Reflecting on the successes and challenges behind us

Graduation parades; red carpet and catwalks; Carols at the Pa; Christmas parties – this week had it all.   In amongst the tinsel and jingle bells, we also had opportunity to think about the impact of violence in our lives, and our collective commitment to make a difference to the dynamics around the family fire.   This week’s blog takes us along for the ride – celebrating our graduates, being grateful for the special people in our lives.

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Ngā Whāriki Manaaki

In the season leading up to Christmas parties and summer holiday relaxation, what better way to refocus the energy than to head along to a Whānau Whakaora Wellbeing event?  

It’s been a very busy week for our team – the Corstorphine Community Hub held a wellbeing event on Saturday in Dunedin; in Invercargill there was Maranga Mai on Sunday, and then the Nav Nation carried on the laughter, the reflection and the connections throughout the week. 

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The land of the orange cones

“We will not be measured by the kilometres of pipes and road that we replace but by how our people come through this”  (Jim Palmer,  Waimakariri District Council CEO Sept 2010).  This week has been motivated by how we remain dedicated to the goal that our whānau are at the centre of all that we do – the decision-making; the town planning; the services; the attitudes and expectations.   It has been a week in which we been continuing to champion the Tu Pono kaupapa – te mana kaha o te whānau.   We have been focusing on post-earthquake resilience; attended the LGBTI awards; and maintaining our focus on physical health and wellbeing.  

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The ebb and flow - Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au

This weekend there will be two roads out of Otautahi: one on the way to Ipukarea in Blenheim; the other to the Ngai Tahu Hui a Tau at Onuku Marae in Akaroa.   Such events promote the opportunity for whakawhanaungatanga; for celebration; for connections.  This week’s blog we take a glance at five of the iwi of Te Tauihu; drop in on the national Kaumatua conference, and attend a hui on mothers and babies in prison.

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The earth laughs in flowers

This week we spare a moment to reflect on the impact of the 14 November 2016 earthquakes generated in Kaikoura; we host a group of senior managers from the Ministry of Social Development and we share the excitement of Ngai Tahu and Oranga Tamariki signing the first Strategic Partnership between that agency and iwi.

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Inspiring a new generation

Kororia Hareruia ki a Ihoa o Ngā Mano, Matua, Tama, Wairua Tapu, me ngā Anahera Pono, me Te Māngai hei tautoko mai, āianei ake nei…..Ae                                                                                                                                                 

Today we acknowledge with respect the legacy of Tahu Potiki Wiremu Ratana.    This Sunday will also be Armistice Day – 100 years since the end of the Great War.  

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It started by Paying it Forward.

On 26 July 2016 Angels Trio held their first community luncheon in Nelson.  It was two years to the day since Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu had held six simultaneous launches around Te Waipounamu to herald the start of the commissioning agency.   And it is now some two years again since Chanel, Vera and Lovey set off on an amazing journey that took them on a new path this last week with the opening of their shop, LoVeChi.

 That is one of the wonderful achievements of the Whānau Ora approach – seeing whānau take off in new directions, under their own steam but always conscious that their relationships and the dedication they have put into making change happen will see them through.   This week’s blog takes an extended look at Angels Trio – from humble beginnings.

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Face The Risk

This week has been a great week for Whānau Ora.   A new resource was distributed for children in Marlborough - The footsteps of Uenuku.    Thirty graduates were celebrated at Rehua Marae in Christchurch for their success in the Certificate and Diploma programmes.   And we take a look at some fascinating health ideas from Alaska including the notion of family wellness warriors.

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Tama Nui: Leveki ti Ofaofa e Vagahau Niue

The new Oranga Tamariki Act promotes the importance of mana tamariki, whakapapa and whanaungatanga; recognising the vital role that connection and belonging play in the wellbeing of our children.   This is a concept that is shared with many cultures, as this week being Niuean Language Week reminds us.   In the blog this week we introduce Whānau Ora Navigator for Oranga Tamariki, Mamaeroa Ngata- Stevens.   We take a look at how navigators have been working with the shearers in the South, and holding PATH planning workshops in the top of the South.   We also share some insights from this week’s harm reduction conference which celebrated thirty years since the needle syringe exchanges were established – a world wide first.

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Planting the Seeds of New Life

This week’s blog is influenced by the concept that you can’t bury a seed.  

 

We share some of the discussion at the national Oranga Tamariki hui in Wellington; profile KOHA (Kia Ora Hands Aotearoa) which we have just released a digital story about; highlight  nominee in the Southland Community Environment Awards for Whakaoraka, Jade McGuire and promote the workshop held last weekend in Gore by Murihiku Pounamu.

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Indifference or Initiative: That is the question

I caught up with Murihiku kaumātua, Michael Skerrett, at the Koha Kai event this week.   He told me, with a chuckle, that he should probably retire some time soon.  I found that hard to believe.   When you look at the commitment he has made in so many areas to protecting our special environment, to be tangata tiaki, I can’t ever imagine him retiring.  One particular priority he has made is in protecting the recovery of the  taonga species of toheroa on Southern beaches.  This week’s blog takes some time to talk about toheroa, to celebrate the Koha Kai graduates, and focusing on women in leadership in Christchurch prisons.

