Rise Up for Our Whānau

“For me to get through the toughest periods in my life, I had to look within to find the energy to do it.  I don’t give up.  Never have.  Never will."


- Jonah Lomu


We end this week paying our respects to a man who inspired hero worship from right across the world, Jonah Tali Lomu.  The gentle giant, international rugby legend and New Zealand ambassador, was farewelled on Saturday at the Aho Faka Famili service; a day for the family, before his public memorial and private funeral to follow.   

At the service a Tongan community leader talked about Lomu as a wonderful son of ancestors who made him the man he was.   “Such is the legacy.   Such is the heritage that has been combined in this wonderful, gentle loving giant.   Life is too short but what matters is not how long you live your life; what really matters is what you do with your life”.

The statement about the big man could well be made with many of our families across Aotearoa, who are doing whatever it takes to make the most of their life.

This week Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu was honoured to attend the Pasifika Futures celebration of Whanau Ora champions across the Pasifika communities.  The Pacific Whānau Ora conference highlighted the experiences so far with the new commissioning model and shared lessons learnt from the first year of Whānau Ora commissioning.  .At the dinner in Wellington the Minister for Pacific Affairs, Hon Peseta Lotu-Iiga specifically addressed Te Pūtahitanga and congratulated us on the great stories he was hearing about Whānau Ora in Te Waipounamu.


Interim Te Pūtahitanga CEO Helen Leahy, with Liz Kelly (Ngati Toa) and Gerardine Clifford-Lidstone, Pacific Perspectives.

That determination to keep going, no matter what, is something that our Whanau Ora Navigators tell us is what they find in their connection with whānau right throughout Te Waipounamu.  It is great to see one of our host organisations, Nga Kete Matauranga, being referred to by Te Puni Kōkiri in their promotions about Navigators.

“Navigators at Ngā Kete Matauranga, a provider in Invercargill, worked with 85 whānau last year. Almost all whānau came to them in crisis, and now 95% are out of crisis. Once crisis needs are met, whānau are often highly motivated to identify and achieve goals."

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu now has 24 Navigators across Te Waipounamu; and we have recently appointed a Navigator Co-ordinator, Maire Kipa.  For any issues related to the navigator work, please contact Maire.kipa@teputahitanga.org.

Big News of the Week was the Ministers’ announcement which will have particular relevance for Whenua Kura and He Toki ki te Mahi.   Ministers Flavell and Joyce announced this week some changes to the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training programme which will open the door to trade careers for more Māori and Pasifika learners.   The changes will allow young people to progress directly to trades training from school or other training at 16 or 17, rather than waiting until they turn 18. The maximum age for entry is also being raised from 34 to 40.   Hot on the heels of that announcement, Ministers Joyce and Parata also announced there would be a new Murihiku Trades Academy opening next year with places for 40 students. SIT will work closely with local secondary schools to offer these places to their students.

Whenua Kura

(Te Karaka; 5 July 2015) Read Liam Henry-Tikao's story here.

If what matters is what we do with our lives, it is so inspiring to see the way whānau throughout Te Waipounamu are making the most of their situations; doing whatever it takes to have a great life.



Finally, lovely to see Te Pūtahitanga Commissioning Manager, Maania Farrar, featured in the tweets flying out of the launch of RISE.   What better way to start the week, than to be thinking about indigenous leadership and opportunity.

MWDI ‏@MWDI2 Nov 26 we believe in the power of collectives to #RISE #rise2025

MadsTe PūtahitangaComment