The String to our Kite

“The danger in New Zealand currently is that our identity flies too freely, like a kite in the wind. It needs to be grounded by string or it floats away. This is what history can do for New Zealand, it can be the string to the kite,” Associate Professor Te Maire Tau, Director, Ka Waimaero, Ngai Tahu Research Centre.

This week I read a great article around the concept of cultural amnesia.

The article was introducing the research of doctoral scholarship recipient, Madison Williams (Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō).  Madison suggests that “ignoring iwi and hapu perspectives in historical accounts of Aotearoa New Zealand risks cultural amnesia and the erosion or even destruction of identities”.

The importance of a brave and honest look at the history experienced in our land was part of my korero to the ‘Wero your tero’ launch at Rehua Marae on Wednesday morning.   ‘Wero your tero’ is a local movement of change initiated by men in Otautahi, responding to the challenge of prostate cancer amongst tane Māori.

Prostate cancer kills about 600 men in Aotearoa each both.  Māori men, however, who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are 70% more likely to die from the disease than non-Māori.  

Far too often the language we use for talking about lower body parts is clouded in euphemism; we refer to ‘down below’; ‘down there’ or “private parts”.   And yet in te reo rangatira, the use of concepts such as kumu, kōtore, tou, whero, ure, koromatua, ngarengare, tehe have been common not just in the vernacular but also associated with waiata, karakia, carvings, kapa haka.

‘Wero your tero’ attempts to smash through the awkward silences, and normalise talking about our tinana as part of leading healthy lifestyles.   Checking out if our brothers, uncles and fathers are finding it hard to pee; if there’s blood in the urine, or simply if things feel different, than that’s the occasion to be bold, to talk about our tinana, to approach the doctor for a korero.

Check out my speech on the Wero your Tero kaupapa here


Our youngest ambassador for the cause, Hone Hurunui, with inspirational young doctor, Dr Georgia Brownlee (Ngati Awa, Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Porou).


Three generations standing up to be counted: Delane and Lee Luke with Matua Terry Ryan.


Whaea Inupo Farrar (happy birthday Whaea!) with man of the moment: Matua Norm Brown, Prostate Cancer Survivor


Getting ready to practise for Te Karere: Wero your tero!


The Government has been clear that issues and opportunities for Māori education must be addressed across the entire system. In addition, it has commissioned work to refresh and update Ka Hikitia (the Māori Education Strategy) and Tau Mai Te Reo (the Māori Language in Education Strategy).


As part of their work to engage with whānau, hapū and iwi, they are planning a series of wānanga in communities across New Zealand. Through these wānanga, they would like to hear from people about what is important to you: what you like about the current education system; what frustrates you; what you would like to change and how you would change it.


We would like to invite you to be a part of these conversations at wānanga being held in the Canterbury/Chatham Islands region:

  • Monday, 1 October 2018, Addington Event centre (Christchurch), 6:00pm to 9:00pm

  • Tuesday 2nd October 2018, Addington Event Centre (Christchurch), 6:00pm to 9:00pm

·        Thursday 4th October 2018, Temuka Alpine Event Centre (Temuka), 6:00pm to 9:00pm

GPL Board Update

This week the General Partner Limited Board met for their regular monthly meeting.  Last item on the agenda was farewell to foundation Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu director, Lisa Tumahai, who officially finishes as GPL director on 30 September 2018.   We thank you for your leadership, your staunch commitment to whānau and your contribution to the rapid evolution of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.


This week there have been some wonderful events occurring around Aotearoa where whānau members from Te Waipounamu have been meeting.   A key hui was the annual conference of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in Gisborne. Meanwhile, check out these beautiful kuia representing at the kapa haka regionals this week.


Whānau Ora Connect

We ended the week meeting with our Whānau Ora Connectors from Te Awhina Marae (Motueka); Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora (Te Kaika); Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu (Invercargill) and Purapura Whetu (Otautahi).

The concept of the connector is to live in fragments no more – to connect the inner life and the outer life – to ensure a holistic approach is taken to wellbeing.   The roles embrace support for Whānau Ora Navigators while also making it more possible to link in with appropriate support services, whether that be in addressing homelessness, in eliminating violence from our lives, in supporting mokopuna ora, in addressing the risk of self-harm and suicide prevention.



Design an A3 poster that reflects one of the following E Tū Whānau values –

  • AROHA or


  • WHAKAPAPA - and be in to win some great cash prizes!

    But make sure you check out the competition info and rules first at

Entry closes on Sunday 21st October, so don't wait - get your design ready for entry NOW! For more info re E Tū Whānau go to #etuwhanau #temanakahaotewhanau

Luke EganComment