The basic tikanga of Te Aho Paihere has been developed over the past few years alongside the current tuakana. We intentionally acknowledged obstacles both within ourselves and within our roles in Te Aho Paihere and adopted a tikanga that spoke to our needs, felt right and was something we could always strive to be.
The first outcome was the importance of honesty. When an issue arose within the group, we spoke openly about it and tried to find real solutions to address the issue, as well as prevent it from happening again. We looked at whether we were speaking our own truths, or things that we had been told. In order for others to trust us, we must be honest with ourselves- our strengths, our weaknesses, our values, our intent, our whakapapa, our whānau.
WHAKAPONO- To be truthful
Whakapono leads naturally into the realisation of humility. In search of our own truths, we are put in vulnerable positions that test our resilience, yet we know these positions of vulnerability are merely transitions to greater self-confidence and belief- such as singing in a strong voice, making mistakes in waiata, saying the wrong word, not being the best etc. By being honest with ourselves, we can also be realistic in how we can achieve our goals and what support we may need.
WHAKAITI- To be humble
Whakaiti is the act of humility. For ourselves, so to bring others down. Rather to be kind, to be motivated by good, to see strength in fighting for good. Because one of our main beliefs is that if you act from a place of love, things usually work out well in the end. From humility we are driven to work for others, for collective growth. We are resilient, because we know we have to be, so we persevere and encourage each other to do so. Being able to be wrong or different and be appreciated for being so, is an extremely fulfilling feeling that bowls down self-confidence issues and opens up a new world, through having a slightly different perspective.
WHAKAMANAWATANGA- To empower
Whakamanawa is necessary to instill confidence in one another. When one is confident, they are able to encourage others, especially if they have understanding of how hard confidence can be to attain. For naturally shy people, singing with a group can provide a much needed outlet to practice being heard without being singled out. With encouragement they can push even further, but they must do the work themselves- just with enough encouragement to get them there.
WHAKATINANATANGA- To embody
Whakatinana is manifesting your intent, doing the work, doing the hard-yards. It’s learning a waiata that is difficult, practicing poi, haka and karakia. It’s mopping the floors and welcoming the guests. It’s doing as you say you will. It’s working collectively and ensuring everyone is informed, practiced and ready. It’s leading when you need to, and following when you don’t. It’s about seeing things from a wider perspective. It’s about doing things for a bigger reason.
WHAKARANGATIRA- To enoble
Whakarangatira is to enoble others. Your own rangatiratanga is somewhat enabled by enobling others. By being respectful of others and their beliefs, their whanau, their customs, their abilities. By seeing yourself as united with others, and wanting to care for your whanau, your community. To be a chiefly role-model within your whanau, and encourage others to be so. To be your best- whatever or however that is perceived.