Ohomairaki is a group of Māori and Pakeha who have made a commitment to working together to develop a bi-cultural path within the life of the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Psychodrama Association (AANZPA).
Ohomairaki formed following the Christchurch conference in 2004. An initial working party developed relationships within the regions and alongside local groups led six hui (gatherings), attracting members from all over New Zealand. These hui were enriching, vibrant and life-giving, enabling both Pakeha and Maori to experience psychodrama on marae.
At a hui held at Koukourarata Marae in Christchurch in 2006, Kaumatua Rev. Maurice Gray gave the group its name, Ohomairaki; awaken to the cosmos. This gift inspired the group to live up to its name strengthening Ohomairaki’s identity within AANZPA, and among other initiatives inspired the association’s name change to the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Psychodrama Association (AANZPA).
Membership of Ohomairaki is open to all who are interested and all who wish to participate in hui and other Ohomairaki activities.
Other activities inspired by Ohomairaki include:
- Bicultural workshops offered at conferences
- An AANZPA Treaty of Waitangi workshop
- Powhiri or Mihi Whakatau at conferences
- The creation of an opportunity for Maori and Aboriginal peoples to meet within AANZPA at the 2009 Melbourne conference
- AANZPA members have been revitalised and celebrated in their work with indigenous people
- Australian AANZPA members have been having new conversations with Aotearoa New Zealand members about race relations
Hui have been held on the following dates at the marae listed:
- July 2004 Pokororo, Motueka
- January 2005 Pokororo, Motueka
- July 2005 Onetahua Marae, Mohua (Golden Bay) attended by 20 people
- October 2005 Experiential psychodrama workshop, Otakou Marae, Otepoti (Dunedin)
- Feb 2006 Koukourarata Marae, Koukourarata, Port Levy (Banks Peninsula), attended by 30 people
- September 2006 Te Herenga Waka Marae, Victoria University, Poneke (Wellington) attended by 45 people
- July 2007 Hoani Waititi Marae, Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland)
- April 2008 Otakou Marae, Otepoti (Dunedin)
- May 2009 Onetahua Marae, Mohua (Golden Bay) organised by Ohomairaki Core Group plus Bev Hosking and Diana Jones
- October 2009 Core group met at Onetahua, Mohua (Golden Bay)
- May 2010 Onetahua Marae, Mohua (Golden Bay) attended by 17 people. Led by Colin Elliott and Sheryl Horomona-Gardyne
- November 2012 Hongoeka Marae, Kapiti (Wellington)
- January 2013 Pre-conference Hui at Hongoeka Marae, Kapiti (Wellington)
- November 2013 Koukourarata Marae, Koukourarata, Port Levy (Banks Peninsula)
Ohomairaki has attracted Maori back into training and has given other Maori a taste of the psychodramatic method ensuring there have been Maori protagonists. Ohomairaki has given Maori a way into knowing who they are and the hui have managed to hold people in painful times and enable robust debate.
Ohomairaki is led by a core group who have maintained relationships over distance and time. They function without a designated leader and share the leadership, which is no mean feat, standing behind those taking leadership at specific times.