantastic all day.

Then we woke up, to rain and wind!

We continued forward, and had a wonderful time engaging with the community and being able to show case our partnership with Oranga Tamariki and Marae. It gave us the opportunity to meet with each other outside from the office and show case our kotahitanga, not only to the community but to each other. This is a positive pathway for Iwi and Oranga Tamariki to continue to build internal relationships with each other and locate best practice.”

IMG 0867
Kaimahi had toys and activities at the stand for tamariki to try.

Whānau friendly event

The event was designed so there was something for the whole family. Despite heavy rain in the morning, there were still plenty of activities to enjoy. The tents gave out ‘passports’ to encourage people to visit every stand to answer questions. Anyone who completed all the questions was entered into a prize draw – Te Reo versions of Harry Potter and The Diary of the Wimpy kid were a particular hit!

At the Oranga Tamariki table children were invited to enjoy colouring pencils, play-dough and a bubble machine. Our stand question was:

Q: What is the name of the new Social Service Community Hub that Oranga Tamariki operates out of in Te Awakairangi/Lower Hutt? Hint: the name was gifted by Te Āti Awa.

A: Roto Kākahi.

Support from the community

Thank you to the event sponsors, Āti Awa Toa FM, Hutt City Council, Te Puni Kōkiri, Te Whatu Ora – Capital, Coast & Hutt Valley, Te Pūkenga – Whitireia & WelTec and E Tū Whānau.

Oranga Tamariki kaimahi also appreciated giftcard donations from the Queensgate and Lower Hutt Countdown stores, allowing us to buy healthy kai for the visiting tamariki.