More than 50 of the Manurewa area’s older citizens gathered at Manu Tukutuku at Randwick Park recently to Manawatia a Matariki.
The first Manurewa Seniors Network get-together since Covid restrictions were lifted provided an opportunity for people to come together socially, hear from not-for-profit groups involved in elder care, enjoy good food and learn about and participate in Matariki activities.
Supported by the Manurewa Local Board, Auckland Council Connected Communities office Kaiya Irvine says it was a pleasure to see members of the senior community together again.
“While we might help support the group, it is very much driven by their own input and needs.
“There is a huge amount of combined knowledge and experience in the group and members are very keen to share it to help each other, and to invite groups that can provide information that might help their community live more active, engaged and informed lives.”
Board chair Joseph Allan, who even tried out poi with those at the event, says coming together is critical to all communities, but particularly older people, who can become isolated without the support of friends and family.
“The first thing our board plan talks about is that our communities are inclusive, vibrant, healthy and connected, and that doesn’t just mean neighbourhood communities, but rangatahi, ethnic groups and our older people.
“We take pride in our residents enjoying a good quality of life and a sense of connection. Communities are lead from the grassroots and it was wondrful to see people from a diverse range of cultures mixing, still keen to learn new things, and feeling their contribution is valued.”
Board Deputy Chair Melissa Moore was also at the event, and as well as being considerably better at poi than her colleague, says it was also good to see Matariki being recognised at Manu Tukutuku.
“We have a strong Māori identity, and seeing that heritage and storytelling woven through local life, especially in one our own facilities, is encouraging.
“It’s good to see te reo seen, spoken and heard in our communities, and so many people having fun while learning. We refer to Manurewatanga (wellness for Manurewa), and for our community to be truly healthy, there must opportunities for older people to engage.”
Irvine says anyone can participate in senior network get-togethers, which are always posted on the Manurewa Local Board Facebook page. And anyone wanting to give feedback on an event or suggest content for an upcoming one can email her at email@example.com.
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