Friendly New Faces

Ko Hine-tītama koe matawai ana te whatu i te tirohanga
You are like Hine-tītama, a vision at which the eyes glisten

The Roman statesman and scholar, Marcus Tullius Cicero, had a good point.  He once said, The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter.”   It is with that in mind that we present to you the face of three of our new kaimahi have joined Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu to help us respond to the ever-growing call for conversations about what does Whānau Ora mean for whānau in the South Island.

Rongo Baker (Waikato, Taranaki) is our new kaiārahi – literally the first person you see when you walk into the hub at 10 Show Place : reception, administrator, she’s our own navigator!

Trish Harrison-Hunt (Ngāti Porou) brings 25 years experience in employment relations to the position of contract advisor for Te Pūtahitanga.  She has worked in education (NZEI); the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and is certified as an Australasian employment mediator for the Resolution Institute of Australasia.  She is certified in conflict coaching and being trained in the art of “difficult conversations" – not that we expect to be having any!

Vania Pirini (Ngāi Tahu and Te Whānau-a-Apanui) has been a Senior Contracts Manager for He Oranga Pounamu for the last twelve years.    She is a member of the Healthy Families NZ Governance group; the Alright Campaign Advisory Group; Secretary of the national body for Ki-o-rahi; on the executive committee of Arowhenua Rūnaka; and a community member of the Pegasus/ Burwood Christchurch City Council Small Funds Committee.  In 2015, she attended the Stanford University Women’s Leadership Business Programme.  


Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is delighted to welcome these three vivacious, talented women to our team.   It’s exciting times!


On Tuesday this week, we hosted a workshop on Work Inspiration.   The Masterclass promoted work exploration for students : the concept being “to inspire the next generation of New Zealand’s workforce”.  Through Work Inspiration young people explore the world of work, its connection to education and learning, and discover some career opportunities.   It will also help connect their learning with their future career, which boosts their motivation in the classroom.

Te Pūtahitanga is looking to hold a workshop with local schools in Ōtautahi in the next couple of weeks.   We can’t wait!

Te Pūtahitanga is now inviting whānau living in the Chatham Islands to take up the opportunity to apply for Whānau Ora investment.    As of 1 July 2016, Te Pūtahitanga will become the designated Commissioning Agency to respond to the unique set of circumstances for those located in Wharekauri / Rēkohu.   To get a better sense of the situation for whānau in the Chathams our Commissioning Manager, Maania Farrar, and Contracts Advisor, Te Rā Morris, recently visited the island, making acquaintance with Bernie Thomas and his daughter Bernice – and of course Monty the bird. 

The theme this week of the importance of showing our face – kanohi ki te kanohi –was prevalent in the last two hui of our consultation round to advertise our three investment funds.  On Monday we were at Tūhuru Marae in Hokitika and then on Thursday ended up again in Addington, where we received the inspirational kōrero of Korey Hale (of Hale Compound Conditioning fame).

Korey talked about a time, a mere four years ago, when he and wife Manu, returned home from life in paradise (that’s the Gold Coast version).   Within two days of returning, Manu had thirty women joining her for a workout and it’s not stopped since.   From 8 people in a garage to a seven-day a week lifestyle revolution, Hale Compound Conditioning is all about the hope of change for the better.   By means of a private facebook page whānau are able to share their experiences of the trials and temptations they face.  There’s a 20 metre maara kai plot at Waiora (see below) and from there they have moved into setting up home gardens.   The hope is that eventually they will trade in vegetables; healthy lifestyle being their focus.

We end the work in a whirl: Thursday I addressed a post-graduate 700 level course of students in Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington who a completing a Diploma of Public Health.   The paper, Hauora Māori, Policy, Practice and Research provided an ideal opportunity to speak about the waves of enthusiasm we are experiencing across Te Waipounamu as whānau consider new ways of achieving the aspirations they hold.


Immediately after, it was up, up and away to the wild winds of Wellington, for the regular hui we have with the Minister for Whānau Ora and the chief executives of the three Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies.   It was a perfect opportunity to talk about the announcement of new funding being transferred from Vote Social Development to Vote Whānau Ora.


And then on Friday we have our Taumata meeting of the nine iwi who comprise our iwi Board; RBA training with a record number of navigators and whānau members intending to attend; and closing off the week at Rehua Marae, talking with social workers about what is currently happening in iwi driven spaces of transformation!


But before we leave this week, a big congratulations and shout out to:

  • Aimee Kaio (Ngāi Tahu, Tuhourangi, Ngati Whakaue, Ngā Puhi) – and a Whānau Enterprise Coach – who has been appointed to the council of the Southern Institute of Technology.
  • Manaia Cunningham, Project Manager for Koukourārata Wānanga Taiao, has been appointed to Regenerate Christchurch; which will plan regeneration strategies for across Christchurch.  

Kia whakahaumanutia te whenua, ngā tāngata me te tāone.
Let the land, the people and the city be rejuvenated

Finally, a word from our sponsor – New Zealand’s own IronMaori Running Man - the Minister for Whānau Ora – did he really challenge the President of the United States to match his style?