Whānau Ora Symposium 2018 Highlights

Tūtakitaki Ngā Waka, Tūtakitaki Ngā Tangata, The Waka Converge, The People Converge

21-23 March 2018 Marlborough Convention Centre, BLENHEIM


Each year Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu holds a gathering to celebrate, learn and share the collective stories of Whānau Ora across Te Waipounamu. Add to this a range of inspirational and influential keynote speakers to inspire attendees and you have the Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu Symposium. 

This year Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu Symposium was held in Wairau/Blenheim or Te Pokohiwi o Kupe. This iconic site where the Wairau River meets the Pacific Ocean in Cloudy Bay has been described as the birthplace of New Zealand, given it is one of the most important archaeological sites of this land. The Wairau Bar was probably the first major economic and ritual centre in the new colony. Successive studies have put the arrival of the first waka to this site between 1288 and 1300.   

The people arrived at Wairau Bar in ocean going waka, it is a place where Polynesian fish hooks, plants, shells, shark teeth and sea mammals were found.   The Wairau Bar was rich in inanga, eels, flounders and shellfish.   It was indeed a site of great bounty.

This is the journey of Whānau Ora.   That we come from the four winds, bringing our unique histories and heritage with us.   We have a whakapapa that is a source of enduring knowledge to draw upon to solve contemporary problems with courage, with innovation and with insight informed by experience.   We are born of greatness; our life’s work is to draw upon our stories to ensure we can all flourish.

The Symposium commenced on the 22nd of March, preceded by an Iwi Business Forum on Wednesday 21 March, hosted by Te Puni Kokiri – The Ministry of Māori Development and Westpac and supported by Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu. The day  concluded with the inaugural Te Pātaka o Wairau Night Market at Alfred Street in Blenheim. The following two days comprised the Whānau Ora Symposium at the Marlborough Convention Centre.

International and national speakers, the and the Minister for Whānau Ora were guest speakers and  other highlights showcased entity presentations; workshops; and the conference dinner.   Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is committed to building the capability and capacity of whānau within Te Waipounamu and the symposium is an opportunity to demonstrate the progress whānau are making when they are supported and encouraged to become self-determining and innovative. Check out some of the video highlights below.

Keynote speaker profiles

keynote speeches - video


Video Highlights


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