WE all felt amazing pride when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke at the United Nation's General Assembly.

She walked in carrying a heru gifted by Ngāti Rēhia, introduced herself in te reo Māori on the largest political stage in the world, and shared our values of dignity and respect with millions of viewers.

She expressed a desire for people to be better connected, better engaged, and to make life here on Papatūānuku not just better, but fairer.

It was a beautiful moment in our history and I want to acknowledge that.


I am hoping this inspiration also follows through to the students of the Manaaki Tāngata certificate in the bicultural social science programme of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Whanganui.

I recently had the pleasure of hosting this class in Parliament.

After their welcome in the historical Matangireia room, we had an outstanding kōrero on issues such as affordable housing, autism, gender re-assignment and historical and inter-generational trauma.

The best hui are the ones where all parties walk away with plenty of food for thought, and that was certainly the case here.

I'm sure it was the same for the 70-plus local Māori students who took part in the he kai kei aku ringa Rangatahi Business Challenge of Young Enterprise and Te Puni Kōkiri.

Held at Whanganui City College, with five other kura taking part, it was encouraging to hear what these young Māori minds made of their Dragon's Den style business challenge, and the career goals it helped them establish.

The brightest minds of Aotearoa's future are at the schools of Te Tai Hauāuru.
I was saddened to hear, however, that Tupoho Whānau Trust had been targeted by vandals twice in one fortnight.

The needless destructive acts affected the trust's abilities to provide a holiday programme to relieve hard-working parents, and also damaged emergency accommodation options ready to support whānau in need.


It's just not good enough. As a community, we need to take care of those who look after our vulnerable.

Tupoho runs services to help our hapu, iwi and community, not to put their mahi on pause to replace expensive windows that people who should know better have broken.

I say to the culprits: "You are better than this. You are, because we are, and you are a part of us."

Let us raise the bar in terms of how we stand together.
Look after each other, whānau.

Adrian Rurawhe is MP for Te Tai Hauāuru