The Cat in the Hat

“We looked!   And we saw him!   The Cat in the Hat!
And he said to us, Why do you sit there like that?
I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny.
But we can have lots of good fun that is funny”.

The other night I was reading my son a classic children’s book written many years ago..

By the time I’d finished son was fast asleep in the land where cats in hats stand on balls with a book on one hand and a cup in the other.   Meanwhile I was hooked.

And so I browsed through the biographical notes at the end of the book which explained how Dr Seuss began his lifelong career as a storybook wizard.   In the early fifties a Life magazine article suggested that if you wanted to encourage children to read you had to make it fun.  Dr Seuss was given a list of easy beginning words : cat, hat, fish, dish, rake, cake, ball, all.  From that list emerged ‘The Cat in the Hat’.

How we can encourage our children not just to pick up a pukapuka, but to enjoy the experience is a challenge that has been exercising my mind lately.

We have been so thrilled with the success of the Reo Pēpi initiative; one of our original Wave One applicants.

The Reo Pēpi publishing company now represents six popular titles, a range of bilingual gift cards and soon to be released limited edition art prints. They have a great partnership with a nationwide book sales and distribution company. Authors and illustrators, Kitty Brown and Kirsten Parkinson, have a strong following from Early Childhood Educators who enjoy promoting the books and utilising the online extension resources. They are truly an inspirational duo: we couldn’t be prouder than to be associated with them.


Auahi Kore Awarua Style

As we think of all our beautiful babies, it was wonderful to see the mokopuna from Te Rākau Kowhai Te Kōhanga Reo out in force in Invercargill to promote World Smokefree Day / No Tobacco Day on the 31st May.

This year’s theme was ‘It’s about Whānau’!’   The artwork chosen to represent this theme, recognizes and promotes the importance of tobacco control work benefitting whānau. The protection of keeping all our future generations healthy is central to the smokefree kaupapa.

It’s a great poster with a story all of its own:

  • The waharoa, the gateway, denotes the importance of the goal of Smokefree 2025 as a pathway to our future and our past.
  • The Southern Cross provides a sense of national identity : collaboration, collective strength, and pathways to achieve a single goal for Aotearoa 
  • The tupuna represent kaitiakitanga; generations of whānau; what will we leave for our children and their future?
  • Te ao tūroa me te Ao hurihuri reflects the earth and the ever changing world.

Healthy Whare; Happy Home

It was all go in the Southern regions this week – well of course as it is every week they tell me!    The first of five hui to promote Maori housing maintenance hui was held at Ohai with Awarua synergy. Other hui will follow in Mataura, Invercargill, Bluff and Riverton.

Whanau seen here, are speaking with a roofer and plumber in foreground and a financial advisor in the background. There was also insulation and a builder in the “speed dating rounds” with a bit of a difference. 


Navigators Hit The Ground Running

On the 14th November, the earth shifted with a massive magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Kaikoura with ground movements exceeding 5cm from the middle of the South Island to the bottom of the North Island.   In the immediate wake of the turmoil, a team of Whānau Ora Navigators came together from Wairau through to Hurunui, to support the whānau left reeling from the shock of the shakes.   This video shows a rare glimpse into their work at the frontline of need.

Please follow the link below to view the first cut of the Kaikoura video.

It is a private link, password is kaikoura.

Six months since the earthquake has passed and on a beautiful crisp autumn morning it was a pleasure to travel to Amberley to meet up in a new operational group, to be chaired by Whānau Ora Connect, Linda Ngata.  The North Canterbury/Kaikoura Navigator Operations Group met at the Hurunui District Council “to provide oversight, co-ordination and leadership of the Hurunui and Kaikoura Navigation services, effectively balancing the tension between capacity and demand”.

It is an ambitious goal.  

This week I received one of our regular reports from Whanau Ora Navigators who are working in the following districts 

  • Kaikoura -- Oaro, Goose Bay, Hapuku, Mangamaunu, Rakautara
  • Wairau – Waipapa Bay, Clarence, Kekerengu, Ward, Seddon
  • Hurunui – Cheviot, Parnassus, Scargill, Greta Valley, Mount Lyford, Waiau, Hamner Springs, Rotheram, Culverden, Amuri, Hurunui, Waikari, Waipara, Amberley.

One aspect of the whānau surveys shared with me is of particular and grave concern.   

Of 74 whānau surveyed in Kaikōura all of the whānau declared that they were worried about trying to keep their homes warm in winter.  42 homes had lost their heating source– chimneys destroyed to the ground, bringing a sense of fear about what winter might bring. 

Our Whānau Ora Navigators are also having to cope with whanau residing in pockets of isolated areas such as 

  • Oaro isolated from Kaikoura due to slips, road and rail repairs and construction
  • Likewise Goose Bay, Omihi, Boat Harbour and Paia Point Camping Grounds
  • Rakautara Settlement, Blue Duck Settlement and Waipapa Camping Ground.

The stories coming out of Kaikoura are grim. This recent affirmation from our PATH training hui of the Navigators in Koukourārata underlines just how critical it is to retain the faith; to keep all our families strong enough to move mountains..

Finally, after an incredible twelve consultation hui in as many months, next week, Tuesday 6 June, are all looking forward to the official launch of Tū Pono: Te Mana Kaha o Te Whānau.    See you at Rehua Marae, 5pm on Tuesday!