A shining star on Earth!
He aha rā tēnei hanga?
E puta nei te taniwhā kokoti ora i tōna rua
E kume nei i te tangata, e kati nei i te hā, e huti nei i te aho ki te ao tūroa, e kai wawe nei i te tangata e!
He aha tāna e mahue nei?
He ohorere, he rangirua, he taumaha kei taku ngākau e!
He hae kino, he ngau kino, he kai kino e kawa nei ki te waha!
Ko te kawa nā Hine-nui-te-pō, nā Māui Pōtiki e,
Hikohiko te uira, papā te whaititiri, he kanapu ki te rangi, ko koe rā tēnei kua riro e…!
He kupu iti ēnei i pupū ake i roto i te whatu manawa i te rironga wawe o tētahi … arā, ko Dawson Tamatea.
E kīia ana, ko Hongongoi te wā o te mātao, o te tahutahu ahi kia rongo te tangata i te mahana! Heoi, i te 20 o Hongongoi ko te anu mātao tērā i pā ki tēnei tangata. Ko ia tēnā i kume i te mano tangata ki runga o Te Kupenga o te Mātauranga hei takotoranga whakamutunga mōna. Ko te whare tēnā i poipoi, i ako, nāna tonu i tautoko ki te hanga i ngā tau kia puta ia hei kaiako, hei kaihāpai, kaiārahi, hei kaituitui i te tangata i ngā tini kaupapa o te hapori o Te Papaioea. Ka noho ko ia hei tahutahu i te tini mahara, i te tini kōrero kei te ngākau o tēnā o tēnā i tae ā-tinana atu, i hono ā-ipurangi atu ki te tuku i ngā kupu poroporoākī ki a ia!! Nā reira e te rangatira, moe mai rā koe i te kōpū o Papatūānuku, takahia atu rā te ara whānui ki a Hine-nui-te-pō, whakangaro atu rā!! Rārangi maunga tū tonu, rārangi tangata ngaro noa!!
As I contemplate a suitable and relevant topic for discussion, I am drawn to the passing of a very good friend, who was a well loved and respected figure within the Manawatū community, Dawson Tamatea. At the young age of 55, in the wee hours of Monday morning, 20th of July 2015, he was taken suddenly from his beautiful wife and three lovely tamariki. His passing reverberated across the nation, with multitudes ascending on Te Kupenga o Te Mātauranga Marae to pay their respects, to celebrate a life well lived, and to give Dawson one hell of a send off!
His passing was so surreal and tumultuous for my whānau and me that, three months later, having also lost three grand uncles, my thoughts turn towards Dawson. Dawson, incidentally, was a previous pouako of mine, a job that gave him much joy and pride, and ensured a career that spanned 30 years. He was a special person with talents galore. Although Dawson was an amazing teacher, when he spoke, I often felt he was possibly working in the wrong profession. His ability to entertain and manage a crowd was world class. My heart breaks again at the thought that his infectious smile and great sense of humour will no longer grace this world. These feelings of sorrow vibrated through me in my final speech at Dawson’s poroporoaki, a tribute of words that bubbled and emerged from within, stirring my emotions, and guiding me to deliver a very emotional and uplifting farewell speech. Yet, his influence continues to surround me, especially as I ponder the attributes, skills, and values necessary to be a quality and effective facilitator at CORE-Education, I think of the influence we are expected to have on our kura. We are developing skills, growing understanding, and engaging staff across Aotearoa with the intention to lift the achievement levels of our tamariki. Dawson absolutely lifted the achievement levels of our tamariki, I and many other Māori are an example of his contribution.