Navigating the Guidance of Maunga Aoraki


Last weekend we turned to the protection and guidance of maunga Aoraki.

Our journey embraced that pathway carved through the land of Tarahaoa and Hua-te-kerekere.   A pathway which descends from the tupuna, Te Rehe.

And so on Sunday we traveled into the rohe of Kati Huirapa ki Arowhenua; to begin our Aoraki Summit.


There are a multitude of whakatauki which encourage us to look to our natural world for the inspiration and encouragement we need to endure life’s greatest challenges, to find a pathway ahead.

Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei.
Aim for the highest cloud so that if you miss it, you will hit a lofty mountain.

The Aoraki Summit was an amazing opportunity to share purakau, to practice waiata, haka, karakia that track to Aoraki.   It was a time to share stories about the entrepreneurial insights of an amazing team who came together to build health and wellbeing.   

There was Cate and Riwai Grace from Grace Consulting; Jaye and Ben from Bros for Change; Tyla from Cross Over Coaching; Sachi, Steph, Samantha – the energy was electric.   There was Brendan – the pharmacist from Puketeraki – who drew on the everyday example of the medications and prescriptions he filled to know there had to be a better way to maintain health.

So over three days, these energised, extraordinary leaders came together to paddle across Pukaki, to walk up Aoraki, to dance, to tango, to, do burpees and squats, and to claim the world.


Meanwhile back on terra firma, we had an exceptionally busy week.   Our Annual General Meeting; our board meeting (General Partner Limited Board); our Taumata board (our iwi stakeholders); the Navigator engagement hui in Blenheim, and Te Kakano o Te Totara – our rangatahi leadership succession programme.

We gave a presentation at Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Data Symposium at Rehua Marae; attended the hui to discuss the potential nature and scope of the proposed “inquiry into the abuse of children in state care” at Te Puni Kokiri in Wellington; and attended the final meeting for the year of the Psychosocial Committee.

Whakato Mauri

On Thursday morning, as the new dawn appeared the whanau and community of Omaka Marae gathered to perform the whakato mauri ceremony or the planting of the lifeforce for the new kura, Te Pa Wananga which will be established at the marae. This was another significant step in the journey of developing a kaupapa Maori education environment which is based on the whakatauki he tamaiti akona ki te marae, tu ki te ao. A child raised within the village will stand in the world with confidence.

Project Manager Kiley Nepia said that “Te Pā Wānanga is an innovative kaupapa Maori learning village. It will be the incubator of the next generation of our leadership. These tamariki will become the pa kids, the navigators and leaders of our families, iwi and marae.”

Kiley also acknowledged the support given by Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu and thanked the whanau for being brave enough to step into the unknown.

Establishment Committee Member and te reo Maori advocate, Rita Powick said that it was a very emotional for her and while thinking about how exciting the future looked like she also reflected on and remembered those of our people who are no longer with us physically.

Construction of the classrooms  start next week and the plan is to have the building ready by first term of 2018. The first cohort of students have been selected. Te Pa Wananga is still searching for the special type of Kaiako to lead this kaupapa. If you know that special someone then please contact the Te Pa Wananga whanau.


Navigators Come together at Omaka Marae


On Thursday Navigators from right across Te Tau ihu came together to spend time working with the resource that is Tu Pono: Te Mana Kaha o te Whānau – the workbook that we have to share with whānau right across Te Waipounamu to address and eliminate violence within our families.


Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu warmly welcomes whanau to


Standing True for Violence Free Whanau

11 December 2017 4pm - 8pm


133 Pah Street, Motueka and

13 December 2017 10am - 1pm


99 Atawhai Drive, Nelson

Te Kakano Crew.jpg

Last weekend we also finished off the third wananga for Te Kakano o Te Whanau which included waka ama at Whakaraupo; working together with Ngai Tahu participants on the Tu Ake series of training (business enterprise skills) and finishing off with highlights based on the Strengths Tool.

Clifton Strengths Finder is an awesome tool that provides insightful, useful information.  It requires taking an online assessment that measures the presence of 34 themes.  The more dominant a theme is in a person, the greater the theme’s impact on that person’s behaviour and performance.

Having a strong sense of self-awareness (a sense of your personality, what makes you tick, motivations and preferences) is a valuable skill that will help in all aspects of your life. The more we know about ourselves, the better we will be at adapting to life’s many changes and the better we will be at affecting change

Farewell to Pikihuia

One of the initiatives I have really loved reading about is the Hikoi Te Hauora Addiction Recovery camps that Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu have hosted in the beautiful Backmont Valley at Te Koawa Turoa o Takitimu.

Pikihuia Ruffell, as Addictions Manager, was perfectly positioned to lead these camps.  With a post graduate certificate in health science endorsed in addiction and co-existing disorders Pikihuia was a bit proponent of the value of exercise, self-expression and wellbeing as pivotal in order to maintain and sustain recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.   We wish her well in her adventures overseas.

Pikihuia Waka


This week we had the honour of hosting the first visit to our offices of the new Minister for Whānau Ora, Hon Peeni Henare.   Minister Henare talked about the fact that he had deliberately chosen to start his visits to Commissioning Agencies by coming South, under the mantle of Aoraki, to meet with all of our entities at the hub, Te Whenua Taurikura.   It was a wonderful hui with an opportunity for people across the hub to share their energy and their ideas with the Minister; leading him to remark on the wairua that was clearly present.

Minister Henare also has responsibility for the Social Investment Unit and for social enterprise, through his Associate Minister of Social Development role.

Misiter Visits
Minister hui.PNG

The End of Year is nigh!

Finally, we make mention of the some of the amazing end of year highlights that are occurring at the moment.   Today, there was a fun-filled kapa-haka celebration and kai extravaganza at Te Pa o Rakaihautu in Christchurch.   Over in Hokitika Hikoi Waewae were planning a hīkoi to Arahura River, a presentation to all the whānau and then a dinner to finish off the year.   And many us us in the hub had a great night dressed in the theme of black and white, at the Ngai Tahu Christmas Party.

On these gorgeous 30 degree days, remember to drink lots of water, slip,slop, slap the sunscreen on and wear a sunhat with your smile!

Whanau hui
Move the Maori Nation.jpg