We do many things to maintain and develop our relationship with Te Mauri Tau.
Our annual connection day provides an opportunity for the members of both organisations – boards, staff and volunteers - to come together to get to know one another, share stories, ideas, perspectives, learn from each other, and grow closer as a team.
Being at Te Mauri Tau enables the Toimata national team and board of trustees opportunities to grow their understanding of kaupapa Māori and to deepen tikanga practice.
Te Mauri Tau operates from a site that is designed as a living and evolving model of sustainability, and the connection day provides an opportunity to connect with Papaora – the whenua of Te Mauri Tau.
This may be through noticing changes taking place on the land, clearing or planting trees, exploring the walkways through the re-developing bush, digging or planting maara kai, making compost, or taking part in a project.
These opportunities to reconnect with Papaora allow the team another way to ground in the kaupapa of Toimata. The day also provides a chance to share histories in context, as those who have been with the team for a number of years remember the whenua and programmes through various stages of development.
"Papaora is a beautiful environment. Te Mauri Tau is the perfect space to deepen my understanding of tikanga and te reo, to engage with Atua, to have nourishing kai, and to enrich my knowledge of Toimata kaupapa" - Lisa Lamberton, Toimata team member.
Our focus of our connection day in 2018 was on honouring the transition of a long-standing staff member as he moved on to a new phase of his life, no longer employed by Toimata.
Te Rawhitiroa Bosch has been involved with the kaupapa of Te Mauri Tau, Enviroschools, Te Aho Tū Roa and Toimata for over 10 years, and reflecting on his time with us offered the chance to celebrate his presence and contributions.
Taking the time to honour and celebrate the contributions and qualities of individuals in our team is an important part of our kaupapa-based organisation. Reflecting on the highlights of the time Te Rawhitiroa spent as a Toimata employee also allowed us the chance as a wider team to celebrate the history and people who have been involved in the programmes since the early years.
Our partnership with Te Mauri Tau continues to be a bond that strengthens our connection to kaupapa Māori and reinforces our holistic practice of sustainability. Mauri ora!