Well I am in week two of my holiday and I thought I would take some time to reflect on the Hikuwai Weekend School which we held nearly two weeks ago now. The Hikuwai Weekend school was held in Tutukaka and ran from Friday 2nd March in the evening to Sunday lunchtime. It brought together people from the Hikuwai region for a weekend of learning and socialising, for the first time. We were also lucky enough to have people among us from Christchurch who we brought up specially for the conference and also some from other regions.
The concept for our weekend school came from a conversation about the fact that we needed to do more to assist our members with their professional registration journals and from observing the long running Bay of Plenty weekend schools and how successful they have seemed to be. We also were conscious of the fact that with Hikuwai being such a large area and so much of the population being based in Auckland, that our colleagues in the far North often do not get as much opportunity as they should. So on a trip to Whangarei to talk with people about their professional registration, the concept was born.
I am so happy that we decided to put the school together, and that it all came together so well. Marion from the Committee was the star of making it all happen, and without her I am sure we could not have had such a nice venue or great programme. This combined with the efforts of the rest of the LIANZA Hikuwai Committee has meant that we were able to provide a brilliant weekend, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The Friday night was purely a settle in and socialising night, and with the learnings beginning Saturday morning after a Mihi Whakatau. We had a great range of speakers and topics which kept the programme varied and I think interesting for all. I certainly got learnings from some of the talks, and this combined with my journey in learning a reply in Maori for the Mihi Whakatau and generally ensuring the weekend went well, ensured that I have come away much richer for the experience.
It was a thrill and an honour (if somewhat scary) to be asked to do the reply in Maori. I believe strongly that if you are going to speak in Maori, you need to try to correctly pronounce the words and so I spent a lot of time over the week beforehand, repeating the words over and over again. Thanks to some wonderful guidance by Anahera Sadler, I think I did ok!
Ocean's Resort in Tutukaka proved to be a fantastic venue for the event and now we are faced with the inevitable conversation about whether we should hold it in the same place next time or move it around the region. It would be hard to top the venue, so I suspect next time might be in the same place. However.... we shall see.....