The Katikati public had their first chance to hear the results of Katikati Taiao’s Hearts and Minds – Ngā Ngākau me ngā Hinengaro – research project, when over 50 people turned out for a preview at Te Rereatukahia Marae on Saturday.
After being called onto the marae and welcomed according to the traditional Māori protocol of a pōhiri, attendees listened to presentations from members of Katikati Taiao, the Research Team and the Reference Group. The main messages were around the value – to each other, the community as a whole, and the natural environment – of making meaningful connections, particularly through understanding the diversity of cultures represented in Katikati.
The theme of kotahitanga – unity – was raised many times, as different people spoke of their experience as participants in the research over the past 9 months. From film nights to collaborations on alternative education and employment pathways, to an event on youth suicide prevention, the research was undertaken as a participative, community-led action process, with themes emerging as people engaged along the way. As with any community-led process, the views expressed by those participating are not going to reflect those of the whole community. However, the overwhelming statement across many ages and demographics was that ‘There is disconnection in Katikati, particularly between the different cultures,’ and that ‘We need get more connected!’