The many faces of haka and healthiness

At 12.51pm on Friday 22 February the world stands still.  It is a time to grieve lost loved ones; to replay in our minds where we were on the day that the earthquake landed in Christchurch.   And it is time to reflect on how far we have come – and how far we still have to go.

 

It was, therefore, a significant coincidence that on this day, we were in Wellington meeting the Minister for Whānau Ora to talk about the final report from the review of Whānau Ora, Tipu Matoro ki te ao – at the same time as not far down the road was Te Matatini ki te ao. Both the report – and the kapa haka extravaganza – have in common the power and the potential to grow, to prosper and to share with the world.   There could be no better expression of the wellbeing of whānau to see young and old, male and female, small and big, urban and regional – gathered together to support their top teams, and to cherish the drama, the theatre, the meaningful moments, the poignant power of the words.  This is the context for this week’s blog.

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Courage is what it takes

There is nothing that lifts my spirits more than being immersed in the company of genius.  I see genius in the creativity of applicants turning up all over Te Waipounamu for the Wave Nine workshops.   I feel hunger for learning in the brand new students of the brand new kura at Omaka Pa – te Pa Wananga.   I hear of amazing events that occurred at Te Pataka o Wairau or the Kaumatua Day Out in Queenstown last week.   And I learn every day of the bravery, the versatility and the sacrifice of those who have helped whānau to get through the fires of Nelson, including our new Emergency Response Navigator, Kahutane Whanga.   Courage – that’s what we see on a daily basis in the ability of whānau to step up and be counted.   Read and be amazed…..

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We are often at the liberty of the elements of nature

The fires engulfing the fields of Whakatu have occupied our thoughts over these last 24 hours in particular.   We have relocated Navigators from Blenheim, including our Manukura Serena Lyders, to support the team in Nelson.   The marae are on high alert; the community doing all that it can to stem the angry path of flames from approaching built up areas.   As the winds rise, we in Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu are thinking of all that we can do to help address the crisis looming fast on Nelson horizons.

 

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Living by Design not Default

As we lead into Waitangi Day it has been great to see the different range of events being held to recognise and understand the significance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to the growth of our nation and all our people.  This week we advertise some of those events as well as share some of the great momentum building as Wave Nine opens.

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Fresh faces and perspectives in Whānau Ora

Fish and chips is as iconic to Aotearoa as jandals and pavlova.   So when Anton Matthews came forward with FUSH – and over 3000 Canterburians overnight expressed interest in learning te reo in a café environment, he knew there was something special about his idea to revitalise the language.  This week we look into the FUSH success, as well of course, as share the excitement of the Wave Nine applications for Whānau Ora.

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Beautiful waters reflect purity and wonder yet hide so much beneath

Next week – on Monday 21st January – we open for expressions of interest for Wave Nine Ora funding.

 Wave Nine is driven by the whakatauki : Hurihia to aroaro ki te rā, tukuna to atarangi kia taka ki muri i a koe  (Turn your face to the sun and let the shadows fall behind you).

 This week’s blog takes a look around the motu – from Mapua to Otautahi, from the land of Makaawhio to Paremata – seeing how the sun shines on all our whānau in their various initiatives.

 Have a read!

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Ngā mihi mo te tau hou ki a koutou katoa!

‘Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, “it will be happier” (Alfred Lord Tennyson)

 

And isn’t that the truth!  Our new year starts with some great stories of hope and happiness from the Whānau Ora entities and initiatives across Te Waipounamu.  Have a look at what’s happening in Kaiteriteri, Blenheim, Murihiku, South Dunedin, Titiraukawa, and Kaikoura.

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I have one thing that counts and that is my heart.

As we come to the end of another year, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu celebrates with you an amazing year of enterprise, entrepreneurship, energy and effort on behalf of, for and with whānau. 

 The year ended in great spirits with a fantastic legal education training session from Korimako; some inspirational – and health-enhancing activities from our resident pharmacist and Navigator Tinana contracts in Bluff and Dunedin; the launching of WildKrafty Aotearoa in Nelson; and an amazing selection of Christmas goodness from right across the motu.

 It’s all about a love for the people  that each of you give so freely, and so consistently.  

 Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te tau hou ki a tātau katoa.

 

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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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