2017: The Dawning of a New Year

Tērā te awatea kohae ana mai….


A new year has dawned and with it the optimism and the opportunity that comes with it.   In our office we have been preaching the mantra: new year, new me.  

This photo was taken on the morning of my first day back at work on the main road by Halswell.   It’s a road which leads direct to the four avenues on one side and to Akaroa on the other.   From our coastal communities, to our city dwellers, that same new sunrise can be seen by us all.  It was a great tohu to remind me: the sun should shine on us all  - our role is to ensure no clouds or curtains obscure our view from the light.


We had a beautiful day in Central Otago this week, meeting with staff and board from Uruuruwhenua Health and Waihopai.  It is a truly awesome sight to be greeted by the sculpture of Mark Hill when you arrive at Queenstown airport.   The three rangatira, crafted in steel, are called ‘haere mai e te manuhiri tuarangi’.   They acknowledge the strength of mana whenua; welcoming those from outside the area into the rohe.



We travelled to Alexandra for our hui and were pleased to have a visit through the site in Alexandra as well as visit the Community Centre.    Uruuruwhenua Health provide hauora services to whānau in Makarora, Wānaka, Cromwell, Alexandra, Roxburgh, Millers Flat, Maniototo and Ranfurly.


It was a true honour to be in the company of Emeritus Professor Colin Mantell (Ngāi Tahu) who is the Chair of Uruuruwhenua.   Professor Mantell was Professor of Māori and Pacific Health before he retired in 2005.   Along with Professor Sir Peter Gluckman and the late Rob Cooper (Ngāti Hine) he developed Vision 2020: an initiative to increase the number of Māori and Pacific medical and health graduates to 10 percent of the health workforce by 2020.

Professor Mantell was extremely proud to share with us that in 2016, between Auckland and Otago universities there were seventy Maori medical graduates and thirty Pacific medical graduates. A record number for one year.


Alongside of Ricky Carr (Manager); Professor Mantell, Maire Kipa and Philomena Shelford from Waihōpai.

Alongside of Ricky Carr (Manager); Professor Mantell, Maire Kipa and Philomena Shelford from Waihōpai.


Leadership and Entrepreneurship: Opportunity to Contribute


KPMG is currently calling for kōrero from across thirteen roundtable hui across the motu.  Their kaupapa is to understand how Māori are deliberately designing leadership models of the future.   If that sounds like you, please contact AbbieMartin@kpmg.co.nz to respond to whether you want to attend one of the following hui:

  • Dunedin: Wednesday 18 January; 8am-10am

  • Christchurch: Thursday 19 January 8-10am

  • Nelson: Thursday 19 January 6-8pm

Once you contact Abbie, you will receive further information about your selected session.


Financial support for those affected by the North Canterbury earthquakes


$1.1m is available to affected communities in Hurunui, Kaikoura and Marlborough.  The funds are split into three parts:

  • $50,000 to each of the three Mayoral funds towards initial disaster response

  • $250,000 quick response fund - up to $20,000 grants to community groups that meet eligibility criteria

  • $700,000 in to a long-term recovery fund to support the long-term needs of communities.


For further information contact http://www.ratafoundation.org.nz/funding/how-we-fund/2016-earthquake-recovery-fund; or by email: enquiry@ratafoundation.org.nz.


The kōrero behind the logo


This week someone asked me for the story behind the logo that we have applied to inspire our vision for Te Pūtahitanga o te Waipounamu.   The name of our logo is ‘te iho’: the inner core.   It represents the fusion of a new day -  inspiration, creativity and passion – with the qualities of stability, balance and adaptability.


One half of the logo represents whānau; the other half represents Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.   We know that both halves form the basis of mutual respect; they are no greater or lesser than one another, learning from and supporting one another.


The nine notches in the inner spiral represent the nine iwi who stood together and put forward the original vision, the bid submitted to host the Commissioning Agency in the South Island.  The spiral itself recognizes the merging rivers that are a metaphor for change and transformation.


We are indebted to Hori Te Ariki Mataki (Kāi Tahu ki Ōraka Aparima; Whānau-a-Apanui; Ngāti Kauwhata) of Ariki Creative who designed our beautiful logo.


Kapūtahi: Opportunity for new growth


It was so special this week to have the privilege of walking through one of the reserves given new life by the energies of mana whenua, Ngāti Urihia of Ngāi Tūāhuriri.


Over the last eight years uri of Ngāti Urihia have been replanting the area also known as the Styx River.   It was incredible to look at the merging of the rivers – Puharakekenui and Kapūtahi – and to appreciate the endeavours of whānau in restoring the river corridor to its natural state of a planted wetland habitat.

The initiative at Puharakekenui River, in conjunction with Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga and Mahaanui Kurataiao Ltd, represents the impact of a State of the Takiwā approach.  The first cultural health assessment was undertaken in 2012, including river, coastal and estuary sites (Ki Uta ki Tai).   Results from the cultural monitoring programme demonstrate the protection of mahinga kai values, active restoration of indigenous vegetation and control of invasive exotic species.

The awa and its catchment is highly significant for the whānau, whose association with the waterways spans back many generations.  The Puharakekenui was a highly used travel route for wider Ngāi Tahu whānau, especially in conjunction with trade to and from Kaiapoi Pa.


One of the seven pou for Whānau Ora is that whānau will be responsible stewards of their living and natural environment.   It was a precious start to this new year, to able to walk through the wetlands and witness the love and energy that Ngāi Tūāhuriri whānau have given to their special place.   And of course, how special it is for us – that one of these beautiful rivers has that name: Kapūtahi.  2017 has started off in just the right way.

Luke EganComment