Kia Ora whaea Ann-Margaret, thank you for joining us today! Nō wai koe/ nō hea koe?

Ko Ann-Margaret Campbell-Strickland ahau. Ngā uri ahau o Hokianga Te Roroa te iwi ki te Tai Tokerau me Taranaki Ngāti Ruanui te iwi ki te tonga. E tipu ake au ki Tamaki Makaurau.

How has your journey been so far as a kairaranga?

My journey has been short in comparison to many weavers from around Aotearoa. I am fortunate to be weaving full-time, self-employed and able to travel around the country. Don't get me wrong, I have to work hard, have a plan and sometimes a friend or two to help with mahi. I am now a kairaranga for Hapai Te Hauora weaving wahakura to assist in the delivery of safe sleep for pepi and whānau. 

What are the current issues you are facing with delivering raranga wānaga?

Current issues I feel are availability of wānanga, I would have them more frequently if possible. However there are things to consider for example venue - does it cater to our needs? Is it accessible to all hapu māmā and whānau. We are getting the word out there  in the community and it is slowly gaining momentum. We are looking closely at how we manage community engagement and looking for ways to improve.

Te Whare Pora, what is this kaupapa?

Te Whare Pora o Hineteiwaiwa  our spiritual guardian of weaving, childbirth and the cycles of the moon. Hineteiwaiwa represents the arts pursued by women. The kaupapa is a connection for hapu mama and whānau to come together, to sit, to kōrero and have a cup of tea. Do they have the support services that are required? We can certainly help address any of their concerns and connect them with support needed. Wananga are planned to weave wahakura for pepi and this is where the mama and whanau can work together to create their taonga. We reinforce safe sleep protocols while we are weaving the wahakura. I am privileged to work alongside Dale King and Leah Ransfield who make up our team.

Often whānau tend to think these wānanga are just for hapū māmā, is this true?

Hapū māmā are our target audience around safe sleep messages we encourage the whānau to attend as well. It is great to see partners, husbands and nana/papa attend some beautiful moments are captured within the wananga.

Lastly, before we let you go for the day, do you have any practical advice for whānau Māori wanting to start their raranga journey?

If you have a whānau member weaving ask to learn with them and start the kōrero, join any local weaving groups and there are also different wananga around the motu where courses are available.