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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Paradise on Earth

The passionate agency of Mana Rangatahi at Lake Rotoiti was a beacon of hope for us this week as we watched the video which showed these young champions of Ngati Apa ki te Rā Tō in their prime.   We ended the week with a similar high note, as the thirty second ‘elevator pitch’ of our graduates of Te Papori o Whakatere revealed the talents and determination of the next generation of whānau enterprise.  Inbetween there was a rich selection of story, of hui, of reporting and a smidgeon of social media to place engagement at the top of all of our agenda.

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Kaua e kōrero mō te awa, kōrero ki te awa.

The challenges for our whānau can often appear insurmountable.   Low income, job insecurity, violence and abuse all serve to erode the spirit of our whānau.   The great thing about working with others is that together we can tackle these issues and look to shine light on solutions – whether it be in ‘creating the catalyst for Māori success’; healing the harm of hearts that are hurting, strengthening our capability to take on new horizons.   This week we take a look at some of these ideas:

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‘What is social wellbeing?’, this indigenous, homegrown model for holistic wellbeing is as relevant as ever

Māori health expert  Professor Sir Mason Durie developed the whare tapa whā model of health in 1982. This encapsulates a Māori view of health and wellness and has four dimensions: taha wairua (spiritual health), taha hinengaro (mental health), taha tinana (physical health) and taha whānau.   36 years later as government embarks on a child wellbeing strategy; Treasury launches a Living Standards Framework, and the Social Investment Unit asks ‘what is social wellbeing’, this indigenous, homegrown model for holistic wellbeing is as relevant as ever. Have a read.

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Ahakoa he iti he pounamu

Puaka / Puanga is such a special time of the year.   The rising of Puaka brings with it a cherished time to start anew, to build up our reserves, to focus on our strengths.   It is a time to become reinvigorated; a time to learn; a time to reflect.  This week’s blog celebrates the twenty graduates of the first Whānau Ora Certificate in the world; we share a story of a gorgeous entrepreneurial five year old; and the imagination and innovation of the phenomena that are Hana and My Father’s Barber.  

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Realisation of our dreams

The vibrantly beautiful Tina-Marie leant closely in to the circle of tamariki, and cajoled them to lift their kauae high, to pull their pakahiwi back, to make their tuara be tall and proud, to grasp their ringaringa – and to be the rangatira that they are born to be.   It represented the powerful optimism all of us held for the mokopuna who will graduate from Te Pa Wananga – the new kura opened at Omaka Pa this week.   Other developments in this week’s blog include a focus on our Navigator entities in the South; some special health literacy events held on the Coast and in Corstorphine Hub, and some amazing reflections from whānau about what Navigators do to make a difference.

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Self-awareness is at its core, the ability to see ourselves clearly

I heard a couple of great phrases this week at a conference on collaboration I attended.   “Listening is not waiting to speak”  or “Listening is like the trampoline : listen so you can bounce ideas…”.

We often undervalue the importance of effective listening; ‘waiting for our turn to speak’ rather than being open to the ideas of the person speaking to us, or the conversation all around us.   This week we share some of the different conversations that we have been party to over the last couple of weeks in Nelson, in Dunedin, in Kaikoura, in Christchurch and in Dunedin.

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There was only one thing, The Right Thing to Do

There was a great retort from the pharmaceutical company that produced the drugs that American comedienne Roseanne Barr had blamed her shocking racist tweet on this week.  ‘Racism is not one of the known side-effects of this drug”. So often the explanations  / excuses for unacceptable behaviour are shallow, superficial, or implausible.   This week, Tu Pono: Te Mana Kaha o Te Whānau held a hui at Arahura Pa in Hokitika where we continued to focus on the words used – negative and positive – about how we frame our conversations around violence.  

 

This week we also feature the evolving profile of Hikoi Waewae and the Whenua Kura graduation held in Hokonui.

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A window to our world

This week we look through a window to the world from the Southern most edges of Oraka Aparima to the top of the South, Te Tauihu.   We learn about the opportunity to replant and replenish native plants; to acknowledge the successes of the Ahuwhenua Maori Trophy; and to share the excitement of preparing for Wave Eight investments.

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The mauri expresses the essence that binds us together, the whakapapa

Our hearts were heavy this week with the passing of Whānau Ora champion, Tania Mataki.   As we came together for team building, to promote the new wave 8 funding opportunities, to speak to the Select Committee about child poverty, and the important work of creating resilient whānau, we realise how important it is now, more than ever, to value the courage of those advocates who do so much to keep our whānau strong.

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No Place Like Home

This weekend is Mother’s Day.   One of the most beautiful gifts of having children is that they provide you with the opportunity to be a parent – to nurture them into their potential, to dream big and hope that life will treat them well.  Of course we can’t always be there in difficult times – this week coming is also Bullying Free New Zealand week.   It was therefore fitting that on Friday, there was an important hui at Premier House in Wellington – the Prime Minister’s home – signalling that keeping all our whānau safe from harm is an issue of the highest order.    As it should be……

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The Path of the Kirituna

The autumn trail of the tuna as they head for warmer waters provokes discussion about resilience, persistence and the inner drive that propels them forward.   We often see those same characteristics in whānau – whether in their work with Whānau Ora Navigators to create a pathway to wellbeing; or whether it is finding their way out of an environment of harm.   This week we feature the Kai Shack – an exciting new venture which has received the support of Community Law.  

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The Last Smile of Summer

There is nothing quite as beautiful as the burnt orange, firey red and golden yellow leaves that flicker in our path in the autumn. A drive down Memorial Avenue becomes a symphony of colour; long Southern roads are a journey of wonder.

 

This week, we congratulate Kakano Café on their reopening; we welcome new Whānau Ora mokopuna to the world; and we learn about a great pyjamas project called Good Night Sleep Tight.

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Not all wounds bleed

This coming Wednesday, there will be special ANZAC commemorations being held all over Te Waipounamu.  

 

You can start the day at the dawn service at 6am in the Kaikoura Memorial Hall or the Picton War Memorial;  7am at the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum; head down to the Rangitata Island Aerodrome in Geraldine at 9am;  the Spring Creek Hall at 9.30am; take part in the Passchendaele Poppy Ride at Trousselot Park in Kaiapoi at 10.45am; visit the Air Force Museum in Christchurch at midday; and be back at the Ward War Memorial at 2pm.   Wherevery you are, it is time to remember our fallen men and women; to honour their courage, reflect on their sacrifice and cherish the legacy they left behind.    Lest we forget.

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Gazing Towards Heaven

The peaks of Matai-rangi were a great sight to stimulate thinking about the nature of the relationships that whānau, hapū and iwi have with the Crown.  But while these discussions are being held around the nation, many of our entities are just getting on with the work of whānau: chopping firewood; making kai; creating herbal remedies, choosing education pathways.  This week’s blog features a few of those stories.

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Gemstones; Sunsets on Fire and the Demigod of Peace and Resilience

My grandmother used to tell us kids “you don’t know how lucky you are”.   When the comedian Fred Dagg came out with a hit song featuring that same phrase it of course became her favourite anthem.   I thought about her words this week when visiting one of our communities in the South and hearing about a family where the only kai to eat in the house was potatoes; when life becomes a spiralling cycle of fines and bills and cries for help; and making ends meet is a constant battle.   In that climate, champions like Zola are like miracle workers.   They appear with a handful of vegetables; find a way to get some new tyres for the car; give a tired Mum a reason to believe in hope.   Nāna was right.   It is the greatest privilege in the world to find these ‘gems’ amongst our communities, who give us all reason to have faith.

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