E tautoko ana ngā taratī o Ngāi Te Rangi ki Tauranga Moana i tētahi rōpū e kīia nei ko Te Ohu Uenuku, ko tā rātou he hāpai i te hapori takatāpui. Ko te wawata o ngā pou o Te Ohu Uenuku, ko te whakaihiihi i ētahi atu iwi kia pēnei hoki rātou.
I tērā tau, i tahuna te whare torotoro o te whānau ‘Tauranga Rainbow Youth’, nā konā i mōhio ai ngā pou o Te Ohu Uenuku ehara i te mea ka tautokona ngā wāhi motuhake mō ngā takatāpui e ētahi tāngata. Heoi anō, e titikaha ana rātou i roto i tā rātou tautoko i ō rātou whānau me te akiaki i ngā panonitanga e tika ana.
E ai ki tētahi o ngā pou, ki a Sophie Canning, nōna i te whare wānanga, he ngāwari ki a ia te tautoko i te hapori takatāpui. Engari, ka hoki ana ia ki te kāinga, he nui ake ngā tauārai. Heoi anō, nā te tautokona o rātou e te iwi ka kaha ake rātou.
I whakapuakina e te kaiwhakahaere, e Whakamarurangi Samuels, tāna e mahara nei ki ngā kōrero whakatakē e pā ana ki te hunga takatāpui nōna e pakeke haere ana. Ka pāmamae rātou nā te rongo i aua momo kupu, nā te kore hoki o rātou i arohia
Ko tā rātou rautaki ko te tuku i tēnei mahi whakahirahira kia horapa ki Aotearoa whānui. Mā reira e mārama ai te katoa ki te hiranga o te tautāwhi i te hunga takatāpui i tā rātou whai kia tautokona, kia whakautengia rātou.
Ngāi Te Rangi iwi trusts in Tauranga Moana are supporting a special group called Te Ohu Uenuku that is dedicated to helping the takatāpui community. The leaders of Te Ohu Uenuku hope that their unit will inspire other tribes to do the same.
Last year, the Tauranga Rainbow Youth drop-in centre was burned down, so the leaders of Te Ohu Uenuku know that there are people who don’t support spaces for takatāpui in the city. But they are determined to support their whānau and push for positive change.
One of the leaders, Sophie Canning, said that when she was in university, it was easy for her to speak up for Māori and the takatāpui community. But when she came back home, she faced more challenges. However, with the support of their iwi, they feel stronger.
Whakamarurangi Samuels, the co-ordinator, shared that growing up, they heard negative things about being gay. It hurt them to hear those words and to not be understood.
Their plan is to spread this important work throughout Aotearoa. This will ensure that everyone can understand the importance of supporting takatāpui on their journey to be accepted and respected.