I Vote for Aotearoa

There’s one night left until the big day…..that is Election Day – and of course the launch of new premises for Hale Compound Conditioning.


But first things first….only two things to remember.

  1. Enrol

  2. Vote


It’s not that hard.  But according to the 2014 statistics it was a fact of life that eluded 214,000 New Zealanders, aged between 18 to 29 years.


You can enrol to vote any time up until Friday night. You can do that at an early voting place and then vote - or you can enrol online: see link here: http://onthefence.co.nz/ . Voting is going on now, and closes this Saturday at 7pm.

I had the most wonderful weekend, attending Te Whare Tu, Te Whare Ora, an annual community event that Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu facilitates at the Invercargill Working Men’s Club. 


Daniel and Leoma Tawaroa, from the Maori Public Health Team at Nga Kete, convened the event to endorse prevention and health promotion approaches in the context of All Age Suicide Prevention.  The concept is to promote that whānau stand together to support others in need or at risk – Shout Out Southland – it’s about how to have courageous conversations that enable others to seek assistance.


The People’s Award for kapa of the day was won by Oraka Aparima Runaka.

It was an amazing day of talent – both at kapa haka level and in the wonderful launch of the Ties That Bind Us: a project Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu had invested in as part of our Anahera funding (seed funding).  


While we are down South, here’s a great story about the third Hikoi Te Hauora Addiction Recovery Camp held in the beautiful Blackmount Valley at Te Koawa Turoa o Takitimu. 

Hikoi Te Hauora Addiction Recovery Camp


The popular camp aimed to maintain and sustain recovery from alcohol and drug addiction was held at the beginning of September, with participants rating it 10/10.   NKMP staff were joined by seven participants on the week-long post-recovery camp as well as a Moana House staff member who stayed for the week to provide extra support.

The camp, which was first held in September last year, was developed by Nga Kete’s Addiction Services team and supports exercise, self-expression and wellbeing.   Addictions Manager and camp organizer Pikihuia Ruffell said the camp-goers enjoyed physical activities and tasks including daily fitness, tramping, waka ama, and environmental awareness.

Highlights of the camp included the waka ama, creating Tukutuku panels, and a 10km walk on the Kepler Track.   Tukutuku panels are a modern take on a traditional Maori art work using raffia paper and peg board. They were an amazing way to wind down after some physically challenging days, she said.

The panels will be donated to various organisations at a later date.  All of the participants said they would strongly recommend the camp and described it as well facilitated, and held in a great venue with fun activities.

Some said they developed life-long friends and others said the camp was life-changing.

One of the participants said he had made lifelong friends, and one young man had even become like a son during the week.  Opening up together as a group had been special and inspirational. “Sometimes when you’re on that boat you think you’re the only one in there.”

He enjoyed the walk, the waka, the laughs, singing and the morning fitness.   “You leave the camp feeling so positive. The whole thing was just inspirational. I’ll carry bits and pieces from the camp on for the rest of my life.”

Another of the camp’s participants said although she was initially apprehensive, she thoroughly enjoyed the camp.   “I was very scared and worried about going because I’m transgender and I didn’t know what the others would think, but it showed me that there are open minded people out there who aren’t going to judge me for being who I am. The camp gave me the boost I needed to just carry on.”

The next camp will be held early next year. If you or someone you know may be interested give us a call on (03) 214 5260. 


Maataa Waka ki te Tau Ihu


At the other end of the island, I had a fabulous day with the Maataa Waka team as we shared stories about the pounamu trails the rangatahi had been on, as part of the focus on building self-esteem, confidence and courage to take on whatever life puts in our way.



Declan Basher told about how his time on the river had enabled him to see life through a different lens; and had given him the opportunity to feel optimistic about his future.   Kaitlin Taylor is hoping to compete in the Eastern States speedway competition this season and was so appreciative of the support Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has provided.  Participating in speedway is a huge part of Kaitlin’s PATH plan. It is important to her because she has been diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system.


We learn about the various initiatives being championed:

  • E tipu e rea : school holiday programme

  • Court ordered mentoring – youth justice

  • Mana taiohi / youth social services

  • Hāpai pukuriri (anger management

  • Tīramarama mai : cultural and lifeskills programme


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Just another week at the office


Our contract advisors have been busy travelling around all of our entities, supporting them to look at the performance measures, while also preparing for Wave 7 which closes next week on 29 September.


contract advisor.jpg

Meanwhile I had a wonderful time in Seddon and Ward meeting with two of our local entities.  


It was great to catch up with Ricky and Savannah Māua of Seddon.   When the earthquake hit, it really affected the whānau.   After Ricky competed his Forestry Certificate, he realized his dream was to start his own firewood business, Tokorakau.  This initiative is for equipment and employment opportunities, to develop a pensioners’ pack so the kaumātua and kuia don’t have to chop their wood.   As you can see even the tamariki are equipped with a toy chainsaw to do their bit!


Haydon and Jody Edwards of Ward are setting up a caravan to have rollout at Clarence, close to the workers involved in the road reconstruction; and then in the wider Marlborough area.   The Kai Shack is going to be a dream come true for this energetic young mum!



But you know in Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu we try to share the fun around.   A couple of weeks ago half our team disappeared to be groupies for Steven Adams.   This week it was the turn of our executive assistant, Juli Tyler.


Juli attended a conference in Auckland where she got a chance to rub shoulders with Dominic Bowden who is best known as the host of New Zealand reality series including New Zealand Idol, Dancing With The Stars New Zealand and The X Factor New Zealand.   She looks pretty chuffed to be in the photo with him – mind you Dominic looks pretty excited too!!



And just to finish off the week, we are always happy to be with our Board directors and iwi partners.   On Thursday, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu hosted Judge Andrew Becroft, the Children’s Commissioner for New Zealand, Te Kaikomihana mo nga Tamariki o Aotearoa.   Judge Becroft’s presentation was entitled ‘A second chance for a revolution’ (to whakamana our tamariki Maori affected by the care and protection and youth justice systems).  


As we approach the General Election this weekend it was timely to remember that 1, 123, 000 (23% of the population) are young people under the age of 18 years old: without a vote and without a voice.


Judge Becroft travelled over the legislative and policy pathway of the last thirty or so years:

  • Puao-te-ata-tu, 1988

  • The children, young persons and their families act 1989

  • Oranga Tamariki Act 2017.

He shared an example from Regenerate Christchurch of the advantages when children have a say: they have more imagination, they see more possibilities.


And he challenged us to always ask five questions when we come to an issue:

  1. How will the decision affect children?

  2. What are the different impacts?

  3. What do children say? and how do we hear them?

  4. Use the answers; how will you make a decision?   Factoring in children voices along with the views of others.

  5. Make sure children know.   



Oraka General Manager, Dr Hana O’Regan; with Taumata member for Ngai Tahu, Jo Mclean, Judge Becroft, and Ngai Tahu Chief Executive Officer, Arihia Bennett.  And just to keep us all honest : Diamond, (shining bright like a diamond too she was!).


And finally, we are delighted to congratulate GPL member, Glenice Paine, for being appointed as Deputy Commissioner in the Environment Court. Whāia te mātauranga he oranga mō koutou.  


By the way,  don’t forget to vote!   It’s a Whānau Ora responsibility…..Pou Toru: that whānau can confidently participate in society……

Luke EganComment