A week of celebration and of remembrance

Cover photo: Aaron Hapuku as part of the mana whenua leading the manuhiri into Kahungunu land

What a week of contrasts.   Tears of grief intermeshed with those of pride.   The pain and poignancy of remembering those who have left our world, through the events of 22 February; or those remembered on the stage at Matatini for all they inspired in the generations that follow.   


A pōwhiri that dazzled the senses with kaihaka outfitted in fifty shades of pāua.   47 teams qualified for Te Kāhu o Te Amorangi Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival 2017.   From Te Waipounamu we had:

  • Ngā Manu a Tane from Waitaha

  • Kia Ngawari from Te Tau Ihu o te Waka

  • Te Ahikōmau a Hamoterangi from Waitaha

  • Te Pao aTahu from Waitaha

  • Te Poutūmārō from Waitaha


One of our seven Whānau Ora pou is “to be confidently participating in Te Ao Māori”.  There is no more splendid demonstration of this pou in action than to see the pride of all those who take the stage; to feel the love of their supporters; to smile at the mokopuna who know all the words and actions to what they’re watching on the big screen.  

Taua Aroha with mokopuna, Te Ore

Taua Aroha with mokopuna, Te Ore


The kaihaka give it all to performances that stun with their sophistication, and move the crowd to tears with messages about the issues that matter:  keeping whānau healthy;  preventing the tragedy of suicide, standing up for the revitalization of te reo, promoting the significance of kotahitanga.

Māori Party Co-leader and MP, Marama Fox, was also amongst those welcoming whānau to Heretaunga

Māori Party Co-leader and MP, Marama Fox, was also amongst those welcoming whānau to Heretaunga

As the roopu gathered in Hastings, at about the same time on that day, hundreds gathered at the civic memorial to the 2011 earthquakes.


Oi Manawa was unveiled at 12.51pm, the exact time that six years ago a 7.8 earthquake struck Christchurch.   Before you enter the memorial space, you can pass by the most beautiful pounamu touchstone, to put you in touch, literally, with those who were here before us many years ago.


This photo shows carver Fayne Robinson, with Ngāi Tahu General Manager of Te Taumatua, Lynne Harata Te Aika, and Fayne’s son Tahupotiki Collier Robinson.   The pounamu kōhatu is a wonderful way to connect to the land, to stop and reflect on all that has happened since that fateful time.



I love the concept of Oi Manawa – the trembling heart.   It represents both the trembling and quivering of the land as it opened up, demolishing buildings in its wake, and disrupting life as we know it.  That trembling heart expresses the grief of loss associated with the deaths of 185 people, casualties of Ruamoko.


But Oi Manawa also connects me back two years ago to the spectacular He Ngākau Aroha – the overwhelming expression of love and gratitude that Ngāi Tahu expressed to the motu at Te Matatini in Hagley Park.   And in that respect, the love and the gratitude that we now feel for gift of kapa haka shared by Ngā Manu a Tāne is personified through our own daughter standing on the stage at Matatini this year.   What a moment.   And am I just the proudest Mama in the world?   Well yes …I know I share that with the parents, and siblings, and grandparents and aunties and uncles and children and mokopuna and cousins of the 1800 performers who graced our screens….a virtual village of ecstasy!



Well it’s a bit hard to come down to earth when you’re still floating high, but why should we?   To finish our week on a high have a look at the amazing transformation going on at Omaka Marae in Blenheim.

The TOA Fit 8 week challenge begins at 5.30pm on the 1st March.   The wero has been laid: come along and make healthy gains, through a kaupapa Māori workout for all shapes, all sizes, all ages, all stages.   Anyone thinking of getting onto the Matatini stage in 2019 – TOA Fit might be just what you need to get there.

Over at Nelson and Motueka this week, our contract advisors Gina-Lee Duncan and Te Rā Morris have had the pleasure of being at Te Āwhina Marae, meeting with whānau, entities, navigators and catching up.


Angels Trio

During her time in Te Tauihu, Gina-Lee caught up with the phenomena that is Angels Trio (Chanel Faapue, Lovenia Paul, and Vera Manawaiti).


Angels Trio are three women based in Nelson, who have been serving kai to whānau from their community.  Angels Trio currently fundraise to provide meals and pre pack school lunches free of charge to those who may struggle to provide healthy, nutritious and affordable kai.  Te Pūtahitanga O Te Waipounamu is supporting this initiative in assisting with the resources associated with preparation of weekly pre-packed school lunches delivered to three local primary schools in the Nelson area and provide regular community Sunday lunch meals that reach out to help whānau. Through one to one socialising with whānau they hear and can respond to whānau needs. Te Pūtahitanga O Te Waipounamu has also enabled a specialised Navigator resource that will directly support whānau engaged with Angels Trio to ensure the on-going support and advocacy for whānau.

I have yet to meet up with these Angels in person – but hope to do so in the next month we are heading up to talk with whānau in Te Tauihu, as part of our regular six month hīkoi.  It’s vital that our kaimahi get out amongst Te Waipounamu – watch out for our next blog which will give the details for our Northern hīkoi, 13-15 March.


Finally, if there’s one phrase all of us have memorized like a favourite mantra it would be “how much, how well and is any one better off”?   If you want to know the secrets to Results Based Accountability, read on and come along…..the more the merrier!  Just let us know……and we’ll see you all soon.   Until then, it’s back to Matatini for me….