The only strawberry we will ever eat

“Each moment is just what it is.   It might be the only moment in our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat.   We could get depressed about it or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life” (Pema Chodrun).


The preciousness of life.   It’s a thought that comes into my head every single day as we pick up the phone to another call for help, as we read reports of the work of angels, as we work with those champions of hope amongst our kaupapa Māori providers – whether that be in the family violence sector, the suicide prevention workforce, our marae, our hapu and iwi.


This week we are delighted to celebrate that preciousness through launching Soulfull Super Foods  .


The concept of Soulfull has been driven by Katie Robinson.   Her dream was to provide a healthy, fresh, affordable option, making and selling healthy smoothie bowls from a transportable food cart. Part of the approach is to educate and motivate whānau about healthy food choices which are simple to implement.  

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It has been wonderful to see the collaboration with Yoga Warriors and Hale Compound Conditioning; Sport Canterbury, HeyFitApp, Atlas Gymnasium, Coastal Spirit Football Club, and Molly from Life in Vacant Spaces.  All of these different partnerships enable Soulfull Superfoods to be flexible for communities.    And it’s not just about what we eat – Katie’s commitment towards using te reo Māori phrases and content in the menu and when serving customers will ultimately encourage and increase the use and understanding of te reo across Otautahi.   And that’s a great thing.

This week was the seventh anniversary since the harrowing 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Darfield, wreaking havoc throughout Canterbury and beyond.   Tonight as reports come in of the turmoil incurred as an 8.1 magnitude earthquake hits the southern coast of Mexico the impact of extensive, widespread damage resonates with us all.


It was, therefore, sobering to take a drive beyond the barriers to Rakautara on the Kaikoura Coast, accompanied by one of our Whānau Ora Navigators, Ngaio Te Ua.    As one of the many orange-clad workers, Whaea Rihi Clarke, motioned for us to travel through the checkpoint station, it was staggering to see the sight of landscape devastation.  Huge piles of rubble, the cliff face disintegrated to a cluster of boulders, stones and weeds the only remnant of what used to be the seashore.   Apparently this season there are just seventy juvenile pāua – at a similar time last year it was 300; some years as much as 700.

My grandmother always used to tell me, ‘you don’t know how lucky we are’.  My trip to Rakautara on Tuesday certainly emphasized the truth of that saying.


Meanwhile over on the Coast this week, a freak tornado munted the home for a brand new tourism venture that has just been launched.


West Coast Guided Walks started as Hīkoi Waewae  in July 2016 as a social walking/hiking group.  Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been so proud to invest in Hikoi Waewae.  The purpose was for Ngati Waewae whānau to re-connect with their ancestral lands. To learn the histories of their ancestors, gain knowledge of fauna and flora, how their tupuna utilized these resources for food, medicine, art, building materials, and everyday items such as mats, clothing, and much more.    Our love goes out to Rauhine and the Hikoi Waewae whānau.


Special to Te Pūtahitanga!


This week for a special treat, we thought we’d share with you all the magic that took place at Nga Hau e Whā in Christchurch, the day that Steven Funaki Adams came to town.

Te Koha

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is carrying out a gap analysis in collaboration with other suicide prevention agencies and groups in Te Waipounamu.

This is part of our Te Koha strategy to identify better approaches to preventing suicide and self-harm among whānau; to support whānau to develop their own solutions to suicide in both prevention, post-vention and health promotion approaches; to keep our whānau well.

Te Koha is about building on the strengths and skills of whānau and communities affected by suicide and gives volume to the collective voice of whānau as they identify their needs, experiences and priorities.   It is called ‘te koha’ deliberately – to remind us all how sacred is the gift of life.   Tonight, first stop on the roadshow tour, was the whānau in Dunedin, in association with the South Pacific Raiders rugby league.


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Funding Workshop next week

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It must be an Election!


Voting in the General Election 2017 kicks off in earnest on Monday 11th September.   There will be some 485 advance voting places around the country – the highest ever!   The Whānau Ora outcomes framework has a particular focus on all whānau being able to confidently participate in society – being able to enrol, check your enrolment details, update your personal information and vote – are all part of meeting our responsibilities as citizens.


A full list of advance voting places is available at Voters can also phone 0800 36 76 56 to find out where their closest voting place is.


And if you’re on the Māori roll you have three choices for the representative for Te Tai Tonga.   This week at Te Whare o Te Waipounamu, Ngai Tahu was able to host the three candidates for a political debate in conjunction with Radio Waatea: Rino Tirikatene-Sullivan (Labour); Mei Reedy-Taare (Māori Party) and Metiria Turei (Green Party).



Coming up next week


We have a very important announcement coming up next week, on Tuesday night.    Please find below the pānui about the release of the evaluations for Wave Two and Three.   We’d love to see you there.

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Finally, with only two weeks to go until the General Election, it was pretty exciting to see this political party broadcast message about Whānau Ora in street just outside Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

Luke EganComment