A fitting sign of spring
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with daffodils.
~ William Wordsworth ~
Hagley Park in Christchurch was bathed in daffodils this week; a fitting sign of spring for the hui held in the Atrium on Wednesday morning, Investing in New Zealand Children. If there is any time in which we need to be cheered by the optimism of the spring bulbs it is in thinking of the shape of a new direction for children in care.
The turnout was disappointing and certainly didn’t reflect the possibilities proposed by the reform of Child, Youth and Family. One of the focus points in the reform process is that the department will provide a single point of accountability for the long-term wellbeing of vulnerable children, with the voice of the child represented in planning and strategy. But there were no young people at the hui this week. The reform has a stronger focus on reducing the over-representation of Maori young people in the system. Currently, 60 per cent of children in care are Maori. Strategic partnerships will be developed with iwi groups and NGOs. And yet, again, there were only a few Māori in attendance at the Atrium – despite the solid interest from whānau, hapū and iwi in picking up on the strategic partnerships with communities, iwi, and Māori, proposed as a primary mechanism for meeting the needs of vulnerable children and families. The question always has to be asked - who sets out the invitation lists, how do people know when such key events are on? Something for us all to ponder....
Let’s hope there are far more occasions for the conversations to occur if we are to truly deliver on one of the most important recommendations of the reform process: all New Zealanders can have a role in providing love, care and support to vulnerable children, young people and their families
Last weekend, our independent assessment panel met to consider the 23 applications that have come in for Te Punanga Haumaru – Wave Four of Whānau Ora investment funding. Their recommendations will go before the Board next week, and from that point decisions will be made. Watch this space!
Diane’s on the move
Diane Turner, the inaugural interim Chief Executive for Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been appointed to a fabulous role as Director of the Office for Seniors with the Minister of Social Development, based in Wellington. This week we brought back some of the team from 2014 who had been so instrumental in getting Te Pūtahitanga launched and out on the road.
It was wonderful to take a look around; to reflect on the passion of the hothouse; the seemingly impossible – yet superbly executed simultaneous six launches around Te Waipounamu – and then the momentum of the first 201 applications for investment to be received. Good to catch up too with some of our entities like Iwi net; Māui Studios and Hale Compound Conditioning who were part of the first wave of transformation that heralded the establishment of Whānau Ora in the South Island.
And for all those wanting to get fit for summer visit www.halecompoundconditioning.com for the HCC Central East training block starting 21 September.
Or try the six week kōanga wero: Spring Challenge starting 25 September!
Waihao in the House
We had a special visit this week from Hera Black (Chief Advisor Māori) and Amanda Malu – first Māori Chief Executive of Plunket (and only the second woman!). Amanda hails from Waihao – the Ellison and Heath whānau. The Plunket Society was founded in 1907 in Dunedin by child health advocate, Dr Truby King. The very first baby to receive the benefit of Plunket care was Tomas Mutu Ellison from Puketeraki. Who would know that the very first Plunket baby to come into the Karitāne home for babies would turn out to be ‘Uncle Mutu’ to the very first chief executive, Māori, some 109 years later.
Ka Hua o te Kāhuru
On Thursday night it was wonderful to spend some time at Riccarton Racecourse, celebrating the ten year milestone of the Ngāi Tahu Fund; Aoraki Bound and Whai Rawa. A decade of investment in marae development, in mahinga kai, in supporting Ngāi Tahu taura here living outside of the rohe; in cultural heritage, weaving, carving, and creativity.
One of the beautiful kōrero from Tā Tipene was that the importance of initiatives such as Aoraki Bound was to enable whānau members to fall in love with themselves; to find that sense of connection to their mauka, Aoraki; to know who they are. “Loving is a sense of knowing to the extent that that is Ngāi Tahu; that’s what we’re trying to grow into”.
Poutama Ahi Kaa wānanga
There is some amazing energy being generated at the Top of the South through Poutama Ahi Kaa wānanga. At Waikawa Marae over the next couple of weeks Māui Studios film crew are coming to focus and record “us and our whare”: 24-25 September and 8-9 October. On the 5 and 6 November there will be a wānanga on ‘our rohe and Parihaka’.
This date is, of course, really significant in terms of the history of Parihaka. On 5 November 1881 Native Minister John Bryce led 1600 Armed Constabulary into the South Taranaki settlement of Parihaka, arresting leaders Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi. Over the following weeks the remaining residents were forcibly dispersed; the settlement destroyed; the lands confiscated.
Ngāi Tahu woman flag-bearer for Paralympics
How proud can we all be of the Paralympic champions that have represented Aotearoa so well in Rio. It was great to see former Hokitika athlete, Holly Robinson, led the team at the opening parade – and then went on to win a silver medal in the women's javelin F46 at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro early Wednesday morning! Tū Meke!
Robinson’s silver medal victory followed a ‘gold rush’ day for the New Zealand Paralympic Team in Rio - the most successful single day in its 48-year history - collecting a record 2 GOLD medals and 1 BRONZE in the pool and 1 GOLD at the athletics track.
We will be following in Holly’s footsteps and heading over to Te Tai Poutini this weekend. The AGM of Te Hā O Kawatiri Incorporated Society is this Sunday 18th September 2016 at 2pm at the Westport Bridge Club.
A Minister in the Whare
The Minister for Māori Development and Whānau Ora will be travelling in Te Waipounamu early next week for the launch of Te Tai Poutini West Coast Regional Growth Study in Hokitika on Tuesday 20 September at 10.45am.
He then comes back to Ōtautahi for the Māori Land Service wānanga which will be held at Rehua Marae on Tuesday 20 September 2016 at 6pm until 9pm.
The Holidays are just around the Corner
There are some wicked events coming up these school holidays for our rangatahi! Here is a quick snapshot:
Three days of making and breaking @ QuakeCraft- Habitats for Extreme Environments: 28-30 September based on FabLab, UC and Ara Campuses. It’s free and open to Year 10 students. Click here to check out the pānui and register
Registration for Survive on Mars is still open. 5-6 October based on Ara campus. Two days learning about how to stay healthy in space, what to eat on the red planet (we might need to start harvesting bugs!) and build a closed aquaponics water loop. It’s free and open to Year 9 and 10 students. Click here to check out the pānui and register.
CCC Libraries has a new interactive resource called Te Whata Raki – for everyone interested in learning more about Te Ao Māori, and Reo Māori through a few Kāi Tahu narratives. Download the app from Google Play, or check out the website. This can be accessed anytime and is free.
Te Pōkai Ao kicked off without a hitch as the first noho marae was held in mid-August out at Wairewa. During the second week of the holidays, 1-9 October, our incredible year 9 and 10 Kāi Tahu ambassadors will be attending the Āmua Ao programme in Silicon Valley with Callaghan Innovation and NZQA. They’ll be exploring Persuasive Tech, VR Labs, the Institute for the Future, Facebook & Google HQ and more.
Thoughts for the Week – Let’s Make Music
Two quotes I liked coming out from our Tū Pono: Te Mana Kaha o te Whānau advisory group which has been meeting at the Aranui Wainoni Community Centre this week.
"This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devoted than ever before." (Leonard Bernstein)
In these days when nothing comes for free….let’s promote a great special that can be part of every home, every family ……Violence FREE Homes!
Advance Notice of Mokopuna Ora Symposium Coming Up