Empowering our whānau champions to make change

When I was in Form Two I entered the talent quest at Masterton Intermediate, singing ‘The Last Farewell’ by Roger Whittaker.   The song started….There’s a ship that lies rigged and ready in the harbour’……and rose to a rousing chorus:

For you are beautiful
And I have loved you dearly
More dearly than the spoken word can tell

This week, as we sat at dusk, on the verge of the lagoon at Mapua near Nelson, I thought about that song – and how important it is to let the love shine through our eyes, our hearts, our presence when words are hard to come by.  

It was a moment in time to just be; to sit and reflect on the korero from the hui of Tu Pono: Te Mana Kaha o Te Whānau.  This week we have been continuing with our Tu Pono series; basing ourselves at Whakatu Marae in Nelson and Te Awhina Marae in Motueka.

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Navigator Team Leader Maire Kipa with beloved kaumātua, Tahi Takao, QSM

Navigator Team Leader Maire Kipa with beloved kaumātua, Tahi Takao, QSM


Our focus in the hui this week was to support whānau with strategies and ideas about how to eliminate violence from within their lives.  

We broke into workshops and asked ourselves:

How might we give expression to aroha?

How might we live our tikanga ?  eg we don’t hurt people; we uplift people; we resolve our differences by working through, we celebrate what we achieve.

How can we create the safe place – the person – the house – the whānau leader that we can trust?


The korero was riveting; it was draining.   We felt uplifted and mobilised – we felt sad at the pain that can bind us together or pull us apart.   We talked about changing the mindset; redesigning the narrative so that it is the story we want for our lives.

There was a lot of discussion around ‘paepae protocol’.   One man said, “I will not stand by anyone who is identified as a perpetrator; who is mana-diminishing; I will be in charge of my whare”.     There was also the challenge to name the harm done – not to sweep it under fuzziness, but to actually speak out – to call it like it is.   If a child is abused or assaulted, terms like ‘mucking around’ or – ‘touching the kids’ minimise the horror that can and does shatter lives.

Restoring trust and connection

Maire Kipa with Jenny Bryers Reneti and James Reneti

Maire Kipa with Jenny Bryers Reneti and James Reneti

While we were in Nelson, we took the opportunity of signing off one of our Wave Seven contracts : an initiative with the PS Haitana Trust.

This initiative is a whānau journey to address intergenerational trauma and disconnection, the relationship of belonging and resilience.  Whānau wananga will develop a safety network and strategies to deal with mental health and wellbeing.  The initiative will also involve an online forum for regular and immediate connection.


Three Hui in One

This week, three groups of Whānau Ora inspired entities and individuals came together at the national marae, Nga Hau e Wha in Christchurch:

  • Te Koha Project – suicide prevention

  • Whānau Ora Navigators

  • Earthquake/Resilience Navigators

Te Ko-Hā : suicide prevention

The suicide prevention steering committee received a stocktake of services currently provided across the motu; an analysis of government strategies and data sourced from the coroner; a review of existing research and data; and the new look AEIOU presentation encompassing the concept of facing our taniwha.

AEIOU is a helpful acronym that can be used to guide us when we are concerned about the people we are with:

A : Ask questions, “what you are saying worries me, are you thinking about suicide?”

E: Ensure safety – call the police, an ambulance, remove medications, drugs and alcohol, keys etc

I : identify issues : listen – they need your full attention.    Reflect, summarise, clarify

O : Offer Hope – offer help

U : User resources – using the community and professionals.

A highlight of the day was the presentation from Stephen and Melissa from Te Ha o Nga Rangatahi based in Blenheim.


David Cairns (Pegasus Health); Stephen Trent and Dr Melissa Cragg (Ngati Rarua Hauora) with Koka Alamein and Maire Kipa

David Cairns (Pegasus Health); Stephen Trent and Dr Melissa Cragg (Ngati Rarua Hauora) with Koka Alamein and Maire Kipa

Stephen Trent and Dr Melissa Cragg (Ngati Rarua Hauora) with Koka Alamein

Stephen Trent and Dr Melissa Cragg (Ngati Rarua Hauora) with Koka Alamein

The day was also a good opportunity to share some new learnings with our Whānau Ora Navigator network – ‘listening, learning, tips and tricks’; ‘Te Aroakapanga – hierarchy, moko and te ao hou; ‘Professional supervision in bicultural practice’.


The Earthquake Navigators met with Canterbury Community Law; North Canterbury Rural Support Trust; the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, EQC and of course each other.


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Queen's Baton Relay!

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a symbol of the Commonwealth Games – one of the world’s great sporting celebrations.   The baton is traveling through all 70 countries and territories of the Commonwealth ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Games and is coming our way from December 18-23.

New Zealand is the last stop on its 230,000km journey around the Commonwealth before it heads to Australia and the 100 Day Games countdown gets underway

There are a number of public events which anyone is welcome to attend!

Tuesday, December 19th - 12:30pm-2:00 pm
Kaikoura Community Event, Churchill Park, Kaikoura

This event is open to the public with games, speeches, high profile athletes and a BBQ for all those who are able to attend.

Wednesday, December 20th - 10:00am-11:00am
Queen’s Baton Visit to Jellie Park Pool, Christchurch

The Baton will be carried into Jellie Park by a high profile athlete before some short speeches. There will be the opportunity for photos with athletes.


Finally, it was a beautiful way to end the week with healers coming together, practitioners, advocates to talk about rongoa.   Pictured above : Claire McIntyre; Missy Campbell (Te Tai Poutini); Dolly Ngapo-Hill and Te Aomihia Rangihuna (Dunedin) and Melina Burchett.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu recognise the benefits of rongoā initiatives for whānau and would like to bring recent and past wave applicants together to explore the opportunities from other funders.   Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is advocating for more supportive relationships across Te Waipounamu for this kaupapa from agencies such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and Community Matters Environment and Heritage Fund (Department of Internal Affairs).

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Luke EganComment