The twelve youth leaders chosen by the Moko Foundation to attend the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York have returned to NZ.
The group named He Kuaka Mārangaranga, are now looking to reinvest back home.
“The goal is to unite the 300 and bring them back to these initiatives because the ultimate goal is to improve and develop Te Ao Māori,” says scholarship recipient Te Wehi Wright.
Twelve students were selected from the initial 300 candidates who submitted video entries for the scholarship experience.
But Te Wehi Wright says there's discussion to hopefully establish a wider working party group.
“The vast amount of knowledge between individuals can't be overlooked, it needs to be developed and drawn to these platforms so that we may all grow.”
Speaking on behalf of He Kuaka Mārangaranga, Te Wehi says the issues won't necessarily have a rangatahi focus.
“The first thing is to meet and carefully analyse what to focus on, that way we can see how the teachings can be shared with the world, starting with Te Ao Māori.”
Wright says that following the initial meeting the twelve recipients will go back home to find out how they can contribute.
“To go back to our marae and ask, 'what can I do?' Because at home, that's the point of all of this. If the benefits aren't reinvested back home then what's it for?”
Regarding the trip to the UN, Wright says he finds respite in knowing there is a cohort of young Māori who are specialists in different areas that can work together.
“We have different backgrounds, different attitudes but we all work well as a team because we've been raised in the ways of our elders.”
He Kuaka Mārangaranga will hold their first meeting this week.