Mind the Gap

In my mid-twenties I spent some time as a barmaid in London, travelling by underground between the pub that I worked at and the pub where I had lodgings.     One of the peculiarly British symbols was a visual and audio message, “mind the gap”; a message which encouraged travelers to stand clear of the doors and be careful not to fall into the gap between the train and the platform.


This week I’ve been thinking about a different type of gap, the gaps of understanding between local employers and young people.


The Attitude Gap Challenge is a multi-agency co-design challenge led by the Auckland Co-design Lab along with Auckland Council’s Southern Initiative. It was sponsored by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry of Social Development.  The overarching finding of this project is that the challenge that employers and young people face in South Auckland is much broader than attitude, and is in fact a complex clash of norms and expectations


The challenge found that:


  • The gap is self- perpetuating ie bad experiences equal more disengagement for both employers and young people.

  • Current systems make it even harder for young people, and create frustrations and burdens for employers.

  • Businesses and employers don’t know how to build on the cultural strengths and diversity of young people.

  • Many employers view workplace culture as the norm, with little insight into how its unspoken rules can work to disengage young people


Minding the Gap for Māori Employment in Kaikoura

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been pleased to support He Toki Ki te Mahi in working with the community, agencies and construction companies to better understand their needs and aspirations, in other words to help create a relationship on the ground.  The aim is to work with a minimum of 40 earthquake affected people from Kaikoura into meaningful work and training over the next six months.


He Toki has created two employment and community engagement roles in partnership with Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu, the New Zealand Transport Agency, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.  Ariana Te Whetu and Harrison Hunt are now onboard and have already been up in Kaikōura, making waves.    For more information call 0800 HE TOKI or Email Harrison.hunt@tetapuae.co.nz.


Minding the Magic of the Rangatahi

Over the last couple of days I have been in the company of kings and queens, ngā rangatira mō āpōpō, as they have been staying at Tuhuru Marae in Hokitika.

The kōrero was inspiring, uplifting and energizing: just what I needed after some pretty full-on meetings this week.   Indeed as I listened and learnt from the motivational magic of rangatahi, Tihou Messenger-Weepu and his sister Kathryn, mentors (tuakana) and kaiako alike, it was a gift for the soul.


There was kōrero around the origins of pepeha – tracing back to that first breath, the ha, of a newborn child.    Kōrero which encourages us to awaken our senses to the expanses of Ranginui, to learn in the school of the heart.


I loved the energy, “popcorn style” as ideas kept popping up around the whare.  They talked about karakia as affirmation, the three cs : commitment, consideration and cooperation, and the importance of whakapapa.   We became acquainted with some of the whānau who are laid to rest in the peace of the urupā – the Tauwhare, the Masons, the solitary beauty of the kuia Nihorere.


Tihou talked out from the hilltop overlooking his pa – and shared his dreams for planting trees on the awa.  From our vantage point we could see afar to the whitebait huts, the Vestry, the whare where carving and weaving would take place; a glimpse into the world of Ngāti Waewae.   It was indeed a blessing for heart, soul and mind.


Kaitiaki Ahurea Programme


Next week, Otautahi has the honour of hosting Sir Mason Durie at a wānanga at Ngā Hau e Whā Marae to debate solutions to improve Māori health promotion.


The hui is free and open to all people – located at Ngā Hau e Whā Marae, and takes place on Thursday 16th-Friday 17th March.



Boards, Ministers and Whānau Ora


This week, on Tuesday, we had our regular quarterly catch up with the Minister for Whānau Ora, Hon Te Ururoa Flavell.    Attending the hui were members of the General Partner Limited Board: Lisa Tumahai, Donovan Clarke, Trevor Taylor and our Chair, Matua Norm Dewes.   Whaea Molly Luke, the Chair of Te Taumata was also there on behalf of all our nine iwi stakeholders.


