Te Ura o te Kowhai


I love this time of the year with the kōwhai in full bloom.

Wherever the kōwhai are, we know too, there will be tui and kereru, kūkū and kūkūpa feasting on their succulence in the nectar and the leaves.  

The kōwhai is one of our most versatile plants - the bark, inner bark, flower, leaves, juice - can be used as rongoā.   Rongoā for internal ailments, colds and sore throats. For cuts, bruises and swelling. Boiled and crushed bark treats sprains, alleviates broken limbs, infected skin, wounds and skin diseases.   Yellow dye can be extracted from the petals. The wood is highly durable and can be used for fence posts, for spears, for hoe.

When we see te ura o te kōwhai – we know it is time to plant kūmara, it is time to cherish the gift of life.   And so it is with the abundance of the kowhai that we remember how to celebrate our tamariki to ensure each one of them shines with the glow of life.

Such is the beauty of the world around us, that it replicates and resonates all that we might wish for in our lives – flourishing, blooming, resilient, brilliant.

Te reo Matatini me te Pangarau


What a treat for Te Whenua Taurikura – our hub – this week when we invited the eight kura to share their initiatives with us in the literacy and numeracy space.   Attending the hui was:

  • Te Wharekura o Arowhenua

  • Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ōtepoti

  • Te Pa Wānanga ki Omaka

  • Te Kura Whakapumau

  • Te Pa o Rakaihautu

  • Tuia te Matangi

  • Haeata Community Campus

  • Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Whānau Tahi


Each of the kura are demonstrating and delivering a home-grown approach tailored to fit the needs and aspirations of their whānau.

Whether it be Kāinga Ora at Te Kura Whakapumau; Te Ha o Te Ora at Te Pa o Rakaihautu; o Te Pouhere o te Pa Wānanga each of the kura have been able to focus on reo-a-waha through the contexts of karakia, waiata and reo torohū and reo whakaputa.

He Kura Te Kāinga, He Kāinga Te Kura in Arowhenua or Tautāwhi Tamariki  in Ōtepoti have been creating, monitoring and reporting on shifts in the learning of tamariki, mokopuna and whānau through challenges captured and loaded on Facebook, or shared in wānanga.   With Putaki Mai Kia Puawai at Tuia te Matangi the focus was on increasing whānau engagement and fostering the use of te reo in the home through Hāngarau.

With Te Pikinga Ki Runga at Te Whānau Tahi there is a commitment to develop digitally capable whānau.    With He Reo Tupu, He Reo Ora at Haeata a ‘hands on learning’ approach has been shared with whānau so they know what their tamariki are doing in the akomanga.

Best of all is hearing the voice of whānau throughout each of these initiatives:

“Like that we don’t feel intimidated with learning te reo”

“We love everything especially when our whole whānau can participate including Nanny and Koro”

“I really appreciate that it’s funded so there isn’t any pressure on a tight Kura budget.   Awesome that there is the ability to support whānau attendance with petrol. Usually this is a real barrier as you have to prioritise activities.    Learning would lose over kai on the table”

Takahia te Whenua – Ngāti Koata


Takahia te Whenua means to ‘trample the land’. It is a tradition that has been passed down

through the generations. Ngāti Koata tūpuna travelled throughout Te Tauihu to cement the boundaries of  the tuku. In 2019, their descendants walked in the footsteps of their tūpuna, learnt kōrero tuku iho, mōteatea which enhanced te reo Māori, whakapapa, and kaitiakitanga.    The wānanga was held in three stages: visit with whānau in Whangarae; kaumātua interviews and wānanga.


The LOGO Name - Whangarae

This logo was designed by one of the Ngāti Koata whānau Hamuera Robb.

It depicts :

● Te Wheke o Muturangi

● Te Tauihu o te waka

● Kaimoana and its abundance

The focus was impressive: 

● To instil in their whānau a sense of belonging to their whenua, and a knowledge of the places, the reo and whakapapa that connect them to their tupuna;

● To capture Ngāti Koata names, whakapapa and stories about the people and events associated with Whangarae;

● Know their whakapapa to Koata and each other;


● Know about the circumstances leading up to including the heke from Kawhia to Te Tauihu and the tuku whenua;

● To provide a platform for their kaumātua to share their reo and knowledge

● To provide their researchers with material to produce films featuring their kaumātua and places, and Ngāti Koata-specific memoirs for posterity

A particular highlight was the kaumātua interviews.

