The Last Smile of Summer


They say that autumn is the most loveliest, most sensational smile that summer makes before the bleak cold of winter takes over.   

Over the last week, as the Akarua Arrowtown Autumn Festival celebrated its 34th year with over fun days of events, it was obviously the place to be for smiles to grow, and hearts to warm with the glow of Central Otago ablaze with colour.    

Autumn is also the time of preparation for Matariki / Puaka / Puanga.   It is the time to gather and preserve crops; to harvest the kumara, pikopiko and karaka berries.    To start thinking about the colder months ahead; to plan, to prepare and get ready.

In the days before, Kati Māmoe, Waitaha and Ngai Tahu would travel to the Wakatipu area – to hunt native birds like the weka; to preserve the meat in hinu and to store it in pōhā for the journey home.

And so  it was the perfect time this week for Kakano Café in inner-city Christchurch to re-open its doors in a new location – adjacent to the spray cans in the East Frame (on the corner of Manchester and Lichfield Streets).   The youth space – a project inspired and supported by GapFiller, Ōtākaro and Fletcher is about creating a vibe for inner city life that will welcome the people back.


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I am so proud of Kakano Café and Cookery School.  The entity was incorporated on 14 April 2015 – so it has just celebrated its third birthday as a business – but the energetic entrepreneur behind it all – Jade Temepara – had been cultivating the dream for years before the first seeds were ever planted.



Jade Temepara's love for gardening was a legacy of learning from her Koro who shared with her the simple secret about how to grow kai. She would ask questions, and wondered about the source of the kakano; the foundation for new life.   

As Jade grew in years and vitality, everything she touched revealed her magical way with the whenua.   She founded Hand Over A Hundy: a one-year challenge to young whānau to learn to grow and produce their own vegetable gardens.  Jade won NZ Gardener of the Year 2011 and a Silver Award at Ellerslie International Flower Show 2012. But her greatest motivation was her babies.   As her children grew, she too entered a journey of discovery that led to them all learning about the power and potential of Papatuanuku to nourish us; to feed us; and for us to care for her in return.

It was a real thrill to see little Miss Preach share. with me the wonder of the worm farm she created just this week.  Now that’s intergenerational learning!


Moth-Net and AhiPepi

From the innovation of Kakano Café, to the co-innovation project with mana whenua, it was great this week to read the 2017 highlights of the National Sciences challenges.

The BioHeritage Challenge is delighted to announce the release of its 2017 Highlights report which you can now view on our website.

The publication is packed full of information about Māori customary approaches towards protecting and restoring ecosystem resilience.  

You can read about the project for kōwaro (mudfish) and kēkēwai (crayfish –see picture below) including sample handling, sequencing technologies and facilities, data handling and data storage which has been developed with Ngāi Tūāhuriri runanga.

Or you can find out about Ahi Pepe | MothNet – a science project to engage teachers and connect primary school children and whānau with Mātauranga Māori and science through moths.

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Ahi Pepe is a collaboration between Manaaki Whenua, the University of Otago, Orokonui Ecosanctuary and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu.

Aranui : a proud community of hope and opportunities

I had a great visit to the Aranui Community Trust in Hampshire Street this week, catching up with manager, Rachael Fonotia, and all the amazing initiatives that happen at ACTIS.   There’s a foot clinic every second Wednesday; indoor bowls; a community walking group; a free community lunch once a month. Rachael talked about the positive energy that came out of their Dads and Kids free event just last week – with a barber on site and lots of awesome activities designed to celebrate the precious role that fathers, uncles, brothers, sons play in our lives.


The Birth of a Baby

While the media outlets are ecstatic about the arrival of the new prince, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu welcomes a couple of princes of our own.  

Proud Papa Ricky Maia (from Tokorakau)  is shown here with his gorgeous son, Allen Hakopa Harry; and just up the line at Omaka Pa, Donna and Kiley welcomed into the world their latest edition, Hawaiki Tū!   

And actually we do have a link with the royal baby.  Our own Reo Pepi created some of the beautiful pukapuka that are now making their way across the world in the special gift PM Jacinda Ardern has sent the royal couple.


Post the 14 November 2016 Seddon Earthquake Ricky and Savannah Māua have developed a firewood business in Seddon. In developing this business and exploring other opportunities they aim to increase their whānau income and reduce their support from MSD. Their whānau all work together in the enterprise to make an income.   The whole whānau is involved in running and helping to grow the business. Although their tamariki are young, they help load up the firewood in their vehicle. Their tamariki also help to deliver firewood and talk to customers. Their tamariki are good little workers and love to help.

Good Night Sleep Tight

When I was little Mum used to always tell me to “sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite’.   I must admit it used to make me wonder about all the little greeblies that might make their way out from under the mattress to attack me during the night.  Hardly the stuff that dreams are made of!

There is now a fabulous new initiative in Christchurch which under the concept of Good Night Sleep Tight is providing a bedding programme for whānau.   One of our Navigator host agencies, Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi, has been making referrals on behalf of whānau for the bedding packs for tamariki and pepi. It has been a massive success with a huge response from all of our Navigators, which is simply amazing.


These packs are for children aged 0-12 years, and include: a pillow; a set of pyjamas; a dressing gown, a pair of slippers, a set of sheet, and a blanket.


 Weed your own garden before you jump the fence

In line with the autumnal focus, we had a wonderful wananga with Tu Pono: Te Mana Kaha o te Whānau at Rehua Marae in Christchurch this week.    There were some wise words that were shared as we thought about who will be the champion for the whānau; what is the plan of action to stop the silence, speak up and act locally for violence-free whānau?   The issues are around :

  • Supporting whānau to heal and restore;

  • Supporting whanau to reclaim our homes and marae as violence free

  • Supporting whānau to reconnect with safe, nurturing whānau;

  • Supporting whānau to champion the safety of all

  • Supporting violence free marae.

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Whaea Tariana with the Dallas whānau – grandmother; father; daughter and partner……

Whaea Tariana with the Dallas whānau – grandmother; father; daughter and partner……

Matua Bob Te Miha and Aunty Roberta Arahanga

Matua Bob Te Miha and Aunty Roberta Arahanga


Coming Up

  • Canterbury Children’s Team, Children’s Workforce Orientation training : Thursday 21 June 2018; 9am-4pm; Grand Central Building, 161 Cashel Street, Christchurch Level 2.  

Contact :

Luke EganComment