A new kaumātua for PPTA Te Wehengarua

Moeke Paaka brings a wealth of passion and experience to his new role as PPTA Te Wehengarua kaumātua

Moeke Paaka’s appointment as kaumātua of PPTA Te Wehengarua is a culmination of more than 30 years of service to the
union. Moeke served as a member and convenor of Te Huarahi Māori Motuhake – PPTA’s Māori executive – for more than
20 years and was at the forefront in facilitating Te Tiriti-based dialogue and bicultural relationships.

His professional skills as a counsellor has helped union members in many challenging situations. He has always tried to approach people and issues with an open mind and a view towards restoration – a practice he established not long after he started teaching at Motueka High School in the early 1990s.

Also at Motueka, Moeke set up what was probably one of the very first models of co-governance in Aotearoa – a Runanga Maatua or parent support body, which established a partnership with the Board of Trustees. These parents were a part of the decision making process for the education of their children.

“At the time this was profound and
exciting for Māori parents. I could see
their determination and confidence as
we talked.

“I helped them to set some specific
educational goals for their kids. We
talked and came up with one goal: Māori
academic achievement at school. The
first thing was to imagine kids staying at
school until Year 13 – that became our
first goal.

“Dealing with discipline matters was our
second goal and attendance was the
final goal.”

In the mid-1990s a television documentary showcased the schools for its achievements in Māori students’ academic outcomes, and attendance and retention rates. Moeke says his dream and his passion was always to continue to improve Māori academic success. “Success in education controls to a major extent our destiny. For me, education leads to a decent standard of living and pride. It’s as simple and as passionate as that.”

The Association’s kaumātua and whaea are chosen by Te Huarahi to assist and support Association matters and they
participate in all aspects of PPTA Te Wehengarua, from conferences and seminars through to regular executive
meetings. The kaumātua and whaea are responsible for establishing and maintaining PPTA Te Wehengarua kawa and tikanga.

Kawa is the protocol and etiquette associated with the process of formal gatherings. Kawa does not change and once the kawa is fixed, these processes must be followed to maintain status of the iwi/organisation and safety through awareness.
Tikanga means doing what is right. Tikanga is the process of how kawa is implemented and is adaptable. The adaptability of tikanga is associated with the need for change which is often aligned to internal and external influences and the necessity to uphold manaakitanga.

Last modified on Wednesday, 24 April 2024 15:43