Kumanu February 2021

Kumanu : (verb) to tend carefully, foster, attend to, care for, cherish.

Tēnā koutou e te whānau, welcome to another report on the busy goings-on at our beautiful study and retreat Centre. We’ve hosted retreats with Tarchin Hearn and Tessa Meeks this last month, punctuated by lockdown level changes with the continued presence of Covid19 showing up in our national community. From the Board’s perspective this has meant speedy decision making and agile updating of existing Covid procedures, with the added factor of new Caretakers on the ground. Special thanks to Kath Mitchell for her work on this. We continue to check in and update procedures concerning Covid, including making the barcode more visible for everyone arriving at the Centre. Please make sure you have the Covid Tracer app downloaded on your device and remember to sign in when arriving at the Centre.

What we’ve been attending to:

This month we’ve begun having conversations around the Treaty of Waitangi / te Tiriti o Waitangi and what it means to us. What is our existing experience with Treaty work? How do we honour tino rangatiratanga in our actions as the landowners of the Wangapeka Educational Trust? Do we understand our position as a largely Pākehā sangha in relation to local mana whenua? How are these relationships and how might we feed them? This is a big kaupapa and we would love your input. We are inviting a caucus of interested community members to join these discussions, without any pressure to show up every month – just when you can! Each month we will hold a zoom meeting to discuss these questions, with the intention of moving the ‘victorious chariot’ forward. Please email elliyates@gmail.com if you would like to take part. She will then send a zoom link and a couple of questions to ponder before the session. The first zoom meeting will be 7-8pm Thursday 24th March and is open to anyone who responds to the call.

We’re requesting help with:

Wangapeka Books in the form we know it is coming to an end. This marks the conclusion of an incredible legacy – the gift of Dharma in written words, published in books and online. Tarchin and Mary have offered a generous monetary gift of $7000 to the Wangapeka Trust, and we would like feedback on what to do with it. How do we carry the kaupapa of publishing forward? Is there someone in our community who is willing to take this on?

We are on the lookout for new members to join the fabulous maintenance team. You don’t need to be a qualified tradesperson (although this would be a big bonus!) but rather have a love for the Centre and desire to offer dana in a practical way.

Speaking of maintenance, we are looking for someone who would be willing to cook during maintenance weeks this year at the Centre. The people who generally offer dana during this time work really hard and it would make a big difference if they did not have to cook for themselves as well.

Finally, there is space in the calendar available for individuals who are free and wish to come up to the Centre to practice on their own and or offer dana. The dates are 20-25th March. You would need to be self sufficient (byo food) and willing to coordinate with Caretakers about what needs doing on the land.

Please send offers, suggestions or comments to Shelley, our amazing Board Co-ordinator at coordinator.wangapeka@gmail.com.

What we’ve done

This month we welcomed our wonderful new Caretakers, Hadeligh and Malu, to take up residence at the Wangapeka. They have had inductions with previous Caretakers and been given support from a number of community members. Big thank you to everyone who has helped guide this process, in particular Louise Petzold for her role in holding things down on the ground in the unusually long interim period between Caretakers. One sad repercussion is that Hadleigh can no longer be on the Board, so we are one member down … watch this space for news on who’s next (perhaps it’s you?). Malu is now busy getting to grips with the kitchen management and myriad tasks involved with manaakitanga (hosting), while Hadleigh finds his way with Land Caretaker-ship. One element of this was participating in the maintenance audit, which our fantastic maintenance crew carried out on Feb 3rd. This resulted in an updated capital works matrix. There will also be new heaters purchased for Dumo and Namgyal huts for the cooler months.

We would like to express massive gratitude to both Fred and Ramon who have been living at the Centre as volunteers for several months, and who have recently left. Ramon’s tireless work ethic and skills as a tradesperson added great value to the Centre. Fred’s input around systems, together with gifting the Centre several important pieces of new equipment, is also much appreciated. We wish you both well on the road ahead! As well as this, Paul, our latest Land Caretaker, also left the Centre after three months of dedicated service. We thank you for your attentive care of the garden areas in particular, and for your steady, gentle presence at the Centre over the summer months.

Until next month, may you be healthy and happy and keep washing your hands. Mā te wā, your faithful Wangapeka Board members.