Buffetting Blowholes and the unique wonder of the Pancake Rocks of Punakaiki


One of the most exhilarating landscapes you could ever experience is in the towering cliffs and fissured rocks of Punakaiki.   Nestled in the exotic luxury of the Paparoa Ranges, the iconic Pancake Rocks are juxtaposed against the dense lush rainforest; making for a dramatic bridge between Greymouth and Westport.

The road north along a spectacular coastal highway never ceases to astound me as it meanders along dramatic seashores to the mighty Buller River.

It was at that visual marker where the river meets the sea, that some weeks ago the people came to talk, experience and be immersed in rongoa Māori.


Sixteen stalls from different healing modalities were present for the day.   There were stalls selling rongoā products; healing tables of massage and mirimiri.   The Kaumātua group came in the second half of their day as well as participants from local early childhood centers.    Participants travelled as far as Blenheim, Nelson, and Okarito, Bruce Bay South Westland, and all areas in between. It represented a vast geographical spread of over 300km.    


Te Hā o Kawatiri have partnered with Te Putahitanga o te Waipounamu and Pharmac to increase whānau and community awareness of rongoā Māori. Their purpose was to encourage and identify individuals who will incorporate rongoā/mirimiri into their whānau and communities and identify Māori healing practitioners to be part of a Māori and Pacifica healers network within Te Tai Poutini. To encourage this to happen they held:

  • Presentations from Rongoā Māori Specialists

  • Opportunities to connect with local healers of varying modalities

  • Introductory sessions of Tai Chi and Yoga


During the day various surveys were conducted.   I was fascinated by the answers to one of these surveys, asking: “how do you improve your health and wellbeing?”.  How many of the responses below would you give?

  • Normally only medication - sometimes talking.

  • More exercise and listening to advise from health doctors

  • Exercise and mindful thinking

  • Eating to the best of my abilities, taking time for "me" and spending time in nature.

  • Mirimiri, crystals, kanohi te kanohi

  • Mirimiri, karakia

  • Stop smoking. Exercising. Loving myself and my whānau.

  • whānau

  • Drink Water

  • Diet and exercise

  • Drink lots of water, bottle juice, no soft-drinks ever, little junk food and I prepare home remedies.

  • Tai Chi - Drinking kawakawa tea. Believing in God

  • i do what I have to keep going for my children. I prefer natural alternative than doctors

  • Try

  • I really try to implement what I learn but it is not always financially achievable.

  • By being true to me.

  • If I had more time I would everyday

  • I try to practise mindfulness daily, and think about what I am putting into my body in terms of nutrition . I like to nurture my spirituality, reading the bible and talking with God. I am aware of the Holy Spirit guiding me daily. This really helps my well-being on a deeper level.

  • Maori values

Health Literacy is a Whānau Issue

Whānau health in Te Waipounamu has improved as a result of the investment from Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, with evidence of increased physical activity, improved access to services, reduction in smoking, drug and alcohol use and better management of chronic conditions. The target funding for physical activity and maara kai development is evident in the spread of outcomes in the social value framework.

But one of the most pressing questions we have been considering – in understanding the impact of the PHARMAC – Whānau Ora initiatives, has been the question around health literacy: how well do we know ourselves?

Health Literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services to make health decisions

Literacy in health can mean we:

  • Navigate the healthcare system which includes filling out complex forms and locating providers and services

  • Share information such as health history with providers

  • Engage in self-care and chronic disease management

  • Understand mathematical concepts eg probability and risk

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The research tells us that:

  • Maori in the 16-24 years; and 50-65 age groups have the poorest health literacy

  • 4/5 Maori males; and ¾ Maori females have poor health literacy skills

  • Māori in rural locations have poorer health literacy skills compared to Maori in urban centres

  • Māori (and non-Maori) with a tertiary education qualification are more likely to have good health literacy skills compared to those with lower levels of education

  • Māori across all income quintiles have poorer health literacy skills compared to non-Maori

So this week, when the Whānau Ora tauira came into town, two of our senior staff, Maire Kipa and Maania Farrar, took the opportunity to spend time with these students at Rehua Marae, focusing on health literacy.

Step up to the Mike


Cure Kids Granting Round

Cure Kids Granting Round is open and accepting applications for the following funding calls. Applications close on Thursday, 30th August 2018. 

Innovation Seed Fund:   Supporting the early stage investigation of innovative research ideas which successfully demonstrate the potential to improve the understanding, diagnosis, therapy, and prevention of paediatric health conditions. Maximum funding amount $50,000.

Perinatal and Infant Death Collaboration:  This is a trans-Tasman collaboration between Red Nose (Australia) and Cure Kids for research relating to the cause(s) and prevention of sudden unexpected perinatal and infant death. Maximum funding is $108,000 for New Zealand only grants, and $200,000 for trans-Tasman collaborations.

Project Grant : Support for research projects aimed at improving the understanding, diagnosis, therapy, and prevention of paediatric health conditions. The maximum funding amount is $108,000.


For more information and to start your application, visit our new Cure Kids grants portal.

Farewell to Claire McIntyre

This week we bid farewell to Claire McIntyre, the Whenua Kura Project Coordinator, as she considers other options for employment, education and study.

Whenua Kura is an Ngāi Tahu led partnership between Te Tapuae o Rehua, Ngāi Tahu Farming and Lincoln University, which seeks to grow Māori leadership in agriculture.   The staff work together to create a whānau environment that supports a pathway for Māori to gain qualifications and employment within the wider land-based sector.

They offer:

  • Industry recognised tertiary qualifications

  • Highly experienced tutors and lecturers.

  • A Māori mentor to help students through challenging times.

  • Assistance in getting a job.

  • Opportunities to progress onto higher levels of study/training and career acceleration

We wish Claire well.  Here she is pictured with our wonderful Suzi Clarke; Administration Coordinator for Te Tapuae o Rehua.


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Hei Rata Whakaruruhau: Māori pre-governance leadership programme 2018

30 Aug - 4 Sep 2018 from 4.30 pm - 1.30 pm

This 5-day programme will introduce emerging Māori leaders to leadership tools drawn from different Māori, non-Māori and global settings. Participants will examine how leadership themes link back to their own tribal, Māori land trust or company workplace strategy and culture. The programme will prepare them for the expectations of Māori governance roles in the future. It is provided in partnership between Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust, the Federation of Maori Authorities and Victoria University of Wellington.

This programme is aimed at emerging Māori leaders aged between 18-35 years of age who aspire to be in Māori governance roles in the future. It is relevant for Māori in public, private, tribal and non-tribal organisations.

For full details and how to apply, please download the event programme.

Oranga Tamariki and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu

This week Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu worked in a two day strategic workshop with the Whānau Care unit in Oranga Tamariki.  In the photo below are represented, amongst our key staff,

  • Frana Chase Whānau Care Lead, Manager Māori

  • Alayna Ashby Whānau Care Project Manager

  • Alia Bloom – Whānau Care Engagement Lead

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Coming up next week: The Whānau Ora Review Panel meet with whānau in Blenheim.   Please let me know [Helen.Leahy@teputahitanga.org] if you have a story to share and would like to meet the panel.

Have your say

This is your opportunity to submit your experiences, understandings and insights of Whānau Ora using the online submission forms below. The Panel will receive submissions from Wednesday 11 July to Wednesday 15 August 2018.

Choose one of the following to make your submission:

You can find Frequently Asked Questions about making a submission here.


Luke EganComment