Rangatahi Actor And Activist – Meet Ngahuia Hona-Paku

Ngahuia – Right-hand side, practising as a River Spirit for Witi Ihimaeras opera “Flowing Water”

(Ngāti Kahungungu, Te Arawa)

As a young entrepreneur, Ngahuia was just seven when she would buy and sell poi to tourists in village of Whakarewarewa. It became clear then that Ngahuia had the grit and determination to find opportunities, and make them work.

“I used to go into town buy poi, then on-sell them to manuhiri at Whaka, I was self-employed when I was seven! I was also penny diving and learnt how to rattle. You have to do what you gotta do or someone else will do it.”

Born in Hastings and raised in Rotorua, Ngahuia went on to study dance in Australia at Whopper Dance Academy in Perth after finishing secondary school.

“I love dance, I really really do, it’s a form of expression and I’m excited to be getting back into it now through Maha Movement.”

Her love for dance recently saw her involved in an Opera called “Flowing Water” by Witi Ihimaera.
“The experience, knowledge and history that was shared through the performance arts was just amazing.”

Ngahuia became active in the local council space amid plans to build a road over land she belongs to at Ngapuna. She says it was this, and her desire to become a voice for her whanau and tupuna, that gave her the drive to become involved with Te Tatau.

She was recently selected to take part in this year’s youth leadership development programme called Tuia. Candidates of the national kaupapa (programme) are mentored by mayors, who select rangatahi Māori (young Māori) from their rohe and encourage them and help to enhance their leadership skills.
We look forward to watching Ngahuia grow into a strong young wahine leader representing our Te Arawa rangatahi.