My Manaaki Tāpoi Journey – A Student’s Voice

by Bree Arnott

I have been privileged enough over the last three years to have graduated from the Manaaki Tāpoi Level 2, Level 3, and Level 3 Extension programmes. The Mānaaki Tāpoi programme is a 4-week block course run by Whenua Iti Outdoors for senior kura tuarua students from Te Tai o Poutini and Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Māui trades academy to gain level 2 and 3 credits through hands on learning and experience in the Māori Tourism industry.

The Manaaki Tāpoi programme has allowed me to grow in confidence, develop my leadership, gain communication and organisational skills, experience new things, work with international and primary students, and earn credits in a fun and hands on way.

Over the 12 weeks I was able to travel into the Marlborough Sounds listening to pūrākau, search for pounamu on the beds of the Arahura River, watch tohorā off the coast of Kaikoura, kauhoe with wild stingrays, carve my own pounamu pendant, paddle waka haurua up into the Abel Tasman National Park, meet members of parliament, run kirituhi waka poi waiata and harakeke workshops with international and primary students, and see a little spotted kiwi in its natural habitat at Zealandia.

I cannot thank all the people that I have shared this journey with enough for all the laughter, tears, fun, and awhina! You guys will be whānau for life!

To Whenua Iti Outdoors and all your amazing staff, thank you for all the aroha and āwhi that you guys have provided me with over the years each and everyone of you are an absolute inspiration.

If you are even slightly interested in either Te Ao Māori or Tourism or are just looking for an extended whānau I would highly recommend that you apply for Manaaki Tāpoi – it’s something you will not regret!

Nō reira, e kī ana, whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūoho koe me he mauka teitei. Seek the treasure you desire most and if you must bow your head let it be to a lofty mountain.

Nā Micaela i tuhinga.

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