I've been surprised by how much I have enjoyed the latest issue of Te Karaka. (Whoops sorry, unfortunately the latest issue is not yet available on the TRONT website)(but on a better note the back issues are available here and that is awesome), And I really have enjoyed each and every article.
Why was I surprised? Well I had a sense of unease about Te Karaka but I couldn't pin it down and then I noticed on the front of the magazine it says, "about Ngai Tahu about New Zealand".
It's about Ngai Tahu yet not necessarily for Ngai Tahu. It's a window on the world of Ngai Tahu for others. (if you aren't sure about that - think about Te Panui Runaka which is for us). And it does an amazingly good job of achieving that goal. What production values, what high quality articles about important subjects, what gorgeous photos - the fact is that this magazine shows us as we want to be seen, and how we are. And Ngai Tahu whanui want to read and see it too. My unease evaporated as soon as I realised the purpose of the magazine and how it achieves that purpose.
We must have this ability to show ourselves as we want to be seen. Te Karaka is one of our leading 'public faces'. I really must commend the quality of the articles, whilst I'm not really a fan of 2 or 3 part-ers, it's got me wanting more. It is a beautiful magazine and it should keep on doing what it is doing well.
I think we have a gap.
The content of Te Karaka is of great interest to Ngai Tahu whanui, it is the only way we get to read, hear about and see some of these activities and certainly the only way, for some, to access the learning contained in the articles. But the magazine is static and allows minimal interaction.
Why don't we put the articles on the TRONT website? Why don't we make a version of Te Karaka as an online magazine where articles can be sourced and research could be done. Where questions and comments can be made.
It's really only a matter of time before Te Karaka has an online version, so why not just get into it.
It would allow deeper information to be available, it would allow interaction of ideas and easy follow up of topics, it would strengthen us. And we would still have the beautiful paper version.
Then Te Panui Runaka could become like a community newspaper, still monthly but with a larger size on newsprint with classified and an online version as well. Ultimately they could all link up into a Ngai Tahu web with virtual galleries and so on. It's not really that difficult.
Imagine the knowledge flow, the strength that will be gained for everyone. We truely will be paddleing in unison and flying along.
We have Te Panui Runaka, we have Te Karaka, and we have the TRONT website. Three great information pathways that need an overall strategy focused on increasing the connection and participation of Ngai Tahu whanui.