On 4-5 January 2016, ‘PolyVolley’ (a beach volleyball event), inspired by the E Tū Whānau kaupapa and values, was held at Oruati Beach and Maraetai Bay, Te Kaha.
A group of female secondary school students in Te Whānau-a-Apanui, led by 14-year-old Isabella Parkinson, organised the event to provide fun for local youth but also to:
- draw on local iwi strengths to bring this idea to life and demonstrate the notion that “Māori have the strengths within”
- highlight E Tū Whānau messages such as “violence towards women and children is not traditional”
- teach participants to recognise body-shaming, and to experience body-appreciation.
Isabella is an E Tū Whānau Kahukura – she has taken it upon herself to step up, speak out and challenge to engender positive change within her community. Her leadership and commitment in this area has been considerable. She made and sold artworks to raise the $500 needed to purchase the first beach volleyball set and she has created a short video to share PolyVolley and the underlying messaging.
This work contributes to the growing support and leadership from young people across the country as E Tū Whānau ‘rangatahi kahukura’ (youth change agents) – a key strategy of the E Tū Whānau Programme of Action.