Ko taku taunahanahataka, ko taku tōpuni ki te whenua


Ko taku taunahanahataka, ko taku tōpuni ki te whenua

My names are the treasured cloak which adorns this land.

One of the many wonders of my mahi is falling in love with the whenua in which we are privileged to live.   This week that love affair intensified another notch as I started exploring http://www.kahurumanu.co.nz/atlas.


Kā Huru Manu, The Ngāi Tahu Cultural Mapping Project, maps the traditional Māori place names and stories within the Ngāi Tahu rohe.  Over 5,000 place names have been mapped and fully referenced from whānau manuscripts, published books, 19th century maps, newspaper articles and a vast array of unpublished material.   It shows a complex infrastructure of traditional travel routes – ara tawhito – which provided access to relationships, resources, trade and mahinga kai.

As an example for the photo above of Waiau River we learn the correct spelling is Waiau-uha; meaning swirling water.   The Waiau-uha has a special relationship with the Waiautoa (Clarence River).. The Waiautoa is considered to be the male river, and Waiau-uha the female river.

Go mapping….have a look through ka huru manu.   It will make travelling the country an entirely new journey!

The power of names – our connections to one another, the words we call ourselves, the names that we have powerful associations with – were part of the discussion at the national forum of Oranga Tamariki at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington this week.  The four words that are particularly pivotal in the Oranga Tamariki legislation are:

  • Whakapapa

  • Whanaungatanga

  • Mana tamariki

The Irish connection: Grainne Moss (Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki – and a new cousin I made at the forum: Steve O’Connor.   

The Irish connection: Grainne Moss (Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki – and a new cousin I made at the forum: Steve O’Connor.   


. One of the workshops that some of us found challenging was the assumption that being child centred equates with being whānau centred.   While it is true that at the heart of every whānau are its children; the opposite is not necessarily true. The notion of the paramountcy of the child can sometimes be interpreted as the focus on the child is almost exclusive of anyone else.


The same could be said of the view that whakapapa and tikanga start afresh, and that the past is to be forgotten or left behind.  What our workshops at the national forum exposed was the need for a lot more korero if we are to truly get it right – to make every child matter and to be valued in the context of whānau.


Miles away from the forum at the Westpac Stadium were ten of our Whānau Ora Navigators, plus strategic analyst Ivy Harper, attending Te Korimako legal training at the University of Waikato Law School in Hamilton.  Te Korimako is an initiative to train and educate navigators to assist whānau who come to the attention of Oranga Tamariki to navigate the care and protection process, including within the Family Court.    The navigators will ensure that whānau are fully informed of the care and protection process, including: the issues raised in the report of concern, the role of Oranga Tamariki, identification of the options available to the whānau, the likely consequences of those options, the options available to resolve the issues out of Court and the options and processes in Court.


Opening of PILLARS new building

On any given day more than 23,000 children  are affected by having a parent in prison in New Zealand. Without the right support these children are over nine times more likely than other children to end up in prison as adults. 

Pillars Ka Pou Whakahou is a volunteering organisation with one of the most well established mentoring programmes in New Zealand.  Their volunteers have donated over 8000 hours of their time annually to supporting children of prisoners to have a positive future.

Pillars mentors have made the link between mentoring a child of a prisoner and strengthening our communities. They know that while they are being a great friend and role model to a child who is in a tough situation they had no say in, they are also impacting their future and potentially helping to break the cycle of offending in that family at the same time.

There is a PILLARS helpline : 0508 PILLARS if you want support about the situation you now find yourself in or about the prison system,  visiting and keeping in touch.  For all enquiries please email - enquiries@pillars.org.nz.   

This week PILLARS opened their new base in Christchurch – at 50 Durham Street.   I was humbled to be there and to just acknowledge the heartfelt sacrifices so many make to keep supporting loved ones in prison and their families on the outside.   It was great to see political support at the opening with local MPs – Duncan Webb and Nicky Wagner – as well as a broad range of support from across the community.

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Health Literacy Extravanganza begins in Kawatiri and Corstorphine

Health literacy is the capacity for whānau to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services in order to make informed health decisions.  Key factors in health literacy include:

  • Individuals and whānau are able to make informed decisions, and can access and navigate appropriate, quality and timely health services

  • Individuals and whānau are partners in actively managing their own health and wellbeing; and they take opportunities to provide feedback on health services they use and contribute to quality improvement programmes.

  • Individuals and whānau can obtain, process and understand health materials.

This week we have had some fabulous initiatives in health literacy supported by a co-design investment Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been progressing with tihe assistance of Pharmac.

Have a look at this video from the Corstorphine Hub in Dunedin.  It’s amazing!


And then over in Westport, over seventy people came out and stayed all day at the rongoa hui.  It was such a positive response for rongoa and Maori health and wellbeing

A real desire came through to co-continue these relationships.

5Rewa Skipper  from Owen River, who spoke of her influence from whanau for wellbeing. Lovey Welsh from Te Hauora o Ngati Rarua.

5Rewa Skipper  from Owen River, who spoke of her influence from whanau for wellbeing. Lovey Welsh from Te Hauora o Ngati Rarua.

