Ka Mihi nui o te Tau Hou!

Puaka kai rau. Ka hua ai ka pua, koia ko Puaka
Ngā kai i Matariki nāna i ao ake ki runga
Tēnā ngā kanohi kua tikona e Matariki



The dawn rising of Puaka (Rigel), the principal star of Ngāi Tahu; or Matariki, (also known as the Pleiades) heralds the start of the Māori New Year.    The visual appearance of the stars, which will occur this year on 6 June, is an important marker of a special time in our lives.


Across Te Waipounamu the season of Puaka/Matariki will be celebrated in many ways. In Aranui seven ‘Eastside’ schools come together at a magical community event on 9 and 10 June.   In Nelson, a Pukaea will be sounded from the Council’s clock tower on 7 June.   And in Dunedin, the Puaka Matariki Festival will run from Friday 3rd June to Sunday June 26th.


But what does it mean for our own whānau; how do we celebrate the significance of the Māori New Year in our own homes?   "Nga kai a Matariki" (the foods of Matariki) refers to the collecting and storing of food for the winter period.   It was the time the tupuna prepared for the winter ahead, preserving and storing supplies, while also taking time to gather together, to be warm, and to reflect on the year just fallen.   Matariki/Puaka signals a time of reflection, remembering our loved ones who have passed on.   It is the time of wānanga; to learn, to share stories, to sing, to connect with the land and sea, our awa, our maunga, our world.


Matariki rising, then is the dawning of a new age.


The Waihola/Waipori wetlands

Matariki was on my mind as I drove from Dunedin to Invercargill on Tuesday this week, stopping for a moment at the beautiful Lake Waihola.   The Waihola/Waipori wetlands were once one of the most significant food baskets in the Otago region.   There were many nohoanga (campsites) used by food-gathering parties which would travel to the lakes and camp on the fringes for a couple of days to gather kai, to eel, hunt water fowl and gather flax.


It is a truly beautiful place.  The mauri of Waihola is woven through the wetlands, reflecting a deep connection to the generations who gathered kai and were nurtured on the source of sustenance this special place reflects.


Whānau Ora Iwi Partnership Group Hui


Our team has been busy this week, travelling to attend the hui around Te Waipounamu to share with the Iwi Partnership Group priorities and aspirations for Whānau Ora in the South.   We went to hui in Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill and Hokitika.  It was brilliant to just listen to the different feedback around the hui.   The importance of clear and regular communication was constantly reiterated.   To this end, if you think there are people who would enjoy receiving the blogs, emails and updates from us, please send me an email on Helen.leahy@teputahitanga.org.


Attending the Whānau Ora Iwi Partnership Group hui in Hokitika: Te Hau White; Trish Harrison Hunt; Donna Flavell and Gina-Lee Duncan.


The last two hui with the Whānau Ora Iwi Partnership group are:

  1. Nelson (The Rutherford Hotel) 10 June 2016 – 10.30 – 12.30pm

  2. Blenheim (The Chateau Marlborough) 10 June – 2.30 – 4.30pm


Also in Murihiku this week was the Results Based Accountability hui taking place on Friday.    It’s all go!


Ngā Muka – Te Ataarangi

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Great news from the top of the South, with the launching of a new initiative, Ngā Muka, at Te Āwhina Marae in April.   The Wānanga-a-whānau attracted over fifty attendees from a few months old to eighty years – now that’s Whānau Ora!   Whānau could weave a whāriki, play with clay, engage in outdoor games, collect kaimoana or join in the pepe kokonga.   This is the first of a massive fifteen such wānanga that are going to be held!


Pink Breakfast at Omaka


We had a stunning start to the week at Omaka Marae, wearing pink for the cause, while having the most delicious Māori-inspired cuisine.  The focus of the fund-raising event was to dine in luxurious style in memory of, and in celebration for, the wahine toa who have led the way.   A wonderful kaupapa and close to $3000 raised to promote the need to be ‘breast-aware’; to be alert to any changes in your body.  I’m standing next to the three handsome young men who were offered up as part of the gala auction.  With two teenage girls in the house I didn’t think I’d put in a bid….so the lucky recipient of their lifelong service was the highest bidder on the day – Omaka Marae.  I guess that’s succession planning in action!


