Over the past three years Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou and Skills Active Aotearoa have partnered together to offer Ngati Porou communities the opportunity to attain a National Marae Catering Level 2 certificate.The certificate programme is held on marae in different areas, and delivered by Matekino Tuhura from the Whanau Oranga team of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou.
The qualification helps marae kaimahi to upskill in cookery and food preparation, and also addresses the food safety (kaitiakitanga) practices of marae as well. The certificate can also be used as a stepping stone for those interested in pursuing further training or employment in the hospitality industry.
In his valedictorian speech Tamati spoke about being a young boy and how his job was to peel the potatoes and wash the dishes. As he grew up his responsibilities grew as well and he was given more tasks like cutting and portioning meat. He acknowledged that the marae was where he did his apprenticeship, however one day his father told him that his job at the back in the kauta was now done.
Tamati says , “My father told me that my job was now “ te mahi whaikorero”, which means moving from the kitchen duties to the paepae at the front of the marae. I did not know that some 60 years later I would be standing here receiving this certificate and being recognized for those things I had learned in the kauta - the old style kitchen we now call the wharekai. “
“The role of our marae kaimahi behind the scenes is so important. Like the saying goes, “ When the back of the house is good, the front of the house will run smooth - Kia tika a muri, kia tika a mua.”
To join or find out more about the programme contact Matekino Tuhura at Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou in Ruatoria: Tel 06 8649 004 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org