Lovey Welsh - Trisha Hook - Lyn Bird from Te Hauora o Ngati Rarua ltd.

Lovey Welsh - Trisha Hook - Lyn Bird from Te Hauora o Ngati Rarua ltd.


Housing First

This week we hosted a visit from Housing First : an initiative to achieve permanent, secure, appropriate, safe housing as a basic human right for all. Housing First recognises that it is easier for people to address issues such as mental health and substance use, once they are housed. The priority is to quickly move people into appropriate housing and then immediately provide wrap-around services to support their success. The goal of Housing First is to end homelessness - not to manage it.


The Christchurch project is a collaboration model led by Christchurch Methodist Mission, in co-ordination with Comcare, Emerge Aotearoa and Otautahi Community Housing Trust.    Christchurch City Council staff undertook a count of people sleeping rough in the first two weeks of September 2017. The count found that at least 170 men and 20 women were without homes and sleeping rough. Many of these people have been living on the streets for a considerable period of time and struggle to sustain a tenancy due to issues such as debt, mental health or addiction issues, anti-social behaviour or the lack of skills necessary to manage a house. They are often disaffected from current services and the welfare system and so are invisible to those systems.


Maire Kipa, Helen Leahy and Ivy Harper with Pani Kahukiwa and Anania (kaupapa Māori community development worker) from Housing First.

Maire Kipa, Helen Leahy and Ivy Harper with Pani Kahukiwa and Anania (kaupapa Māori community development worker) from Housing First.


Telling our Stories Our Way


Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has partnered with Rangitane o Wairau Ahi Kaa Incorporated to deliver Ngā Pakiaka Mōrehu o te Whenua, Whānau Ora initiative.

Using storytelling as a medium, the goal of the initiative is to increase awareness amongst ahi kaa of their historical roles and responsibilities in the active protection and guardianship of cultural heritage.

Curator Dr Peter Meihana says, “The wānanga have been documented to provide a resource for future whānau learning of customary values and practices of Rangitane o Wairau whānau. The focus is on developing competency of ahi kaa whānau to understand the physical and metaphysical world of our shared tupuna”.

The exhibition 'Remembering the Settlement' opened on Thursday and was attended by Maania Farrar, who spoke on our behalf, and Te Ra Morris.

The exhibition documents the settlement of the Kurahaupo claim beginning in 1840 when Ihaia Kaikoura signed the Treaty of Waitangi at Te Whanganui, through to 2014 when the claim was finally settled.  The exhibition is based on a chapter in the book, The Treaty on the Ground "New Grounds Old Battles: The Kurahaupo Settlement", co-authored by Richard BradleyJudith MacDonaldMark Moses and Dr Peter Meihana .  The exhibition also features work from iwi members Margaret Bond, Clarry Neame and Keelan Walker.

The exhibition runs for six weeks at the Millenium Art Gallery, Corner of Seymour Street and Alfred Street, Blenheim. For more information email: P.N.Meihana@massey.ac.nz or visit their Facebook page Ngā Pakiaka Mōrehu o Te Whenua.


“It’s better to build strong rangatahi than to repair a broken man’

What a treat it was to finish the week with the graduation of the nine Bros for Change graduates at Haeata Community Learning College in Christchurch.  There were some pretty heartfelt comments from parents and whānau as they shared what happened to their boys over the six week duration of the programme.

One Dad stood and reflected that he wished the programme had existed when he was a child – and in fact was it too late to go on now?   Another grandmother rose and thanked Jaye and Ben for bringing out the leadership in her mokopuna.

It was profoundly moving to see the light shining through these young leaders. It was wonderful also to see The New Zealand Army - Ngati Tumatauenga – there in solid support of these young boys-to-men.   There is nothing that hits the heart more than watching that process of transformation unfold in the lives of our rangatahi

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Next Week

Mental Health and Addictions – Tuahiwi, Christchurch

Tuahiwi are hosting the Mental Health and Addictions Inquiry this coming Monday 2nd July 2018 at Tuahiwi Marae.


The purpose of the inquiry is to identify unmet needs and develop recommendations for a better mental health and addiction system for Aotearoa New Zealand; further more set a clear direction for the next five to ten years that Government, the mental health and addiction sectors and the whole community can pick up and make happen.

The Inquiry Panel is now on the road hearing from people around the country and across the community about what's working, what's not and what could be done better.

While formal submissions closed on 05 June, the Government will continue to meet with individuals and groups including people with mental health and addiction challenges, their families and whānau, service providers, advocates, organisations, institutions and experts.

Zero Carbon Bill - Nelson

Next Tuesday, Ministry for the Environment officials will be holding a consultation hui in Nelson on the Zero Carbon Bill.  The goal of the Zero Carbon Bill is to create certainty for businesses and communities around New Zealand as we transition to a carbon-neutral economy over the coming decades. The Bill will set a new 2050 emissions reduction target and establish a politically independent Climate Change Commission to help guide the economy towards that target.   The details for the hui in Nelson are as follows:

Tuesday 3 July

5.00pm – 7.00pm

Old St John’s, 320 Hardy Street, Nelson


Luke EganComment