Show a little kindness, shine your light for everyone to see

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There’s a global trend taking over our world.  It’s called kindness.   TBH – a mobile app that lets users compliment one another anonymously – has been acquired by Facebook and is now the top free app on the iTune charts over and above Youtube, Snapchat and Instagram.   

TBH (‘to be honest’) has at last count five million users who have sent each other more than one billion messages!   Those messages come as a result of poll questions – such as who is the best person to take to a party? But this is social media with a difference.   TBH reviews the entries and accepts only submissions that are uplifting, funny, interesting and appropriate for people aged 13 years and over.   TBH literally insists on positivity – it’s an app that brings friends together by being mana-enhancing.   We might call this the Whānau Ora app!

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And so to start off our own whirlpool of positivity I thought I’d share this beautiful photo of our Navigator Team Coordinator, Pari Hunt, who has just returned from a visit to his tūrangawaewae – which you can glance just over his shoulder: Rangiāuria (Pitt Island)  - also known as Rangihaute by Moriori.

Pari was there to discuss progress with recruiting a Whānau Ora Navigator for the islands.  Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has loved developing our relationship with Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri Trust; Hokotehi Moriori Trust and Ha o Te Ora o Wharekauri – areas and entities which have come into our catchment area since July 2016.

Talking about kindness, my partner and I have recently started up with Hale Compound Conditioning – one of the entities Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has invested in which is truly making a transformation not just in wellbeing and lifestyle but also in physical health.

Three mornings a week we set the alarm for a dawn workout – succumbing to the various means of torture in the form of burpees or squat creeps or weighted duck walks.   There was a post on our facebook page yesterday that made me laugh: “every single movement that you do at HQ has been tested so moan away #nobodyislistening”.   I guess Corey and Manu Hale think you have to be cruel to be kind.

All jokes aside, the highlight for me is always nearly towards the end – just before we warm down – when the whole crew walk around with a high five for attitude and enthusiasm.  There’s nothing that makes you feel better than catching your breath, picking your sorry state off the floor, and walking the gauntlet of love.

Another expression of sheer kindness is the volunteer space in Westport that was set up as locals identified a need through Facebook.   It is called the " sharing shed" open Tuesday - Friday 11-4pm. People bring food, and people come and get food.    It is that simple. 

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This was such a joyful photo to come across from Omaka Marae in Blenhem.  Kua tīmata te kura wharauroa reo ki te Tauihu.

Is Kindness Taught?

-Dr Lana Leslie is a Kamilaroi woman whose family are from North West and Central West New South Wales.   Dr Leslie is passionate about the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through education and research.   She was a keynote speaker at the 2017 Māori Research Colloquium, held on Friday in Christchurch.  Lana talked about the concept of Winangay : I know, I think, I understand, I remember, I love.

She asked us the question : is kindness taught?   Sometimes it comes in the simplest forms – a cup of tea represents the reciprocity of hospitality; bonding over hospitality.  Lana asked us, what if we told different stories?  If we knew our history and how it impacts on current practice?



It was a fabulous session outlining a practice framework for social work with Aboriginal peoples and communities. Lana talked about the journey of self; understanding knowledge, culturally respectful relationships and cultural courage, values and skills.

Other keynote speakers at the 2017 Maori Research Colloquium: Professor Wally Penetito, Professor Gail Gillon (Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Education, Health and Human Development – Ngai Tahu), Ta Tipene O’Regan, Ta Toby Curtis, Professor Angus Macfarlane.


Ties That Bind us

A couple of weeks ago I attended the launch of Ties that Bind us in Invercargill.   Ties that Bind us is a collection of stories and poetry which reflect the essence of being KaiTahu; the things the people do as part of the landscape of their lives.   As our investment in this initiative we funded a facilitated writing workshop; the stories of which were then published.   This beautiful Taua, Sandra Stiles, is one of the whānau featured in the book.

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Te Taketake 2018

Please find attached a reminder if you know of anyone interested in our programme. It is in conjunction with Otago Polytechnic so enrolments are directly through them. For the last few years our North programme supports the South programme so ideally we want it to be self supporting to ensure we have an undergraduate option in Addictions for the South Island. Please feel free to forward this to any contacts.  You will find a direct link below to enrolments and further information.

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Luke Egan1 Comment