Whānau Ora Storytelling Approach Benefits Us All

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is pleased to support a storytelling initiative developed by Nga Pakiaka Mōrehu o te Whenua who will be launching their first children’s book ‘The Footsteps of Uenuku’ at Ukaipo Cultural Centre in Blenheim on Wednesday 24 October 2018 at 6pm.

Ngā Pakiaka o Te Whenua is a metaphor for the people of the land. Their goal is to enable their whānau group to preserve traditional stories and knowledge in a number of different ways, but mainly through wananga.


Helen Leahy, Pouarahi / Chief Executive of Te Pūtahitanga o te Waipounamu says, “By supporting whānau lead initiatives we are able to harness whānau strengths and in this case we’ve been able to draw on whānau creativity and historical knowledge in a way that it can be shared with the whole community. By supporting these projects we are able to increase cultural competency among whānau, hapū and iwi to achieve whanaungatanga, along with wider benefits to the community as a whole”.

Project Coordinator Keelan Walker says “We believe that once our own people are confidently telling our stories we are one step closer to achieving our objective”.

“When we started, one of the goals was getting our local stories into schools, mainly because there is a lack of resources providing information to them, that is relevant to our area and people.

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“There is a demand for these resources and we believe that is our responsibility to take an active role in both the revitalisation and preservation of our knowledge and stories so that our tamariki are learning about their history and culture in the classroom. In a sense we want to instill confidence and pride within them all as they see their own tupuna and ancestors as heroes and role models, through the stories.” says Walker. 

"We've seen a shift in our community since we were at school, in particular, what our community place value on.  This is just one resource, but we're hoping to provide others in the near future." - Dr. Peter Meihana, Trustee, Nga Pakiaka Mōrehu o te Whenua.

"This project is something I am really proud to be a part of, mainly because it has been a journey I have been able to enjoy with both my extended whānau and my very own tamariki.  These storybooks represent that journey." - Sue Parish , Trustee Nga Pakiaka Mōrehu o te Whenua

“Currently, there are over 170 unique whānau driven enterprises across Te Waipounamu / The South Island, which have benefitted from investment; entities which focus on both growing whānau capability and building integrity, innovation and ownership at the local level” says Helen Leahy, Pouārahi / Chief Executive.

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