Find a way

Find a way

Through hands grasped, clutching, linked

Solidarity in time, unity of the many

Brothers in arms, sisters of soul

Knowing that together everything is possible.


Our young leaders deserve the chance

To shine, to shout, to shimmer

In their brilliance

They will do that in their own time

If we believe they can, know they can

Mana-Wā; the expression of mana.


Today is national New Zealand Poetry Day.  My contribution is inspired by the magical momentum of Mana-Wa : an epic occasion at the start of this week which created space for rangatahi Māori just to be.


This week has had more than its usual challenges.   A drive by shooting in Whanganui saw a whānau suddenly bereft of a loving father, son, partner.   A television personality took his own life, prompting many to reflect what could they have done to shine a light on the love they had for him.   Victims of crime stood at the Justice Summit and talked about the murder of a partner; the death of a child; a man hanging in a cell while his cousin watched on, helpless.


In times of trial, we are tested as to the strength in our character.   At the Mana-wa summit this week, Jaytee (Jordan) told us – when adversity appears, that’s when we let our mana be expressed.  It was a simple glimpse of hope that epitomised the wellspring of positivity that Mana-Wā gave rise to.

Workshops included:

  • Kāpā hāka, waiata-a-ringa, Mau Rākau

  • Taonga Puoro demonstrations

  • Augmented Reality Storytelling - Teaching rangatahi how to engage and create content with AR using visual aids, phones, devices and spaces.

  • Te Ha – meditation and mindfulness techniques, yoga warriors

  • Basketball skills and games to connect togetherness

  • Personal stylists – hair, face, hands and feet

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There’s some pretty amazing energy happening in Te Wiki o te reo Māori 2018 in Wairau.   This year’s Te Wiki o te Reo Māori theme is ‘Kia Kaha te Reo Māori’. ‘Let’s make the Māori language strong', but we can only do that if we all work together.

Monday 10 September Anton Matthews from “Fush” in Ōtautahi is presenting a Te Reo/Fish and Chip Night at Ūkaipō.  Anton has had a fantastic response to his free te reo classes, so we are bringing him, his crew and The Little Fush Waka to Blenheim. The focus of the evening will be on the pronunciation of local Māori place names.

Friday 14 September – Te Pātaka o Wairau, Māori Night Market. The second market to be held under the korowai of Rangitāne, Ngāti Toa and Ngāti Rārua.

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Justice Sector Summit : Hapaitia Te Oranga tangata – Safe and effective justice


I admit to detesting the gathering of statistics which perpetuate a grim picture of Māori over-representation in all the worst areas.  I never find it inspiring. It doesn’t motivate me to want to address the inequities, confront the injustices. All that it does is nail home a particular message about the face of bias in the justice system.

This week, over 800 of us gathered at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua to discuss areas such as:

  • Preventing harm

  • Keeping people safe in communities

  • More effective sentencing

  • Supporting people in prison and their families

  • Supporting whānau

  • Improving waiora

  • Tackling bias.

While there was the usual gathering of facts, there was also a powerful series of exercises which demonstrated the diverse voices of participants that should influence justice sector reform.


Te Waipounamu was well represented with Michelle Taiaroa-McDonald (A3 Kaitiaki); Jamie-Lee Tuuta (Community Law); Ariana Kaa; Maire Kipa; Gwyneth Beard and her amazing mokopuna Tane and Aka who gave a stirring rendition of their signature waiata: no more violence.

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Māori Maps

A data layer displaying nationwide Māori land information is officially live from today on Māori Maps (, the website portal to ancestral marae across Aotearoa New Zealand that is administered by Te Potiki National Trust.

Community Planting Day, Christchurch

This Saturday: 25 August, 10am-2m.   227 Cambridge Terrace : working bee – tree planting and mulch spreading as part of Greening the Rubble.

Angels Trio – Whakatū Marae, Nelson

He kai kei aku ringa

There is food at the end of my hands

Angels Trio Charity is the creation of Chanel Faapue, Lovenia Paul and Vera Manawaitai who wanted to put their wealth of experience in catering and food nutrition to good use.  Based in Nelson, the three single mums have responded to the needs of their community by preparing and serving healthy and nutritious kai to those in need.

Angels Trio provide a culturally safe space encapsulated by te Ao Maōri values of manaaki and arohanui ki te tangata. Angels Trio address the issues faced by whānau who for whatever reason struggle to provide for themselves. Meals are served at a community centre, marae and pre packed lunches are ordered via a text service and delivered to schools in the Nelson district. They use mainly donated food and work close to 50 hours a week unpaid on the charity.


They want to be the change they want to see in the world where everyone is valued and cared for and their basic needs are provided for in a mana-enhancing way.  Their approach allows them to build high trust relationships which give them the opportunity to help on other levels such the services of a specialist Whānau Ora Navigator who can work with whānau to provide on-going care, support and advocacy.



This week Angels Trio had a surprise pop-in visit from none other than the Minister for Whānau Ora : Hon Peeni Henare.


Celebrating Macca



Michaela Baker, Whānau Ora Navigator for Arai te Uru Whare Hauora, is heading to A Coruña, Galicia. She’s playing for a rugby club called El Club de Rugby Arquitectura Técnica de A Coruña or ‘C.R.A.T A Coruña’ for short.

Michaela leaves next week and returns June 2019. While in Galicia she will be working as a Language Assistant in a school with children aged 3-12 years old.

On the path to her international rugby career, Michaela has played for a variety of clubs and regions:

  • Hawkes Bay Secondary School Girls and Womens’ rugby team,

  • Te Tini a Maui Maori Womens Rugby Team (Central North Island)

  • Otago Womens Rugby and sevens team.

  • University Of Otago Women’s Rugby team


On the way to Spain, Michaela has her flights paid, her accommodation, rugby fees, medical insurance, and pointed out the way to a job.   Of course Whānau Ora’s loss is CRATA Coruna’s gain…..we will be watching you take on the world Macca – and wish you all the very best. Congratulations!!!


Luke EganComment