Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Graduating - At Any Age

Ae Marika!

Column published in the Northland Age on 29 July 2008

Member of Parliament for Tai Tokerau

For more info on the MP and his views on everything from kiwi to kangaroo, check out his website at HYPERLINK ""


A couple of months back I wrote an article about Te Wananga o Aotearoa, and the struggle they’ve had to keep it afloat. Well, last week I attended one of the many graduation ceremonies that the wananga hosts all round the country every six months.

I missed the one in Kaitaia but I heard it went off really well, so big-ups to all those who graduated with Tohu Matauranga, Te Ara Reo Maori and the business courses.

And a particular congratulations to the wildly successful graduates of the Certificate in Te Arataki Manu Korero, because this group has a very special history.

Reuben Murray came back to the north a few years back, and started a gym. Now Reuben’s no spring chicken, so I wondered whether it would really take off, but take off it did, and one of the special features of Reuben’s gym was the line-up of kaumatua and kuia traipsing down to Reuben’s gym to get fit – so many in fact that Reuben had to give them their own key because they were turning up before 5am to get an early start!

Anyway, after a couple of years, Waireti Walters asked if I could get some help for these kaumatua and kuia to do some of the things they wanted to do, so I turned to the only crowd I could think of who might have something going for them – Te Wananga o Aotearoa – and they didn’t let me down.

Te Arataki Manu Korero is a programme specifically designed to help kaumatua and kuia reignite their knowledge of reo and tikanga. Waireti hooked up the wananga with the kaumatua and kuia, Reuben Murray and his wife Beulah took up the challenge to run the course along with their work at the gym, and last Friday nearly 30 graduated with pride and distinction.

That group of kaumatua and kuia, Kia Maia, have become a hugely positive and energetic influence in the far north – a real role model for other older people and a joy to be around.

So thank you to the wananga for again proving that you can be relied on to reconnect Maori to education at any age.

And as for that Reuben – well, I was down his gym a while back and somebody said to me “Gee that Reuben looks great! I hope I look that good when I get to his age” to which I could only reply “bruddah – I wish I looked that good at my age!” Thanks Reuben, for giving our kaumatua and kuia a new lease on life.


Hone Harawira

Tai Tokerau MP


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election