My seven year old son has learnt a new phrase this week – “that’s the spirit’. (It sounds cuter when he says it (‘spiwit’). The spirit of success has swept us all up in its flow, with New Zealand’s best ever medal showing at an Olympics: four gold, eight silver and three bronze.
But it was at the back of the race that the Kiwi spirit really shone through, in the beautiful expression of manaaki demonstrated by Nikki Hamblin as she helped American runner, Abbey D’Agnostino as she fell during the 5000m race in Rio.
It is said that in the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. What these two women showed us that despite the fall, they leaned on each other to get up and finish the race. Speaking to reporters later, Nikki reflected “when I look back on Rio 2016, I'm not going to remember where I finished, I'm not going to remember my time... but I'll always remember that moment."
That’s the spirit alright – the spirit of solidarity, of shared courage, of perseverance through adversity.
I was reminded of that strength of character when we attended the Canterbury Family Violence Collaboration Reference Group in Christchurch, to share with them the strategies, the stories and the significance of our conversations around Family Violence: Tū Pono: Te Mana Kaha o Te Whānau.
Whaea Inu Farrar captivated everyone’s attention as she talked about the importance of the name – Tū Pono – as representing the opportunity to stand in our own truth.
She also challenged us to live up to the aspiration of Oranga Tamariki – the name for the new agency which has been promoted by the Children’s Commissioner, Judge Andrew Becroft, the New Zealand Nurses Organisations, the Iwi Chairs Forum and other voices. Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu shares the view of these key stakeholders, that it important to promote a strengths based approach, to focus on aspiration, and the concept of Oranga Tamariki helps us to uphold the highest expectations for all our children.
Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu had our own high expectations this week when we travelled to the Beehive to share our capability development model with the iwi leaders and Ministers that comprise the Whānau Ora Partnership Group. Included in the membership of the group is Tā Mark Solomon, Naida Glavish, Rahui Papa, Richard Steedman, Leanne Manson, Selwyn Parata, and Ministers Flavell, English, Parata, Coleman, Joyce and Tolley.
Our group included Taku Parai (Ngāti Toa Rangatira) and Rob McKewen Ngāti Tama Manawhenua Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust; who represented Te Taumata. Donovan Clark and Norm Dewes represented the General Partner Limited Board. From Awarua Whānau Services we had Trish Young and Serena Lyders from Invercargill.
After our briefing in the Cabinet Room on the 8th Floor of the Beehive, we then had a debrief with Minister Flavell, before it was time to fly into the horizons of Te Tai Poutini; an amazing flight almost touching the heavens.
Trisha Harrison-Hunt and I made our way to Westport for a series of hui associated with Te Ha o Kawatiri and in particular Healthy Homes.
The strategy behind Te Ha O Kawatiri has been an ambitious one: to
Provide or introduce capability and capacity building social projects to strengthen members of the local community and allow them to be more self determining and abundant.
Develop new productive projects that provide meaningful employment and help strengthen the local economy.
Utilise existing local networks to increase the circulation of capital within the local economy.
Develop new meaningful and sustainable commercial projects that provide employment and new capital and capabilities to the community.
At the meeting chaired by Clive Hellyar, we heard about the preparations for the AGM to be held 18 September. There was also a call for anyone interested in taking up a position on Te Ha o Kawatiri to contact coordinator, Michelle Lomax at her email (email@example.com) , as soon as possible! That’s the spirit!
Te Rā Morris and Maania Farrar spent a constructive afternoon at Waikawa Marae in Picton workshopping the Poutama Ahi Kaa initiative. Poutama Ahi Kaa approaches the task of preparing the next generations of Māori leaders through a holistic model: nurturing cultural depth, fostering social connections and creating a sustainable economic platform for marae and community. The approach also aims to involve the whole community through education programmes which will be available with support from Poutama Ahi Kaa at the Waikawa marae.
At the other end of the country, next week we are, Southbound embarking on an hīkoi to catch up with all our entities, and answer all the questions you have of us.
We will be in Queenstown on Tuesday; Dunedin on Wednesday; and Invercargill on Thursday and Friday.
As part of our week’s itinerary; we are
having a strategic planning session at the Ngāi Tahu Southern Regional Office in Queenstown, Tuesday morning;
visiting Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ōtepoti on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate their new Whānau Ora initiative, Te Kura Taiao
spending time in Hokonui on Thursday 12-2.30pm
Visiting Ngā Kete Mātauranga in Invercargill Thursday 3.30pm-5pm
On Friday, spending some time in Bluff and in the Catlins before some of us attend the Māori Women’s Welfare League Conference in Invercargill.
The South has been in the news this week, with 1000 Days on Seven Sharp and Prime Television and Te Kāika in the Otago Daily Times and on Radio New Zealand. It is wonderful to see the excitement of these Te Pūtahitanga initaitives gaining flight and sweeping the community up in their energy.
It was certainly a busy week this week for all our team, with the Results Based Accountability hui being held in Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Nelson and Blenheim.
And next week looks to be even busier. We can’t wait for our Southland Hīkoi.
And then when we return home, we have a number of key events to finish off the week in style:
Christchurch: Thursday 25 August 9.30am - 5pm, Celebration Centre - 81 Bickerton Street Wainoni, Family Violence Risk Assessment and Management Framework discussion document and workshops;
Christchurch; Friday, August 26, 2016 at 01:00pm, St John Of Good, Waipuna in North Linwood, inquiry about the realities of homelessness
Saturday 27 August, Arahura Marae, Hokitika; 1pm; the launch of Hīkoi Waewae Wananga
HIKOI WAEWAE WĀNANGA
And finally we finish our week in the momentum that is associated with Te Kākano o Te Totara from Friday 26 August through to Sunday 28 August.
Have a fantastic week and for those in the South, we can’t wait to catch up…..