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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Luke EganComment
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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Luke EganComment
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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Tools of the revolution

I was happy to hear of a little fun our fabulous Navigator team had on the way home from the symposium in Blenheim last week.  When they got to the land of the orange cones and go and stop signs, they reached out literally, Easter egg in hand, and shared the love with those who are clearing up State Highway One.  I hope you and your whānau can reach out and make someone’s day this Easter as well – pass it on!

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Ko Te Poho o Tamatea Pokai Whenua te mauka

This last week some of our incredible Whānau Ora Navigators have been learning the art of digital story-telling.   It is such a powerful mechanism to be able to demonstrate the stories that characterise our experience.   This week’s blog tells the story of those couple of days – finished off with a flourish by the super-navigator, Rauhine, and the framework she has shared called ‘Karawhiua’.

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There are no signposts in the sea

This week’s blog is all about reading the signs – and appreciating ‘the time is now’.   It is time to start planning for emergencies.   It is time to call out unacceptable behaviour, what we might call mana-enhancing.   And most of all it is time to cherish those nearest and dearest.

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Through collaboration and a shared vision we can create a better world

Do the census; it's good for your health!   Census day – Tuesday 6 March 2018 - has a big impact on how many health dollars end up in the district. Health funding is population-based. It’s not just the number of people either; older, younger, rural and people on low incomes attract a higher rate of health funding.   And that's not all - the census data can be used for all sectors to give a context for not only determining funding but also to help plan for the future.

So this week  - we're pulling out all the stops to make the 2018 Census a Whānau Ora campaign!   Please take time to fill out the census and also please make sure whānau, friends, work mates, everyone you know does the same.

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Luke EganComment
Optimised and Reconnected

It was a big week in many respects.  The enormity of weather shocks as they hit around Te Waipounamu.  The waves of grief that still surrounds our memories of 22 February 2011.  

 

And yet some fabulous moments as well - a couple of bronze medals in the Winter Olympics; Mawhera Inc being named a finalist in the Ahuwhenua awards and the first wananga for the Whanau Ora certificate an exercise in optimism and positivity.

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Navigating the pathways to success

This week we travelled to Karitane to reflect on 110 years of Plunket.  How wonderful it was for the story of Meri Hepi and Ria Tikini to come to the fore- the Maori midwives from whom Dr Truby King gained inspiration.   In the beautiful circle of life Meri’s mokopuna Amanda is the Chief Executive of Plunket in 2018.

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Prepping for tomorrows Artisan Wine

While all eyes seemed to be focused on Te Nota and Pm Arden’s visit to Waitangi there were some unique expressions of Waitangi commemorations in Te Waipounamu.

 

In the Deep South of Awarua Ngai Tahu legend Ta Tipene O’Regan was keynote speaker at Awarua.  Rapaki Marae celebrated in style with the opening of their wharekai.  A bit further north the community at Gore Bay had a great adventure following the Treaty Trail.  Protection; Partnership; Participation - it’s as good a basis as any for Whanau Ora!

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Through rain and storm

A heatwave in Southland; floods in sunny Nelson; trees topping over on the Kaikōura Coast, king tides, a supermoon – if it hadn’t happened, we might have thought the weather in the last week was straight out of Dr Seuss.   Through rain and storm, our Whānau Ora Navigators have been checking on our whānau; helping them to safety and keeping homes warm.

 

At the same time this week, the heavens have opened in grief at the loss of two beautiful kaumātua of Ngāi Tahu: Uncle Ku – Kukupa Harakore Tirikatene and Taua Betty “Boo” Rickus.   E tangi atu nei, e tangi atu nei.   Moe mai rā – our thoughts are with the whānau pani and all those who carry the loss deep within their hearts for the wisdom, the love and the precious gifts of our rangatira.

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