Amplifying the voice of our tamariki

Last Updated : 18 Nov 2022
Glen Innes tamariki art
Front cover artwork by Tavita Arthur

Glen Innes young people are raising their voices on issues that affect them through a published collection of writing and artwork.  

Whakarongo ki te Reo Mātātahi – Writing and artwork from the young people of Glen Innes, is a 50-page booklet with an array of advocacy articles, short stories, and art for tamariki Māori to voice their views and opinions on what matters to them - with the hope that educators, policymakers, local politicians and leaders would listen.  

The book contains some of the deepest thoughts that our local children hold tight to their chest”,explains Dr Will Flavell Education Māori Manager at Te Hononga Akoranga COMET. 

“The purpose of this book is to elevate the voices of our tamariki.

"It is a call to action for community leaders to listen to the issues that are relevant to our young people. The stories are written in te reo Māori and English, as a way of strengthening their bilingual skills.” 

Contributors to this publication were students ages 10 and 12 years old, from Glen Innes School and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Pauau Te Moananui-a-Kiwa. 

Upon receiving a copy of Whakarongo ki te Reo Mātātahi – Writing and artwork from the young people of Glen, Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board agreed that it was a timely reminder of the importance of the voice of local youth.  

Board member Nerissa Henry, who assisted with the project, is keen to see more board input from young people in the coming term. 

“As we head into a new term, we will look to bring tamariki into workshops and more actively seek their engagement with decision making,” she says.   

“We do have youth groups dotted about the local board area, but this book is a good reminder that we can do more, and how important that effort is.” 

Whakarongo ki te Reo Mātātahi is funded though the Te Hononga Akoranga COMET programme, a region wide education programme funded by Auckland Council. Copies of the book can be found online at Glen Innes Tamariki Writers Group | Comet Auckland 

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