Happy Birthday Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu!

This week we have been celebrating and reflecting on our first three years since we opened a new chapter in Whānau Ora in Te Waipounamu with the birth of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

We have looked back on our photo-bank, laughed at the exhilaration of the Dragons Den, the excitement of the Hothouse, the simultaneous launches spread from Whakatu to Murihiku.


In doing so, we have remembered the people and personalities no longer with us, who linger in our memories.   Their special presence in our lives will always inspire us to demonstrate the impact of their legacy amongst our whānau.

We have traced the progress of the valiant Wave One entities who started the journey with us in 2014; we have marvelled at the momentum gained – our funding has tripled; our Whānau Ora Navigators have grown from zero in 2015 to 57 in 2017; the entities that have been invested in through our pipeline have risen to a stunning 122 in number.   We are now walking the Whānau-Ora talk from Takaka to Tuatapere, from Hokitika to Koukourarata, and across the seas to Wharekauri.   Our Navigators are currently supporting over 1600 whānau; over 1300 pathway plans have been developed as whānau of Te Waipounamu become architects of their own grand plans.  Yes it’s been a fast but fantastic three years.


Birthdays are a great occasion to celebrate and mark progress.   This year, our birthday has had a particularly auspicious gift with the confirmation of accreditation through to 9 March 2020.   We have been working consistently in following a systematic quality programme which is essentially about always seeking to improve, the “can do better” factor.   

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been assessed by an external evaluator, and this week the results were a fabulous tribute to the hard work, the achievements experienced and all the commitments made.


“Congratulations on your organisation being assessed as having met all requirements, including standards related to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, for a three-year accreditation by the AAA-NZ Programme.

The review report conveys a sense of an organisation who has exceptional leadership, is extremely mindful of their purpose, the needs of their whānau and wider community and is modelling an innovative approach”.

Making Moves in Mataura

On Monday this week, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu along with Te Puni Kokiri spent the day supporting the Minister for Whānau Ora as he shared with the whānau at Mataura Marae their aspirations for renovating and reinvigorating a facility to house the people.

The project we have invested in is to complete kōwhaiwhai and tukutuku panels for the wharenui, ‘Ngā Hereherenga o Ngā Waka’.  It has at its core, elements of tikanga, whakapapa, te reo, mahi toi. It requires team work and offers learning opportunities whilst culminating in completed works installed in the wharenui. All members of whānau will be offered opportunities to learn and participate at their level of skill and knowledge.


The Mataura and District Marae Incorporated initiative was announced as a successful recipient of Te Pūtahitanga funding at the recent Whānau Ora Symposium, Wahia, Haea, Rotua.   Their contract commenced on 1 July 2017.


Koha Kai

After our time in Mataura we had the great opportunity to visit Te Kura o Arowhenua and to also catch up with the team that call themselves Koha Kai.

Koha Kai has become a household name in Invercargill, with volunteers being recognised in the community.

It was clear for all to see benefits for the disabled volunteers; they were involved in the school community, developing meaningful relationships and being able to contribute to the community – all while learning the arts of healthy kai, cultivating vegetables and good nutrition!

There are 24 team members, 14 of whom are disabled. The now have gardens in multiple schools and are in the process of developing an inclusive, all-abilities teaching kitchen. Once the kitchen is complete, Koha Kai will begin transitioning their disabled volunteers into employment. They have created a sustainable business model and hope to expand across the motu. Janice and her team are changing the lives of disabled whānau and it is making a significant difference in their lives.


Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Mana Rangatahi

The Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Mana Rangatahi waka set sail again  in the first week of the school Holidays.

The kaupapa of Mana Rangatahi is to empower and develop Ngāti Apa rangatahi who have been identified as potential/future leaders for their iwi by strengthening their connection to their cultural identity, whenua and each other.

Cultural Advisor Kiley Nepia said that Mana Rangatahi is part of the iwi’s succession plan to ensure that the next generation of our whānau have a strong sense of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tōtanga and that the six day experiential wānanga was designed specifically for Ngāti Apa rangatahi. This time the wānanga visited different wahi tapu around Westport.

In Westport the rangatahi learnt about different wahi tapu and tūpuna associated with the area. There were also a number of cultural elements that were included into the wānanga including  waiata, whakatauki, whakapapa, pūrākau and mau rākau. According to Kiley all of these activities create whakawhanaungatanga amongst the rangatahi, develop their cultural knowledge and gets them thinking more about the collective rather than their individual needs. One of the highlights of the wānanga was white water rafting down the Kawatiri River.

“Ka pū te ruha, ka hao a Mana Rangatahi”

As the old net tires, Mana Rangatahi will take its place


FFS – For Future’s Sake



As the days speed towards the general election on 23 September, it has been distressing to learn of the large numbers of rangatahi Maori who have not had the opportunity to help shape our political landscape, through casting a vote.

In the 2016 elections, out of the million missing New Zealanders who didn’t vote, over 700 were actually enrolled but didn’t turn up to vote.   A recent poll gave some room for thought about what is needed to get all our rangatahi to vote – a big push being that we need better policies for young people but also that there should be improved education about voting.


Meanwhile in Dunedin…

How wonderful after all the wind and rain of a stormy weekend, today the sun came out in Otepoti for our Whānau Ora Navigators to meet together.

We have had a great week building the momentum in the Navigator work space:

  • On Tuesday we met up as regional managers at Oranga Tamariki, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu about how to work together in the best interests of all our whānau;

  • Wednesday saw us at Nga Hau e Wha bringing together Navigators and social workers with a stimulating session on stereotyping by the newly capped Dr Hana O’Regan

  • Friday we came together with the Youth Justice team at Oranga Tamariki, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu to see how we might consolidate all of our conversations into action.

So from us all to you – thank you for being part of our first three years, take time to celebrate the special ways in which you are changing lives for the better, and let’s take Whānau Ora to a whole new level.


Manawa Ora

In honour of our third birthday, we want to release our latest digital story: Manawa Ora: https://vimeo.com/222311328

How to re-engage whānau Māori in physical activity and regain the fitness that was a given for our tupuna?

That is the question kaimahi at Whakatu Marae were asking in 2015 and, through consultation with whānau and the wider community, they soon found that social barriers were the main cause of this intergenerational and continual loss of physical fitness.

Acknowledging that these barriers existed was the first step to creating Manawa Ora, a marae-run programme intent on getting Māori tinana out of the whare and on their feet.

The kaimahi behind Manawa Ora began by adding more equipment, furthering the gym capability to cater for absolute beginners and those with existing health conditions, right through to experienced gym goers. Transport is often an issue for whānau and, to remove this barrier, the Whakatu Marae Gym now offers a mobile gym, transporting gym equipment to local parks and community spaces so whanau can get involved.

With the help of several competitive waka ama paddlers, kaimahi have hosted social days to include schools and the community. The purchase of paddle boards and offering swimming classes also provides opportunities for whānau to try new things and ensuring they have the skills to be safe on the water.

In addition to these activities, Manawa Ora also run a number of programmes throughout the year. The Hundy Club is specifically for members over 100 kilograms and focuses on healthy and safe physical activity. Tari v Tari is a fun 12-week challenge and was originally meant to be among the Manawa Ora whānau – but once word got out on the kumara vine, Tari v Tari has grown to incorporate eight different Māori organisations. The idea is that each week a new challenge is introduced. For example, week one might set a wero of 30 minutes of exercise each day; the following week wero is to add on eight glasses of water a day and so on until 12 challenges have been completed in the final week.  Have a look at the video!   We know you’ll be amazed.


Have a great weekend everyone…over and out from our Navigators on the scene…..




Luke Egan1 Comment