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Whiria Te Tāngata: Empowering Librarians Through Cultural Connection

This week, amidst the tranquil beauty of Piritahi Marae on Waiheke Island, librarians and information kaimahi from across Aotearoa gather for the final chapter of Whiria te Tāngata, an initiative weaving together te ao Māori values with library practices.

Led by Te Rōpū Whakahau, the leading national body representing Māori within the library and information sector, Whiria is a kaupapa that is looking towards the sustainability of the library sector.

"For us, Whiria is more than a journey; it's an opportunity to become change-makers within our library and information communities," shares Te Rōpū Whakahau tumuaki, Cellia Joe-Olsen.

Among them, Keshia Cleverly Karaitiana from Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, Te Whare Pukapuka, describes the experience as a chance to "weave the net of Te Aō Māori values," emphasising the importance of sustainability in the library world.

As the final noho approaches, Sally Thompson, a participant from the National Library, expresses gratitude for the opportunity to immerse herself in Manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, and whakapapa, remarking, "I've found a whole new way of thinking."

Past participants and supporters, including Kay Huia from Hamilton City Council libraries, will be present to offer guidance and support as the current cohort embarks on the final leg of their journey.

"From understanding tikanga to establishing cultural practices, Whiria has given us the confidence to build kotahitanga in our workplaces," Huia shares, reflecting on her own transformative experience.

With funding coming to an end, a final noho on Waiheke Island will be a celebration of this eight-month learning and development programme. Participants past and present, the project team, and leaders of Te Rōpū Whakahau and LIANZA will be welcomed with a pōwhiri 12.30pm on Tuesday, February 13th, 2024.


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