The Minister was really enthusiastic about the increased numbers of Whānau Ora Navigators; the range of outcomes being experienced by the Whānau Ora entities, and he has a particular interest in learning more about what is happening in the family violence field.  The Minister came to Te Pūtahitanga in December last year to discuss progress with Tū Pono: Te Mana Kaha o Te Whānau which has been the Māori response to the Integrated Safety Response pilot.   It wasn’t long after we left the meeting that his office rang us again, asking for a followup visit to meet with whānau and to truly understand how a whānau-centred drive towards addressing violence works.


By far his most powerful kōrero, however, was around Kaikōura.  We now have a team located in Blenheim, Kaikōura and Christchurch fully focused on supporting the needs of whānau who have been through the earthquakes.  These people are:

  • Coral Thomas, Te Runanga O Nga Maata Waka

  • Rebecca Manawatu, Te Tai o Marokura

  • Logan Pomana, Waiau / Hurunui –Te Runanga O Nga Maata waka

  • Blenheim: Eileen Eriha, Te Hauora o Ngāti Rarua

  • Linda Ngata : Whānau Ora Connect.


The Minister was very appreciative of all the hard work that the Navigator team has been doing on the ground with whānau.   He also did a big shout to everyone who made a difference in those first few weeks – whether supporting the helicopter team at Cheviot, the home people at Takahanga Marae, the ‘evacuee whānau at Tuahiwi’ or in the general support offered so generously.  He told our Boards that what Te Waipounamu has done over these years of response and recovery to emergency situations has clearly demonstrated the power of the Māori response and particularly the invaluable role that marae play as the centrepoint of their communities.   Ka Rawe!

Unleash the Maui

Unleash the Māui is a Māori land-based summit designed to harness the energy of Maui and unleash it to enable innovative, creative and sustainable solutions for the whenua that he so expertly created. The three day summit is taking place at Lincoln University, between Wednesday 15th through to Friday 17th to explore issues, priorities and challenge thinking with a view to:

  • Growing Māori leadership within the land-based sector

  • Progressing innovative solutions to enable Māori success

  • Aligning the Māori land based-sector with hapū, iwi and Māori advancement aspirations

  • Exploring deeper, collaborative solutions to the key challenges facing the sector

  • Celebrating and acknowledging our successes as motivation to continue to progress our future


Each day of the summit has its own theme.

  • Day one –  “Leadership"

  • Day two – “Innovation”

  • Day three – “Future pathways


Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been proud to invest in, and support Whenua Kura – an iwi-led partnership between Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Tapuae o Rehua, Ngāi Tahu Farming and Lincoln University built on a shared vision to grow Māori leadership in land-based industries.    


As well as supporting Whenua Kura with the focus of a fulltime Whānau Ora Champion of their own – Rāniera Dallas – we have been delighted to support some of the entities to make their mark next week including Kākano Café and Cookery School (Jade Temepara); Omaka Marae, Pa Ora Pa Wānanga; (Blenheim); Puha Pesto (Motueka) and Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre (Dunedin): look out for their Whenua Toolkit.


Unleashing Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu in Te Tauihu

It’s all go!   Next Monday to Wednesday we are heading north to Te Tauihu to spend time with whānau and entities around the kaupapa of Whānau Ora.


We start off at Kaiteriteri on Monday with Waka Whenua; Tapawera Awa Ora and the Able Tasman Waka Experience.  We have the privilege of staying the night at Onetahua Marae at Mohua (Golden Bay) on Monday night.


On Tuesday morning we are going on to Te Āwhina Marae at Motueka to engage with our whānau there, including the added bonus of some reo Māori time with the whānau from Ngā Muka (Te Atarangi).   That night we are welcoming all our entities and whānau based initiatives to come together at the Quality Inn in Nelson at 6pm.


And then on Wednesday we are looking forward to time spent with our Whānau Ora Navigators.

It’s going to be an amazing week, just to be in the rohe – and the company – of our whānau entities; our Navigators, our whānau, our Taumata representatives and iwi leaders from across Te Tauihu.   I literally can’t wait.


RBA Thursday 16th March 2017

And as if it couldn’t even get any better, next week we are in Invercargill for a ‘how do we understand’ RBA!