Children from Rotorua Primary School were enlightened, enthralled and captivated by the life experiences of Co-Leader of the Green Party, Marama Davidson, in her visit to Te Aka Mauri today.
Rotorua Library Te Aka Mauri was privileged to welcome Co-Leader of the Green Party, Marama Davidson, today as part of our Matariki Māngai: Living Book series.
These events are different from a usual talk or presentation as, rather than the presenter speaking about their lives, the session is prompted by tamariki (children) asking questions about any chapter of the living book's life they choose to.
Ahead of the session Marama was excited about being guided by questions from the audience.
"That is one of the best parts of my job as a Māori woman leader in politics" she commented. "I think living books is a fabulous concept that aligns with marae tikanga and practice where our kaikōrero are living books of mātauranga".
Marama responded to all the questions the tamariki had with aroha (love), honesty and quick wit in a down to earth manner while imparting great mātauranga (knowledge/wisdom) to all the tamariki, kaiako (teachers) and community attendees.
There was a constant flow of raised hands from the group of tamariki and Marama praised the children for the quality of their questions.
Just some of the questions asked were: What makes a good leader? Can you tell us your whakapapa? Who was your greatest inspiration? How did you become a leader? Who are your favourite musicians and actors? What do you do to help the environment? What is your favourite kai? Where are your favourite places? How many kids do you have?
Marama openly shared stories relating to her life and said that sharing stories is an effective way for people to connect to each other, to learn about each and to build trust with each other. "For me, sharing stories is the key to healing the big issues that the world is facing".
The session was educational, intimate, and deeply meaningful and spoke volumes about Marama's ability to relate well to children and provide a shining example of a mana wahine and prolific leader.
The Matariki Māngai: Living Book style was a powerful and interactive way of connecting Marama with our local young people and a raw and insightful look into the life of a politician from a young person's perspective.
It was aspirational, inspiring and a great learning experience for all involved and we are very grateful to Marama for sharing her stories with us so willingly.
E te mareikura, e te wahine rangatira o Te Hikutū, Hokianga, Te Rarawa me Ngāti Porou, nei rā te mihi whakawhētai ki a koe.