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Ministry of Justice (MoJ) – Te Kōnohete 2023 (TK2023), Public Sector Māori Cultural Festival: A Resounding Success and Anticipation for Te Kōnohete 2024 (TK2024) | Tamaterangi Andrew | Wellington

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Happy New Year readers. I hope 2024 is a prosperous year for you and your whānau (families).

Last year I wrote a column about the Public Sector Māori Cultural Festival, Te Kōnohete (The Concert) and Ministry of Justice, Te Tāhū o te Ture, participation. In the column, I explained the whakapapa (genealogy) and history of Te Kōnohete, how it started, and the founders.

Te Kōnohete 2023 (TK2023) for the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), began with a lot of hard work and commitment. The committee, consisting of representatives from different groups within MoJ, worked relentlessly to ensure we were represented well at TK2023. Andrew Kibblewhite, the Secretary for Justice and CEO, took a central role at TK 2023, commencing our event with a mihimihi (acknowledgement) in te reo Māori. Mr. Kibblewhite’s effort to ensure accurate pronunciation and fluency in te reo Māori was evident in his delivery. This moment was significant for both the MoJ team and Mr. Kibblewhite’s family in attendance. His involvement highlighted the Ministry of Justice’s dedication to honoring Māori culture during the event. It is hoped that other Chief Executives present at TK2023 will find Mr. Kibblewhite’s performance inspiring and appreciate his willingness to step out of his comfort zone in an unfamiliar environment.

The Te Tāhū o te Ture (MoJ) kapa haka group, under the guidance of committee members Kaiawhi Wharemate, Patrick Takurua, Tayla Taggart, and Katie Cha, along with advisors from within MoJ, successfully navigated the substantial logistical and resource challenges in preparing our team. The commendable commitment of these leaders exemplifies their professionalism, individual expertise, and determination for success. We not only set but surpassed our goals, a testament to our collective effort and dedication.

Te Kōnohete has always been a non-competitive event, regardless, there is always an element of competition. In our minds Te Tāhū o te Ture kapa haka group were the victors on the day. Banter aside, the real victor on the day was kotahitanga or unity of over 20 public service groups and the diverse ethnicities participating in those groups.

CE Andrew Kibblewhite delivering his speech in te reo Māori.
Te Kōnohete, Wellington College 25 November 2023

Te Kapa haka o te Tāhū o te Ture in full flight. Te Kōnohete,
Wellington College 25 November 2023.

CE Andrew Kibblewhite and Te Kapa haka o te Tāhū o te Ture, Ministry of Justice
National Office performance, Wellington 1 Dec 2023.


Te Kōnohete 2024 (TK2024) 20th Anniversary a Significant Milestone

This year is significant for Te Tāhū o te Ture (MoJ). As the founders and creators of Te Kōnohete we prepare to co-host with four other agencies to celebrate the 20th anniversary. The first TK2024 meeting was held on 8 Feb 2024 at the Office of Oranga Tamariki, Wellington.

This year will be a great opportunity for the public to be a part of this significant milestone, under the ‘te pūtake, kotahitanga’ (the purpose of unity). Te Kōnohete 2024 promises to be better and bigger than TK2023, with groups preparing to provide extraordinary performances that will have the audience up and dancing.

We look forward to your presence at the event, so be on the lookout for public announcements and advertisements.

The following whakatauākī (proverb) holds significance for establishing connections and fostering collaboration as we collectively strive to support a shared vision.

The proverb goes: “Kotahi ai te kohao o te ngīra e kuhuna ai ko te miro ma, te miro pango, te miro whero,” meaning “Through the eye of the needle pass the white thread, the black thread, and the red thread.” This wisdom was imparted by the inaugural Māori King, Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, in 1858.

By Tamaterangi Andrew – Wellington

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