Rotorua Weekender - 2021-10-15


Join our waka for an exciting news voyage


The Rotorua Weekender is proud to launch its new four-page bilingual local news section, Kāhu ki Rotorua, today, covering local news and issues and celebrating local people. Tihei mauriora. Welcome to the new and exciting world of Kahu ki Rotorua, an excursion into uncharted waters. It’s not a journey for the timid or the tentative. Just as our tupuna did all those generations ago when they left Hawaiiki, launching a bilingual newspaper is a journey into the unknown. But it is so exciting. Having te reo rangatira in a mainstream newspaper in the 21st century is every bit as ambitious as those journeys across Te Moananui A Kiwi. To arrive in that new world our tupuna gathered their whanau and the most skilled artisans and sailors in their rohe. And so it is with Kahu ki Rotorua. Our team -- Te Paepae Poto a Houmaitawhiti -- brings a myriad of skills to the table. The call to dump retirement and return to the fray was irresistible for news junkie Roimata Mihinui. She returned home to Rotorua in 2015 from Auckland where she had worked as a subeditor on the New Zealand Herald and then for APN. The Whakarewarewa penny diver moved to Wellington in 1970 to study journalism at Wellington Polytechnic. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology she maintains with her Poly 70 classmates and looks forward to a reunion next March -- Covid permitting. But this mission is too important for a one-person band, even if she does descend from a line of Te Arawa super women. Luckily, Roimata has very wide whanau networks and didn’t hesitate to call in the recruits. First up a recognised tohunga of te reo was essential. Cue Raimona Inia, the partner of Roimata’s niece Nikora Mihinui. In 2015, Raimona and Nikora established Te Mau Aroha Incorporated, to foster and perpetuate Te Arawa matauranga Ma¯ ori. Their philosophy: He aturangi ka mamao – Do not allow the beauty of the horizon to become distant, simply; take charge of your life and make the most of every day They were happy to hop on board this new waka to bring two worlds together through local stories. NZME engaged Te Mau Aroha trust a few months back to produce the first bi-lingual local news section. Raimona hails from Nga¯ ti Pikiao, is a prolific researcher, accomplished writer, and passionate driver/visitor of local kaumatua. Raimona has an extensive background from teaching, presenting on Ma¯ ori TV, studious weaponry exponent and practical applicator of Te Ao Ma¯ ori me o¯ na tikanga in many areas. Nikora’s role is to oversee the contract specifications with NZME and coordinate in the background. Her favorite past time was penny diving in Puarenga, various life and work experiences have driven the desire to make sure the next generation have a clear pathway to success. Together they have three teenagers, Kaewa, Kaiza and Nataria. Rounding up our little paepae is Rawinia Phillips Smith - who descends from Te Ārawa whānui, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa and Ngai Tahu. She is connected to Roimata and Nikora through Mihinui Te Whiwhi, Roimata’s paternal grandfather. Rawinia lives her best childhood memories sitting at the feet of her eldersand is the Project Coordinator. Meeting people who are inspirational and those who are actively making positive impacts in our community are the things she most enjoys about this new role. She looks forward to the stories we will be covering in the future and the unknown journeys they will take her on.


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