“Tukua kia tū takitahi ngā whetū o te rangi, ngā whetū o Matariki, o te tau hōu Māori”

As Matariki rose, Rangipare Belshaw-Ngaropo (Ngāti Apakura), 24, along with Tamoko Ormsby (Ngāti Rora), 25, flew with a kāhui delegation of 5 other rangatahi to attend yet another forum of the United Nations. He Kuaka Mārangaranga has taken flight once more to migrate, network and engage with the global indigenous community at the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Presenting in April at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, the alert and exciting rangatahi grasped at the opportunity to further their vision of weaving together the global community of future indigenous leaders, and to exhaust all avenues and mechanisms to propose a dedicated forum hui in Aotearoa in 2020.

He Kuaka Mārangaranga had their work cut out for them. Firstly, gathering the incredible support of iwi, hapū, whānau, and numerous organisations to push the delegation towards its goal of reaching EMRIP. Secondly, to gather that support to fundraise and achieve a target of $35,000 in 10 days, which is an amazing feat in itself. Thirdly, to reciprocate the support by presenting at a side event alongside Te Puni Kokiri and directly addressing various issues on Migration, Ōtakiri Water Rights, and Solution-based perspective to the Experts at the United Nations.

Rangipare along with Te Huia Taylor and Waimirirangi Koopu-Stone were at the forefront of the kaupapa as they proudly presented to the United Nations. Whilst this was happening, the new addition to the kāhui, Tamoko, used his creative capabilities and cultural lens to capture their activities in advocating for change and the events throughout the haerenga.

The rangatahi delegation have set out to move their words towards action which they continue to accomplish, and through act they are beginning to implement and promote their fundamental agenda of gathering and hosting the Global Indigenous Community of Future Leaders in 2020.

It is evident that these rangatahi have been chosen because of their skills in leadership through education, unapologetic perspective, cultural competence and determination. With those skills, the continuation to display a key component and pay it forward has been made through a Rangatahi Scholarship which they established for Geneva. The winner being Te Waikamihi Lambert (Ngāti Awa), and with succession planning in focus, this kāhui will fly high with its learning, experiences, and it’s aim of ensuring change for future Māori.

Maniapoto Māori Trust Board were privileged to support the Maniapoto rangatahi that attended EMRIP, and look forward to seeing their inspirational journeys continue.