The project provided a space for the kaumātua of Ngāti Koata – including U Noho, A Grace, U Cliff, Rosemary Sutherland, Melanie McGregor, Noela McGregor, Kimiora McGregor,  Louisa Paul, Joan Crew, Ammon Katene, Pirihira Paul .

Space to share kōrero of Whangarae; and to promote and protect and archive for future generations.

Maps and the ‘papers past’ prepared by Aunty  Rosemary were placed on the table if needed. Questions, answers, sharing, memories flooded  the table. 


Ngāti Tama Whānau Engagement Hui

Ngati Tama Whanau Engagement Hui are taking place over the next couple of weeks including:

  • Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 Oct: Otautahi - Christchurch 

  • Wednesday 30 October, Whakatū – Nelson.

It is your chance to come along and contribute your thoughts, ideas and aspirations towards the next strategic plan and be updated on all the good things happening for Ngati Tama.

Wahine Toa finalists in Māori Women’s Business Awards, 19 October in Rotorua

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Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is proud to support Janice Lee of Koha Kai (Invercargill) and Cate Grace of Whānau Whanake – RCG Group Limited (Christchurch) and Lee-Ann Jago of Waka Abel Tasman – All three are entities we’ve been proud to support and are finalists in the Te Waipounamu category. The work they do is making an amazing impact in their communities.

Koha Kai

Based in Invercargill, Koha Kai, led by Janice Lee, is focused on creating social transformation within the disability sector through meaningful employment and education leading to nationally recognised qualifications. Their ‘Lunches in Schools’ initiative has enabled them to establish new business relationships, access pathways and infuse te reo rangatira throughout their work environment. Koha Kai has been able to partner with primary schools who give the use of their kitchens for trainees to cook in, in exchange for a healthy lunch option sold to students at an affordable price. Koha Kai has also expanded its operations to include growing their own produce and selling meals to the wider community. Contact: Janice Lee - janicel.kohakai@gmail.com;


Whānau Whanake - RCG GROUP LIMITED Grace Training Christchurch 

Using physical activity as the initial medium, Whānau Whanake brings whānau together in an environment where they can share and explore challenges outside their comfort zone. By including the whole whānau, positive inter-generational impacts naturally occur and whānau are educating by example, not just to their own whānau, but also within the wider Whānau Whanake rōpū. 

Waka Abel Tasman, Te Tai o Awatea, Kaiteriteri Beach, www.wakaabeltasman.nz, Waka Abel Tasman provides a training plan and resource their kaimahi for the best possible care, while actively building their capacity in activities, particularly waka tours, to initiate sustainability, entrepreneurship and leadership within their community. Waka Abel Tasman invests in kaimahi to engage with their clients in a kaupapa Māori environment. Beginning with mihi whakatau, the experience includes telling of the Māori history within their area and promoting kaitiakitanga and responsibility for their natural and living environment. Waka Abel Tasman enhance their own networks to support other areas of development with supportive networks within education, iwi, hapū and hapori within their core business of waka tours. Waka Abel Tasman provides educational support with their partnership with Whenua Iti for school tours, while acknowledging the mana of hapū and iwi. 

Contact: Lee-anne Jago - Leeanne@wakaabeltasman.nz


Supporting whānau to whakamana their mental wellbeing strategies and learn about the Mental Health Act 1992 

Wednesday 6 November 2019 

9.00 am – 5.00 pm 

Tokomairiro Waiora 

80 Union Street, Milton 

What’s on in Ōtautahi?

Kuki Cutters 24th October Rangatahi Ilicit Drug/Education Wānanga (facilitated through schools)

Rehua Marae are hosting a Kaumātua Collective Pamper Event on 31st October.

Waihōpai Marae are hosting a Kaumātua Health Day also on 4th November


it’s time to spring into actionsubmit your entries and nominations today in time for 10 November. Don’t let things stay “in progress” for too long.

Two lucky nominators will receive a ticket to the inaugural gala event on
29 February. That’s an added incentive to submit nominations. 


Te Pātaka o Wairau Māori Night Market is happening in Blenheim at Seymour Square on 25 October This event is designed to showcase Māori businesses and products within our community and has proved popular with locals and visitors. The local legend award, a tradition of the market, will be presented on the night as this is a chance for us to pay tribute and say thank you to our Māori volunteers who work tirelessly for and within the Māori community. A fantastic night of entertainment with awesome kapa haka roopu and individual local singing talent. We’ll be there in the Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu tent.  See you soon!

Southern Rural Life Article

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Luke EganComment