Passing the volunteering baton from one generation to the next is part of Teariki Junior Takairangi way of life and has seen him be awarded the Volunteering Mid & South Canterbury and the Hotel Ashburton’s Volunteer of the Month award.
Teariki Mum and Dad were big community helpers in the Cook Island community, so he has grown up with it and is now teaching his children the value of volunteering.
Teariki is the leader of the team who volunteer to provide all the catering at the Hakatere Marae. Having grown up helping with the catering for up to 500 people at a time its is something he now enjoys doing and sharing his skills such as showing his sons how to prepare for a Hangi.
About eight years ago he was involved in a tangihanga for a family member and assisted with the catering. Following this he made an offer that if the Marae needed someone to be in the kitchen, he was willing to volunteer to do that.
He now helps with catering for the Anzac Day service cooked breakfast, the Waitangi Day celebrations, tangihanga and Matariki Day celebrations, the Civil Defence Welfare Centre and fundraising. This year they will be cooking up hangi for people to purchase while they browse the stalls and enjoy the entertainment. Some of that entertainment will be provided by Teariki and his band Pacific Tribal. His band volunteer to play at community events like Waitangi Day, Matariki and the “Let’s chalk about mental health”.
When covid numbers began to increase in Mid Canterbury and the Hakatere Marae set up the Manaakitanga Meals – Teariki answered the call and stepped up to help the team provide over 1500 free, nutritious, and healthy cooked dinners to the community and they include a very popular item Maori Bread all 2000 of them.
When asked why he has a busy Dad with a household to care for gives his time to volunteer “to see the appreciated I get from others that I do for is worth so much, it make me very happy”. He is certainly providing a wonderful role model to the next generation.
His can-do attitude, the ability to produce large quantities of health meals on a budget certainly makes Teariki a very valuable volunteer.