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The String to our Kite

I am always in awe of our kuia and koroua who talk so easily about matters of the flesh – broaching the topics of sexual pleasure, the functioning of our body parts and the relationships we have amongst ourselves.  

 

They are completely unphased by terminology or content: speaking as naturally about these issues as they would a meal between friends, a visit to the coast, a trip down memory lane.   And that is exactly how it should be – that our sexuality, our health, our wellness is a conversation that we can all participate in.

 

This week, Matua Brownie took on that same skill in talking with us at Rehua Marae about the symptoms and the treatment of prostate cancer.   In his straight-forward way, he took out all the fear and focused on the facts.   In doing so, he reminds us of the wisdom of the ancestors, who included all these ideas as part of the topic for waiata, for haka, for karakia, for cultural heritage.   We must not forget – cultural amnesia is as damaging as the ignorance or fear that stops us from being well.

 

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Isn't she lovely

This last week we have been reflecting on the leadership of women over 125 years ago, but also more broadly to reflect on the foundation laid in creating the future we inherit today.  At the turn of the 19th century, Māori women were writing letters and memoirs, petitioning newspapers; editing newspapers, appearing before commissions of enquiry; giving evidence in court; appearing in front of the Native Land Court.  And they were part of the campaign for gaining universal suffrage as well!

 

That same energy of constant activity; the enthusiasm to mobilise a movement; the power of political and policy activism is still thriving in 2018.   We celebrate the women in our lives today, as with every day, me aro koe ki te hā o Hineahuone: Pay Heed to the Dignity of Māori Women.

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Kia Kaha te reo Maori

The initiative of encouraging Māori women to communicate with each other through the Māori newspapers of last century was taken by women such as Niniwa i te Rangi, Meri Mangakahia and Pani Te Tau. These papers inspired wahine Māori to collectively organise and to speak with a unified voice.  Next Wednesday 19 September, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is holding a celebration, to acknowledge the entrepreneurial success, the diverse skills and the multiple talents of wahine Māori who 125 years to the day since Women’s Suffrage was achieved continue to inspire us in spreading the Whānau Ora approach.

As we celebrated this week, te wiki o te reo Māori, it is a great time to remember those pioneers and champions of both te reo and Māori political movements who have laid the foundation for Whānau Ora to follow.   This week we feature some of our new language champions, as well as catchup on two key conferences that occurred.

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Life’s a journey: Complete it!

Does your pay packet influence how you feel?  Does money make you happy?   Or when you are happy, do you feel more productive and able to contribute?

Happiness is not generally on the agenda of Treasury conferences, but it was this week.  We heard that happy individuals earn more, they  have a more positive outlook, they are more proactive with opportunities.  But the nature of cause was not so clear – are they happy because they are earning enough to provide for a greater quality of life?

This week we also feature some of the success stories of the southern enterprises who are pioneering a Whānau Ora approach. 

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Flowers always make people better

This week He Kakano had its premiere opening on Māori Television.   The TV Guide promotesHe Kākano as “aims to make organic gardening easy and relevant to today, weaving together traditional growing methods with Māori ingenuity, to produce fresh tasty dishes. Wednesdays,7.30pm. On Demand available globally”.

 

Meanwhile in Murihiku the marae was rocking with the kaumatua health day; in Te Pā o Rakaihautu the Whānau Ora Review Panel was meeting lots of whānau associated with Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu

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Find a way

Some weeks are harder than most.  This one was one of those.   Too much sadness.   Too many stories of despair.  Yet in the pathway of pain there was also the shimmer of hope that shone through Mana-Wā: a symposium to celebrate and honour the mana of all our rangatahi.    It was a big week – a national justice sector summit attended by over 800.   The Minister for Whānau Ora visiting Te Tauihu.  And as we enter into the weekend we celebrate the regional presence of Te Waipounamu Māori Women’s Welfare League Regional Council 24-26 August.

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R.E.S.P.E.C.T


This week’s blog is influenced by two powerful women : the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, and the newly anointed Dame, Hon Tariana Turia.   We think about what respect means – in the context of

family violence; in the context of self-determination; in the context of Whānau Ora.  

 And we say a little prayer to you…..please make your submissions for the Whānau Ora Review! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Z5GCHGG

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Measuring what counts

Measuring what counts is top of our minds this week as we participate in a number of evaluations.  One was focusing on the progress achieved with literacy and numeracy; the other with our flagship policy, Tu Pono Te Mana Kaha o te Whanau.   Another major focus in the week just passed was the visit of the Whānau Ora Review Panel to Omaka Pa in Blenheim.

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Buffetting Blowholes and the unique wonder of the Pancake Rocks of Punakaiki

I used to be fascinated and terrified by the thunderous roar of the blowholes at Punakaiki on the West Coast.  My gaze would fix on the swirling waves below, as inevitably we would try to stand up against the force of the wind.    This week’s blog is all about using the force of whānau around us to remember what is important; to take our gaze away from all that is harmful to our health, and instead to stand strong and proud in cherishing the very essence of the life we are each gifted with.

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