Showcasing Whānau and giving hope into Action

Te Aho Mutunga Kore: The Eternal Thread – our inaugural symposium – was all that we had wished for and more.   It was a wonderful celebration of the 76 distinctive initiatives that shape the look and feel of ‘Whānau Ora commissioning’ in Te Waipounamu.

Approximately 250 people attended (a bit more than the 67 who pre-registered!) but the fabulous Kākano Café was well prepared to cater to our every need.   We had brainstorming sessions (‘roundtable’ discussions); workshops, showcase presentations and of course our keynotes.

The team from Kākano Café with Whaea Tariana Turia

The team from Kākano Café with Whaea Tariana Turia

The buzz has been over-whelming – the responses from participants are too special to keep to ourselves!   Have a look….

“I just want to congratulate you and your team on the work that went into pulling together Te Aho Mutunga Kore. It was brilliant. I have been to many conferences over the years both in NZ and overseas. Some I have virtually slept through, some I wondered why am I here, some I got a few takeaways but there have been very few that I would say that I came away from inspired. That all changed over the last two days as what you and your team put together However I have to say that the last two days has been the most inspirational, thought provoking and stimulating forum I have even been in”.     

“It was an awesome event … it never ceases to amaze me how incredibly resilient and inspiring whānau can be. I came away truly invigorated.

Te Kakano o Te Totara crew dressed up for the hakari.

Te Kakano o Te Totara crew dressed up for the hakari.

“I loved the symposium. Showcasing whānau and giving hope into action to us all of what Te Waipounamu capability is. Focused on success. Focused on today and tomorrow.  It has been my privilege to be involved in their dreams and aspirations for whānau futures. Thank you to you all for your dedication and hard work. The legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of those who have the dream of strong vibrant whānau”.   Na Whaea Tariana [Turia].

One of the presentations that really got people talking was Robett Hollis.  He had some brilliant comments including his number one rule for deciding whether he attends a meeting : “I go if I can add value; if not I subtract myself” or his definition, “Innovation is bravery in action”.   We will have the videos of all the presentations up shortly.  In the meantime, this interview with Waatea gives some insight into who Robett Hollis is.


I met with April McLennan, the Founder of Limitless this week to catch up on their conference on the 13th and 14th October.   Two hundred Year 10 students from across Ōtautahi will be attending.  Have a look:

Festival for the Future

Only a week to go for the early bird tickets for Festival for the Future.   Festival for the future is about celebrating what’s possible – it brings together entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, scientists, students, environmentalists and activists.   The Festival takes place 23-25 September in Auckland.   

Te Ha o Kawatiri

The Buller Community Profile, a snap-shot of social issues in the Buller has just been released and have acknowledged Whānau Ora and Te Hā O Kawatiri as organisations supporting community development.

Kia Ora Reo Pēpi!

One of our original initiatives, Reo Pēpi, has been getting some great PR lately, including this profile on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report and with Te Kete Wānanga-o-Ōtautahi Christchurch Library.   And next time you’re flying with Air NZ, look who’s profiling in the Kia Ora magazine!

It was really heartening to learn that in te wiki o te Reo Māori, Reo Pēpi gifted 100 pukapuka to another one of our Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu initiatives, the 1000 Days Trust in Murihiku.   That’s the Whānau Ora Way!

Whenua Kura

It is exciting to see a range of our initiatives thriving and striving ahead, to do the best that they can in getting the message out.   The vision for Whenua Kura is focused on getting our people back on the land, and for our whānau to be economically secure, culturally engaged, socially connected, and environmentally sustainable. Whatungarongaro Te Whenua, toitū te tangata - as man disappears from sight, the land remains.   Watch for the launch on Monday 18 July, of the Whenua Kura website:

Whānau Ora Directory

The Whānau Ora Directory is an online directory for organisations and initiatives that have outcomes benefitting whānau.   The Whānau Ora directory is the only web and mobile based platform with the sole purpose of making Whānau Ora organisations more accessible across Aotearoa.   If you would like to join the Whānau Ora Directory, go to

Tū Pono

The next hui in the campaign around addressing family harm takes place this coming Thursday 21 July, 11am – 3.30pm, at Te Hora Marae, Te Hora Pa Road, Canvastown, Marlborough.   Speakers at the hui include Tā Mark Solomon, Dame Tariana Turia, and Ariana Wilson.

Attending Te Pou Matakana conference this week: Helen Leahy, Marama Fox, (MP for the Māori Party), Cazna Luke and Maania Farrar.

Attending Te Pou Matakana conference this week: Helen Leahy, Marama Fox, (MP for the Māori Party), Cazna Luke and Maania Farrar.

Moving the Māori nation

The Minister for Whānau Ora took the opportunity of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori to launch Matika – Moving the Māori Nation Fund.

The fund takes a Whānau Ora approach to supporting individuals, whānau and community organisations delivering healthy lifestyles at a ‘grassroots’ level’. It also supports successful community healthy lifestyle programmes that can be replicated in other communities and regions across the motu to benefit whānau.   There are two pools of funding up to $10,000 for small or local initiatives; and over $10,000 for projects that have a broad community or national reach.

The Final Word on Whānau Ora

One of the fun activities we had at Te Aho Mutunga Kore -  our inaugural symposium – was to write up ONE word that encapsulates Whānau Ora.   There are a few raukura left: …….if you would like to contribute to our korowai send me your word on