Four wānanga have been held in Mangakāhia across 2017-18 with the support of Te Aho Tū Roa and Toimata. The wānanga are provided free and provide knowledge and skills for whānau who share the dream of returning to ancestral land to create a sustainable future livelihood.
With 25 whānau from Te Tai Tokerau and Tāmaki registering for the first wānanga, there was special significance for those searching for a way to return home to utilise family land.
"Our dream was to be out on the whenua to do permacultured landscaping, to be able to live, economic development, education, and to produce kai and sustainable housing" - Aroha Shelford (Ngāti Te Rino), Project Manager.
Mangakāhia is home to the 10 home Uku Papakāinga project, and is is funded by Te Pune Kōkiri. Uku Papakāinga features poured earth homes as well as round earth-backed homes and the project employs 12 whānau members full-time.
The wānanga in Managakāhia guide whānau learning in the practical skills of earth home construction, and provide information around the law relating to Māori land and the district council.
The workshops are an opportunity for whānau to upskill, but also provide a platform for forming connections with others seeking a new direction in housing, community, and economic development.