Life’s a journey: Complete it!


If you were to drive on the long winding mountain road between the airport and the capital city, Thimphu in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan you would come across a curious sight.   Instead of road-signs brandishing “warning” “slow down” “reduce speed” you would find a series of affirmations, “life’s a journey – Complete it!” or “Let nature be your guide”

Since 1971, Bhutan has rejected GDP as the only way to measure progress. In its place, it champions ‘gross national happiness’ - a new approach to development, which measures prosperity through how happy the people are.

Yet twenty years later, across the other side of the world when the London School of Economics held the very first seminar on wellbeing in the early 90s nobody turned up!

The complex relationships between Inequality, happiness and productivity was one of the topics discussed at the third International Conference on Wellbeing held at the Beehive this week.   What was blatantly apparent is that when we talk about wellbeing, European nations could have much to learn from listening to the people of Bhutan; to the people of the land, tangata whenua.

Cath Savage and I presented a workshop on whānau wellbeing and self-determination.   We raised the issue that if you really want to understand what wellbeing looks like you need go no further than Te Waipounamu and ask about Whānau Ora commissioning!   There are 140+ amazing examples of transformation, just waiting for the world stage.


This presentation explores the findings from four cycles of evaluation and proposes that wellbeing for whānau Māori is directly linked to the ability to be self-determining; shifting the paradigm of social service from support to self-determination.  Evidence demonstrates that the whānau commissioning model is emancipatory and deeply rooted in a communitarian approach that emphasises compassion, social obligation and mutual determination. Funding whānau directly to bring about their own change through aspirational activity empowers individuals to overcome the barriers to success as they see and experience them.   By giving voice to those unheard and marginalised in society, these grassroots initiatives stimulate critical reflection on the current system. The initiatives counter the trend towards individualisation and social isolation; instead building social capital and the capability to create inclusive communities.

Whānau Review Panel in Otepoti and Murihiku

We have had an amazing couple of days sharing the wonder of the South with the Whānau Ora Review Panel.   Some of the entities and initiatives shared with tihe panel members were as follows:

  • Te Kaikā is a village of care which incorporates a low cost GP clinic and integrated service provider hub providing access to health and wellbeing for 20,000 whānau in the Dunedin area.   

  • A3 Kaitiaki; Otakou Rūnanga set up A3 Kaitiaki to work with prisoners at the newly-built Otago Corrections Facility in South Otago.   It approaches rehabilitation by helping Māori men reconnect with their culture and identity. working to break down that pattern of reoffending by helping Māori men discover who they are and where they have come from.    

  • Te Roopu Tautoko ki te Tonga is a non-profit Maori health provider based in Dunedin. They run a number of programmes and services that are free to access.   In 2017, they celebrated twenty years.

  • Tokomairiro Waiora Incorporated is a kaupapa Māori Health Service providing Whānau Ora services in the South Otago rohe. The

  • Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora : based at Te Kaikā, included Glenys Cleverly with nine whānau coming along with her!   

  • He Waka Kotuia “Rangatahi leadership journey” : Komene Cassidy/Paulette Tamati Elliffe.   He Waka Kōtuia established a Charitable Trust in 2016, to facilitate cultural and educational opportunities for rakatahi (young Māori) and their whānau living in South Dunedin and within the Ōtākou tribal boundaries

  • Whakaruruhau Ltd: Hinekura Lawson-Candelaria in South Otago was driven off their relationship with Te Kōhanga Reo o Whānau Paki to create a Te Reo in Action Team.   

  • Moana House: As a consequence of the support and activities provided by Moana House that the tāne are demonstrating movement towards improved relationships with whānau.  In particular they have demonstrable achievements in: self-awareness and reflection; renewed relationships with whānau members; leadership responsibilities when dealing with their tamariki ; leadership responsibilities in the whare ( their residence) and with staff

  • Corstorphine Hub: the Corstorphine Hub in Dunedin is helping bring facilities, life skills and community spirit back into a suburb where some families struggle with everyday needs.   

  • Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust is a not-for-profit health and social service provider with 16 years of delivery in Southland employing more than 60 staff.   

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The fabulous Nga Kete Whanau Ora team with Quality Assurance Manager Melanie Reed and CEO Tracey Wright-Tawha at a training day at the Ascot Park Hotel

  • Awarua Whānau Services: Hāpai ake te whanau ki nga taumata oranga” Awarua Whanau services is a Kaupapa Maori service that has been operating since 1988

  • Hokonui: Runanga Health and Social Services Trust comes under the auspices of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu.

  • Waihopai: Te Rūnanga o Waihōpai is based in Southland with Murihiku Marae situated in Invercargill.

  • Oraka Aparima Runaka Oraka Aparima Papatipu Rūnaka is one of the 18 Ngāi Tahu affiliated hapū of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.  The investment is to support young members of Oraka Aparima to understand the natural ecosystems, know how to address the toxins in our freshwater, regenerate native forests and improve wai Māori.  Oraka Aparima will grow a native nursery, mentoring both young and old who may have an interest in horticulture into the ways of riparian planting, kai, maara kai, hauora, tikanga, kawa fermentation process.

  • Koha Kai Murihiku based Koha Kai Charitable Trust (Koha Kai) was registered with the Charities Commission in 2015. Led by Janice Lee, Koha Kai  works with disabled whānau to be prepare and skilled to live independently within the community.

  • Rangatahi Tumeke is outdoors-based, it is primarily about connecting and learning about the environment.

