Let the arch of the rainbow glisten
This week a whakataukī was shared with me from the Ngāi Tahu publication about the Nine Tall Trees. In 1986, the late Rakiihia Tau, on behalf of the Ngai Tahu Maori Trust Board, filed the Ngāi Tahu claim with the Waitangi Tribunal. It was presented in nine parts – the Nine Tall Trees of Ngai Tahu. Each of the first eight trees represented a different area of land purchased from the tribe. The ninth tree represented Ngāi Tahu's food resources.
The whakataukī was:
Ka whanawhana ai te tīwhanawhana o Kahukura i te rāngi
Let the arch of the rainbow glisten
It was a powerful reminder that sometimes we get lost in looking at just part of the picture, instead of taking the wider landscape into account. While we may focus on the part that shines brightest at any one point, the challenge is to look further, at the vision; the vision of all nine tall trees; the vision of nine iwi of Te Waipounamu, the visions of our greater whānau.
Uenuku must have been on our minds this week, with the visit to Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu of Ngāti Rangi sharing with us the experience of the Ruapehu Whānau Transformation Project. The rainbow is used to good effect: to unite the communities of Ohakune, Raetihi and Waiouru together. Their mission statement - “Rarangahia te taurawhiri tangata kia hua ai te marama”: bringing people together to make a difference – could be the underpinning theme for every whānau, hapū and iwi.
Looking again at Te Ika-a-Māui, our contracts advisor, Vania Pirini went this week to the Beyond Me Inspiration conference in Hastings. The conference was designed to inspire participants to take their life to the next level as all of the speakers have applied themselves in various ways to reach their goals and dreams. Speakers included New Zealander of the Year, Dr Lance O’Sullivan, Kahungunu leader Ngahiwi Tomoana, IronMaori founder, Heather Skipworth; ex Tallblack, Brendan Pongia just to name a few.
There was some wonderful kōrero passed down. Songwriter, Maisey Rika in her kōrero, encouraged the people to “live your dreams, what you really want to do, your gift will always find you, listen to yourself, you have it within you”.
There is nothing as powerful as a team of people coming together to dare to dream, to talk about the long game, to move to leadership by design rather than chance.
Leadership is what has been the focus of the last two days with Te Taumata; the representatives of the nine iwi who provide the foundation of strategic advice for Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu. Te Taumata have been meeting in Blenheim and attending to the big questions like:
- What should Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu commission?
- How should Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu engage with priority kaupapa?
- What is the role of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu in balancing the pursuit of whānau aspirations and the focus on improving the basic quality of life?
They are all tough questions to chew over – we would love to know your views and your questions as well!
There’s a big weekend brewing for Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu. While Te Taumata meets in Blenheim, whānau are being called to Mangamaunu Marae in Kaikoura for a hui on Saturday and then Waikawa Marae for the Hui-a-Iwi on Sunday. Both marae have invited Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu for an update on what we are doing. We really cherish these invitations as a way of listening to the voice of whānau and being able to hear the heart-call; the priorities and passions of the people at first hand.
Next week we have a series of workshops across Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Nelson and Blenheim related to Results Based Accountability.
And remember – only 16 days left until applications for Wave Four close.