Maranga Mai Te Waipounamu : Waking up to Wellness

Media Release

FOR RELEASE, 21 June 2019

Maranga Mai Te Waipounamu : Waking up to Wellness


In the lead up to a series of celebrations of rangatahi, whānau and the community, Maranga Mai Te Waipounamu, the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency has released a new digital story, Toro Mai To Ringa.

“The phrase, Toro mai to ringa comes from a beautiful waiata crafted by Sir Kingi Ihaka – “reach out your hand and clasp mine in truth and friendship,” said Helen Leahy, Pouarahi of Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu.   “The South Pacific Rugby League and Sports Club in Dunedin has taken a leadership role in promoting positive health outcomes, recognising that social and mental wellness is linked to physical wellbeing”.

“The digital story demonstrates the importance of physical wellness - basketball, netball, touch and tag football – as a basis for mental wellness for whānau.   This is a rugby league club with a difference.  They have initiated oranga wellness events and wānanga to focus on wellbeing across the whānau.

“In the light of disturbing new data about unprecedented increases in suicidal ideation and attempted suicide, stories, events like this are essential to change the narrative,” said Ms Leahy.

Police statistics released on Wednesday show 4369 attempted suicide events in Canterbury were reported in 2018, up 59 percent from 2015.   This can be expressed as an average of 11 attempted suicides a day in Otautahi last year.

“We have to be creative, be courageous and be committed to making wellness our collective priority” said Ms Leahy. 

Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu has invested in a series of wānanga for rangatahi to voice youth opinions, concerns or expectations, Maranga Mai Te Waipounamu.

“The hui commenced in Murihiku last year, and over the next ten days travel to Buller; to Motueka and to Dunedin” said Ms Leahy.

“Maranga Mai Te Waipounamu embraces the concept of whakapapa, whānau and community. The wānanga are facilitated by Hurihia ki te Awatea Tawaroa; a Rangatahi Connector.   The concept of a rangatahi connector is a strengths based approach that acknowledges the integral role youth have in co-designing solutions and shaping change especially in an issue as important as suicide prevention”.

“Maranga Mai Te Wai Pounamu hails the dawning of a new era with a focus on raising awareness of key protective factors in the prevention of suicide for whānau and communities across Te Wai Pounamu. It is a powerful message that asks us to stand stronger together, united in hope and aspiration for whānau, iwi and communities”.
Key Protective Factors that underpin Maranga Mai -
·         Positive cultural identity
·         Strong sense of place and belonging
·         Meaningful social interaction and support
·         Community connectedness
·         Supportive relationships        

Maranga Mai Te Waipounamu is a partnership between Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu and Ngā Kete Mātauranga Pounamu in Invercargill.


About us: Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is a Commissioning Agency that works on behalf of the iwi in the South Island to support and enable whānau to create sustained social impact.  We do this by developing and investing in ideas and initiatives to improve outcomes for Māori, underpinned by whānau-centred principles and strategies; these include emergency preparedness and disaster recovery.  Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu also invests in Navigator roles to support and build whānau capability.   

Media Contact: Helen Leahy, Pouarahi, Chief Executive, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, M: 021 881 031

E: A: 10 Show Place, Addington, Christchurch

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