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Finding ourselves: E hoki koe ki ō maunga kia purea koe e ngā hau a Tāwhirimātea

Tiria Shaw and Hoana McMillan

In te ao Māori, our connection to our maunga and physical landmarks speaks to who we are as a people. Our maunga are also a source of inspiration and direction. This article draws on the symbolism of maunga and describes a Māori process of the way maunga can also act as a metaphorical journey to strengthening identity and transformative change. It analyses data from a TLRI research study Renewing Participatory Democracy: Walking with Young Children to Story and Read the Land to exemplify this process from the experiences of whānau and tamariki attending Te Kōhanga Reo ki Rotokawa, where haerenga (trips) to their tribal landmarks are undertaken. The impact of haerenga on whānau identity is explored, and its importance and value discussed.

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