There was a packed programme for Te Kāhui Whetū this year.

About 200 NZEI Te Riu Roa members travelled from various Aronui Tōmua across the motu to the  hui held at Tauwhare marae in Tauwhare, Kirikiriroa in July under the kaupapa Te Kīngitanga.

In one of the opening sessions, senior member of the extended royal family Mamae Takerei took the attendees on a journey looking at the whakapapa of the kīngitanga, the land confiscations and a celebration of the resilience of the kīngitanga and quoted Tainui leader Te Puea:  “If I dream, I dream alone but if we dream together, we can make it work”.

Te Manukura of NZEI Te Riu Roa Lynda Stuart gave an update on special education and the sale of Education House in Wellington.

There were sessions on the vision for Miro Māori in a Future Focused Union, the proposed career framework and the pay equity bid for NZEI Te Riu Roa members.

In Reclaiming Papatūānuku, Tracey Godfery (Ngāti Awa) presented research carried out in the Whakatane rohe about contamination and the consequences of the waste of timber treated with PCP and dioxin. She talked about the formation of Sawmill Workers Against Poisons (SWAP) who are suffering similar illnesses, and want to draw the attention of the government and the health department to this intergenerational issue.

There were also workshops on New Zealand Sign Language, teaching digital technology, first- time principals sharing their experiences and advice around how to balance school and outside-school life, a session on wellbeing and teachers sharing experiences of innovative learning in a collaborative learning environment, and supporting kura and ECE centres to reduce waste.