Don't Focus on the Weeds!


At the Iwi Chairs Forum at Hopuhopu this week, a young man recounted the story of his Nan teaching him and his cousins to work in the gardens. He said that his Nanny had never talked about weeds. But she taught him everything about how to water the garden, how to look after the garden, how to bring out the best of the soils, to cultivate the new growth.

It told us everything we need to know about how we grow whānau. It’s not about looking for the problems, the mad, bad and sad. It’s about bringing out the best, looking for the potential not the pitfalls.

Rangatahi Leadership

It was a perfect metaphor for the ripe, fresh potential of the rangatahi who gathered from all over Aotearoa, including Tana Luke and Aloise Reuben from Te Waipounamu. They presented their recommendations to the forum of over seventy iwi leaders, including that rangatahi participation be included in every working group.

In recognition of rangatahi leadership, this week we launch our digital story of Te Kākano o Te Totara.

Te Kākano o te Totara is a development programme created by Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu. Te Pūtahitanga seeks to nurture emerging leaders that are recognised by their whānau or community as future champions of Whānau Ora.   The initiative is aimed at emerging leaders who are actively involved in the advancement of their whānau. Te Kākano o te Totara supports the growth of these emerging leaders through wānanga,  networking,  coaching, and mentors to pursue whānau transformation.

Iwi Chairs Forum

Other issues on the agenda of the Iwi Chairs Forum in Hopuhopu included Burials of Tupapaku at sea; the inclusion of Mana Whakahono-a- Rohe in the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill; strategies to increase the learning and achievement of Māori students based on a Whānau Ora approach; an Iwi-Crown economic taumata and of course Whānau Ora.

The Whānau Ora Iwi Leaders’ Group reported back on the twenty consultation hui that were held between April and June to gain an understanding of Whānau Ora across the motu. Some of the recommendations included:

Iwi Chairs need to give stronger voice to Whānau Ora now
We need to quantify the value of iwi investment in Whānau Ora and determine common iwi measures of Whānau Ora success.


Pōwhiri of new Chief Executive for Buller District Council

This week our Contracts Advisor for Te Ha o Kawatiri, Gina-Lee Duncan was part of the home people welcoming new chief executive for Buller District Council, Andy Gowland-Douglas at the truly beautiful home of Ngāti Waewae, Arahura Marae. Andy was accompanied by Korty Wilson, Aunty Biddy Mareikura and Whetu Moataane from Ngāti Rangi, where Andy has been chief executive of the Ngāti Rangi Trust in Ohakune.

Aranui : A proud community of Hope

On Wednesday, we had a great de-brief for our community campaign, Tū Pono: Te Mana Kaha o Te Whānau at the new community centre. The beautiful artistry of Dallas Matoe and Hori Te Ariki Mataki on the panel and the hoe makes for a stunning impression as you first walk in the doors.

The Aranui Wainoni Community Centre opened in May 2016; and sits on the site formerly occupied by the now demolished Aranui Wainoni Family Centre. It was a great place to reflect on the voices of whānau and the aspirations shared with us around keeping families safe.

What a great sight to be surrounded with such positive affirmations of community pride in the carpark mural : healthy kai; positive self-esteem; be safe, be violence free – and “be proud to live in a community of hope and opportunities where people stand tall”.


What's coming up next week?

Watch out for the opening of Te Punanga Haumaru fund – Wave Four of ORA commissioning; Monday 8 August;
Consultation on the NZ Disability Strategy;  Monday 8 August, 9am-12 noon; Sudima Airport Hotel, Memorial Avenue, Christchurch.
Consultation on the restructuring of Te Ohu Kaimoana, Monday 8 August, Te Whare o Te Waipounamu, 1-4pm, Christchurch.

Submissions close on Friday 12 August, for the Cross-party homelessness inquiry at

Patrick HusseyComment