Face The Risk


One of my favourite quotes of all time is from early New Zealand writer, Katherine Mansfield, Katherine Mansfield "Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others ... Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth”

Risk has been high on my agenda over the last couple of weeks – and not just because we have been immersed in the world of quarterly and annual reports and the ‘risk mitigation’ section that underpins compliance with funders.

It’s all to do with a slice of lime.

My daughters have been captivated with the global e-scooter phenomenon Lime which they tell me has literally taken off since its Aotearoa launch just ten days ago.  Everyone’s doing it apparently. Lime scooters are available for users to hire through an app for $1 and cost a further thirty cents per minute of use. Some 400 scooters have been ‘dropped’ on Christchurch; 500 in Auckland.   And to date, some 40,000 riders have taken up the opportunity to go for a scoot.

And that’s got talkback listeners riled up.  Reports have come in of a need for helmets; near-miss incidents; and concerns around speed.   But rather than ban by by-law; or condemn by criticism; I wonder if what we need to do is talk about risk.  Risk to personal safety; risk to others; how do we manage the risk; how do we take account of hidden obstacles?   

We all know the attraction of the adrenline rush; or the impact of dopamine which causes intense feelings of pleasure.  Some people satisfy the urge for risk-taking by rock-climbing or mountain biking; others by jumping on the back of a lime scooter.   That same excitement associated with uncertainty can also be a very positive thing when starting up a new entity – a Whānau Ora enterprise – or launching a new career.   It’s not the risk so much that’s the issue – but what we do to plan around it.

He Ngakau Aotea : An Open Mind


Our Navigator Manukura, Serena Lyders, this week attended an amazing conference in Napier : NUKA System of care conference – He Ngakau Aotea.   He Ngakau Aotea" was uttered by Toto, wife of Tamatea Arikinui, on arriving in Aotearoa, in reference to new opportunities offered in a new land. It means " open mind, open heart and open arms "

And so it was that Serena was able to take in new learning about the Nuka System of Care :  an award-winning system in Anchorage, Alaska, that has been providing value-based care for more than thirty years.  Serena is pictured with Southcentral Foundation Chief Executive, Katherine Gottlieb, who is a tribal member of the village of Old Harbor, a tribal member and elected tribal council member for Seldovia Village Tribe, and an honorary member of the Native Village of Eklutna.

Southcentral Foundation took back their health system for their indigenous people; renaming concepts like mental health to behavioural health. Their patients are called customer owners. ‘Customers’ receive services so must be treated with respect and ‘owner’ because they own their own health.   They have topical learning circles with a facilitator which is how they improve their health literacy. So they learn about the condition and make their own choices. This could be very helpful in our navigation approach. Katherine also spoke about their family wellness warriors are which are very similar to navigators, addressing a wide range of issues such as domestic violence; child abuse and neglect.

Looking out over Wairau

Mayor John Legget, Dr. Peter Meihana,  Rita Powick ,  Keelan Walker , Paora Mackie  Te Uhi O Wairau ,  Helen Leahy ,  Richard Bradley ,  Sue McElhinney

Mayor John Legget, Dr. Peter Meihana, Rita Powick, Keelan Walker, Paora Mackie Te Uhi O Wairau, Helen Leahy, Richard Bradley, Sue McElhinney


I was delighted this week to speak at the launch of the children’s book, The Footsteps of Uenuku.  See the speech here

Nga Pakiaka Mōrehu o te Whenua launched their first book at Ukaipo Cultural Centre in Blenheim this Wednesday to a very full whare.   Teachers, tamariki, iwi membership, whānau all gathered to be part of this exciting – indeed this milestone moment.

The book is motivated by a sense of place – Tapuae-o-Uenuku;  a love of the people – the story of Hinepūkohurangi, of Uenuku, of Te Hau, of Maukatere, of Hinewai – and most of all a story describing the significance of the rainbow.   It was so inspiring to be part of the gifting of this very special story to the schools of Marlborough.

Whānau Ora in the House

From tears and tamariki to proud sons and daughters presenting a fabulous haka in honour of their Mum; this week has had it all!

It was such a privilege to speak this week at the graduation ceremony of some thirty certificate and diploma students who have traversed the learning journey over the last five to nine months, and arrived at Rehua Marae on Thursday morning, proud, humble and grateful for the knowledge of Whānau Ora that is now entrenched in their souls. See the speech here

Representing Te Tai Poutini

Representing Te Tai Poutini

A beautiful moment to celebrate and congratulate June Foster-Campbell

A beautiful moment to celebrate and congratulate June Foster-Campbell

Louise Waho-Heather congratulating Eileen Edwards, graduate with a Certificate in Whānau Ora:

Louise Waho-Heather congratulating Eileen Edwards, graduate with a Certificate in Whānau Ora:

The beautiful Olivia Martin (daughter of IHI Research founder, Cath Savage). It’s all about whānau!

The beautiful Olivia Martin (daughter of IHI Research founder, Cath Savage). It’s all about whānau!


The house was brought to tears when Whānau Ora Navigator, Pikiora Spooner, was serenaded with the glorious pride of her children and their magnificent haka.


I’d have to say there is nothing quite as amazing as being in a whare of people fuelled by passion; driven by their aspiration to be their best self for the good of their whānau.   I love the commitment and the dedication of these students in Whānau Ora – we should celebrate their success as a gift for all our whānau to benefit from.

Kaikoura Two Years On

As we head into the fortnight leading into the anniversary of two years since the Kaikoura/Hurunui earthquakes I thought I’d share some of these stunning shots taken over the long weekend when our whānau spent a couple of days relaxing in the stunning sunshine of the eastern coast.

I was so proud to reconnect with my former student, Chevy Allen who is now a senior skipper for Whalewatch.   We’ve had a lot to do with his fabulous wife, Riria, from Te Tai o Marokura – but Chevy’s skills in navigating the waves are pretty impressive too!

Luke EganComment