Junk Free June

Another fund-raising effort that some of our team are getting behind is Junk Free June; taking the opportunity this month to be free of the less-than-healthy foods that creep into our daily diet.   "Analysis of global research shows that about a third of the most common cancers can be prevented through a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight and regular physical activity" – (World Cancer Research Fund International).  In our Hub, the team from Ariki Creative, Manu Media and Māui Studios have become virtual ambassadors, joining some of the celebrities the likes of Taika Waiti, Aroha Harawira and Millie Elder-Holmes.

Preparing for the new year


Someone who knows all about the intricacies of planting for the season, getting our supplies prepared during the summer months to sustain us during the colder months is horticulturalist and gardener extraordinaire, Dr Richard Hunter.   Richard came to a hui called on Monday in Blenheim, as one of the champions of the Maara Oranga initiative being undertaken by Te Hauora o Ngāti Rarua.   There were about 30 of us gathered to plan ahead for the next wave of Te Pūtahitanga commissioning, including navigators, the crew from Te Rūnanga o Ngā Maata Waka, Rangitane ki Wairau, Te Taumata, Ngāti Rarua, Ngāti Toa Rangatira.  A fabulous morning to just feel the vibe as whānau take on the world.




It was so exciting this week to see the launch into the social media highway, a series of digital stories  featuring five Māori social enterprises, Ngāi Tahu Farming/Whenua Kura, Maui Studios Aotearoa, Ariki Creative, Hale Compound Conditioning and He Toki ki te mahi.   Te Pūtahitanga is really proud to be investing in all these initiatives.   A huge mihi to Careers New Zealand for Māia – a new video series designed to inspire, motivate and help rangatahi make informed learning and work choices.

Kia Tū, Kia Māia, Kia Manawanui! Be Brave, Be Bold, Be Determined!

Te Tēpu Rangatira – The Chief’s Breakfast


One of the organisations that features in Maia is He Toki ki te Mahi.  On Friday 3 June I joined with an energetic crowd to celebrate five years of He Toki ki te Mahi  / He Toki ki te Rika, Māori and Pasifika supporting the rebuild of Ōtautahi.

The breakfast at Rehua Marae was well attended by industry leaders, as we gathered to listen to three great key speakers: Tā Mark Solomon, Nancy McConnell (Hawkins Construction) and David Kennedy (Ngāi Tahu Property).  

In the crisp cool winter dawn it was a credit to the construction industry to see so many come to celebrate the enduring legacy that He Toki ki te Rika has created out of the quake landscape.  Hawkins Construction General Manager, Nancy McConnell, spoke with great feeling about the movement of change that Tā Mark Solomon has inspired in collaborating with the industry, Ngāi Tahu property, ARA (formerly Christchurch Polytechnic) and Te Tapuae o Rehua.  She revealed how working together has opened their eyes to Māori history; has provided opportunities to learn about Māori as successful, innovative entrepreneurs – rather than painted with a perception of failure.  She shared the new models that Hawkins has become familiar with: tuakana-teina mentoring; kanohi ki te kanohi – face to face engagement.  The journey has taken courage and at times the learning has been uncomfortable, but through it all it has enabled them to feel, as an industry, that they are contributing to a stronger, browner, workforce

Nancy McConnell, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Hawkins Construction

Nancy McConnell, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Hawkins Construction


Six month celebration of the Canterbury Children’s Team.

On Wednesday I was a guest speaker at an event to acknowledge the first six months of the Canterbury’s Children Team.  The catch up included the Lead Professionals, Children’s Action Team Panel and the Governance Group, of which I am a member.  


In my speech I spoke about the meaning of their whakatauāki – He Taonga Te Tamariki, referring to Rangimarie Rose Pere’s description of Tama – Ariki; a child descended from greatness.



The team from the Canterbury Children’s Team, including in the front mana whenua representative Michelle Turell and Children’s Team Director, Peter Whitcombe


Something has to change Family violence: Not for my mokopuna    

Finally we end the week announcing a series of conversations that we are extremely proud to join with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Puna Oranga, Te Whare Hauora, He Oranga Pounamu and other Māori organisations.  


Consultation hui are taking place throughout the month of June and July 2016 to seek your input towards a new and improved way of working with whānau.   The focus of the hui is how to have input on how we can all create change and, build better support networks for whānau to put an end to the impact of violence within their lives.


Next week the hui are held at :

  • Rehua Marae, Thursday 9 June, 11am

  • Waihao Marae, Friday 10 June, 11am


If you want to attend, Email: info@tepunaoranga.co.nz

Luke EganComment