Tama-Hauti Potaka

Tamahauiti, 17, is a boarder at Tai Mitchell Hostel at Rotorua Boys High School. Tama’s interest in environmental issues came through his connection to his whanau and hapu land in the Rangitikei district. His whanau/hapu hail from Ohingaiti, and reside in an area above the Rangitikei River. This is where he gained a strong awareness of environmental matters. The concept of kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of the land and water was taught to him by his elders. This indigenous framework is how Tama views the world, and through his strong connection to the land he is motivated to find ways of sustaining his turangawaewae. In school he has been a student representative on the board of trustees for the past 3 years. Tama is also a Prefect responsible for Drake house and holds the Environmental captaincy position. He is a bi-lingual learner and has achieved to a high standard academically, across all his subjects. Tama sailed in the Spirit of Adventure and has recently attained his dive certificate. He is concerned about the impact of climate change on indigenous cultures, and is passionate about finding solutions that are culturally appropriate and from an indigenous perspective.