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There was an amazing presence of whānau through the initiative of Whānau Ora Navigators.  The panel was very keen to hear the views of whānau and our Navigators were ready to respond.  Others who attended and gave up their time and commitment for the case included Terry Monga (A3 Kaitiaki); Puna Brydon (Te Roopu Tautoko ki te Tonga; Sasha Forster (Tokowaiora); Melissa Dennis (Hokonui); Jeanette Clark (Awarua); Jess Cooper (Waihopai)

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Success in the South

We were delighted to be at the Toitū Hauora Summit in Dunedin this week when two initiatives that we are working with took out the top awards.

Blondie Ngamoki of Waitati, from Mirror Services took out the Paraire Huata Award at the Maori Health Leadership Summit in Dunedin.  Mirror Services was established in 1991.

It offers counselling services to teenagers with mental health, emotional and/or substance abuse issues, as well as alcohol and drug abuse counselling for young people, across Otago and Southland

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has partnered with Aroha ki te Tamariki Trust (part of Mirror Services) to assess and develop whānau centred plans that incorporate a kaupapa Māori version of the Circle of Security, Porowhita Tapu, an eight session programme for 0 – 5 year olds which focus on strengthening matua/tamariki relationships. Participants will learn a range of whānau centred concepts to assist matua to understand their tamariki needs and educational resources to support the programme.

Blondie with her team from Mirror Services

Blondie with her team from Mirror Services


Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu was thrilled to be able to present  Te Kāika with the  Dame Tariana Turia Award for contribution to Whānau Ora and whānau centred practice at the Toitū Hauora Leadership Summit on Wednesday 5 September.

Te Kaika Directors Matapura Ellison Donna Matahaere-Atariki and Shelley Kapua graciously accepted the honour on behalf of Te Kaika.

Te Kaika is a partnership between Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Otakou Runanga and the University of Otago and is one of the foundation entities invested in by Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island.

Based in Caversham it brings together key wellbeing and health agencies on one site to provide an integrated model of social service support and primary health care in a whānau centred way. The services include primary health-care service (Te Mataora), which provides GP and dental services and clinical and teaching facilities for a variety of University of Otago students. With almost 6000 patients already enrolled with Te Kaikā and its general practice clinics based on site and in Forbury it is making a huge impact on the community.

The organisation is fitting out a church hall in Brockville, with plans for it to open by the end of September, and are looking to expand their clinics by the end of the year.



Matua Terry Ryan was one of the kaumātua honoured at Toitū Hauora in a presentation on Te Oho Tapu.   Donna Matahaere-Atariki, in her keynote address, talked about some key attributes and values that might well be applied to the role of all our taua and poua in inspiring all those who follow.

  • Leaders cast long shadows

  • Culture is the shadow that values leave behind

  • Change requires courageous leadership.

  • It is not knowledge we lack but often the courage to do what is required.


Hikairo Te Hae, (Tainui Waikato/ Ngāti Hāmoa) Kaiārahi – Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu

Tainui Waikato/ Ngāti Hāmoa iwi,

Pirongia te maunga

Waipa te awa,

Ngāti Hikairo te hapū

Waipapa Marae, Kāwhia rohe

Hikairo came into the role of Kaiārahi with Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu as of 20 August 2018.  Hikairo has a previous work history with Agape Trust; with the Rangatahi Court based at Ngā Hau e Whā; and varied roles as a scaffolder, demolition labourer and forklift operator.    Hikairo has been studying at the University of Canterbury towards a Bachelor of Arts in music and te reo Māori and indigenous studies.  He is committed towards advancing his knowledge of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga.

“I am keen to work within a positive, kaupapa Māori focused environment, and to develop my networks within te hapori Māori o Waitaha”.


The Ministry of Education are currently running consultation on NCEA.

If you click the link below you can give feedback in three different ways

  1. 8 question survey

  2. More detailed survey

  3. Written submission.

Ends 19 October

There are also some prizes up for grabs for 5-20year olds who submit some feedback on their vision of what education might look like in the future:


There is also consultation currently on regarding The Maihi Karauna, which is the Crown’s Strategy for Māori Language Revitalisation 2018 – 2023. The Maihi Karauna sets out a vision for te reo Māori in the future. It outlines what the Crown will do to support a strong, healthy, thriving Māori language in New Zealand; Kia māhorahora te reo – everywhere, everyway, for everyone, every day.

Click the link below to share your thoughts about the vision by taking part in a short survey or making a written submission.

Ends 30 September


What’s Happening Next Week?

  • networkers meeting next Tuesday (11th) from 12pm in the Supper Room, Memorial Hall, Kaikoura

  • Psychosocial Recovery Workshop;  Friday 14-September, 8am – 1pm; Design Lab, ‘Shearing Shed’ room; 17b Print Place, Addington.  With our psychosocial recovery session, we will be drawing out the kinds of community support that help people to re-establish a sense of control after a disaster, and the supports that help minimise or alleviate secondary stressors

  • Rangitane o Wairau invites you to three special events as part of Te Wiki o te reo Māori 2018:

  • Sunday 9 September 2018, 11am-2pm (Lunch included)

  • At Ūkaipō, Rangitāne Cultural Centre, Grovetown with special guests Stacey and Scotty Morrison

  • Monday 10 September we have Anton Matthews from “Fush” in Ōtautahi presenting a Te Reo/Fish and Chip Night at Ūkaipō.   Anton has had a fantastic response to his free te reo classes, so him, his crew and The Little Fush Waka are coming 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.


Luke EganComment