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Source: Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology

A book focused on intergenerational positive ageing is set to become a taonga for Ngāti Pikiao whānau for generations to come.

Kōeke – Ā kō ake nei was launched by Ngāti Pikiao Iwi Trust last Friday at Te Tākinga, Hohowai marae in Mourea, by the shores of Lake Rotoiti.  

The book is the culmination of a multi-year research project, led by Ngāti Pikiao and funded by the Health Research Council, that focused on intergenerational positive ageing for Ngāti Pikiao elders.  Toi Ohomai was proud to be a research partner in this project. 

The book contains stories of nineteen Ngāti Pikiao elders who spoke with researchers about their lives, and in particular what had contributed positively to their ageing, drawing on their lived experience and deep knowing. 

Each story is unique and different, some in English and some in Māori, providing glimpses of the elders’ earlier lives and families. The stories tell of connections to whānau, to community, to their surrounding environment, and how their cultural roles and obligations enable positive ageing and continued purpose.

On the day, each of the researchers read small snippets from the book that were special to them. Then each participant was presented with a copy of the book by one of the children from Whangamarino School, many of them grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the participants.  

Toi Ohomai senior researcher Dr Tepora Emery says it was clear from the pride and satisfaction on the faces of those present that this book will be a taonga for Ngāti Pikiao whānau for generations to come.

“My tuakana Waitiahoaho and I were privileged to lead the Kōeke – Ā kō ake nei project. Building Ngāti Pikiao research capability by recruiting and growing our own emerging kairangahau from within the haukāinga (local home-based researchers) was an important project goal that was fostered and met. 

“With strong support, our team of seven participated in all aspects of the research including writing up the 19 stories. It has been a big, but hugely satisfying job.”

Tepora says the book launch was a happy, uplifting and joyous occasion for Ngāti Pikiao. 

“Toi Ohomai can feel proud to have been part of the production of the book – and also proud of Shirley Lyford, senior nursing lecturer, who assisted the research team with data analysis.

“Teaching about positive ageing to Aotearoa’s fledging nursing fraternity, Shirley has been awaiting her personal copy of the book with great anticipation. Two additional copies have also been gifted to Toi Ohomai libraries.”