Let the Mountains Speak
“Stand tall in the mana of your ancestors. Celebrate your divine essence. Know that you are an ancient being that embodies aroha: the presence and the breath of our divine source. And let your mentors, your speaking mountains be visible through you”.
Such was the wisdom shared with us this week by Dr Rangimarie Turuki Rose Pere CBE; a renowned wisdom keeper, a tohuna tipua ( sower of the sacred seeds of knowledge, and keeper of the secrets) an educationalist, great grandmother and revered elder.
She reminded us of our oneness with our maunga – the flora and fauna and the animals that inhabit them. She encouraged us to make each moment count – ‘we only come this way once’. And she spoke with love about our need to celebrate ourselves; to know we are beautiful; to feel the mana, to be proud of every strand that you are. It was truly te hunga wairua working in us – to be uplifted by her example, to be inspired by her strength and unconditional love.
Taku Reo Rāhiri
It certainly has been the week for inspiration.
“The Navigators need a professional development plan from their organisations … if you don’t understand the Whānau Ora approach you won’t be doing your job properly”. Whānau Ora Navigators Initial Research for Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu; August 2017.
At the Blue Skies in Kaiapoi (even the name of the campsite has meaning!) a group of our NavNation has come together with Tania Rīwai and Matewawe Pouwhare for Taku Reo Rāhiri. Facilitated by Tui Kereru the training was especially crafted to align with the Whānau Ora approach.
Taku Reo Rāhiri is restricted to twenty navigators at a time and takes place over four noho. There is an online component as well as individual kaitiaki training. Graduates from the programme will be nurtured in critical mātauranga skills and attributes that will make a positive difference as kaitiaki in the Whanau Ora space. Furthermore, they will be consciously aware of the kaitiaki obligations, competent in the delivery of care founded on the centrality of Whanau Mana Motuhake and Mauri Ora and confident in the space to engage with whanau, hapu, hapori and iwi. I have heard it said by some of our navigators that it is life-changing.
We bid farewell to our two fabulous social work interns this week, Talei Stuart-Eason and Karyn Bird, who have shared so much with us over the course of their internship. They have become expert at writing complex letters, fully engaged in the evaluation of Koha Kai; participated in Navigator planning strategies and professional development; created budget proposals; developed advice about performance improvements. We have loved their time with us and wish them well as they take the Whānau Ora approach out in to the world of social work practice.
Our team gathered to farewell our interns (complete with their wings on, all primed to fly).
There is a well-known pepeha about the art of ta moko: Taia o moko, hai hoa matenga mou. Only death can deprive you of your moko. It will be your ornament and your companion until your dying day.
It is through the call of the pūhoro – as a living, breathing and dynamic art form – that we gathered this week at ARA in Christchurch. The puhoro – the body design from mid-waist to knee – is an extraordinary work of art. The designs are sculpted to fit the body of the recipient – incorporating the unique character and history of that individual.
It is, indeed, a vivid image from which to host the wānanga in engineering young Māori minds in a science and engineering challenge. 134 year nine and ten students came together to grapple with complex challenges.
The kura involved were:
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o te Whānau Tahi
Te Pa o Rakaihautu
Hagley Community Learning Centre
Shirley Boys High School
Cashmere High School ; and
Avonside High School
In these schools prioritizing STEM - Science, technology, engineering and mathematics – they are recognising that students with STEM skills will play a vital role in the sustained growth and stability of the economy into the future. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators.
Just like the Pūhoro itself, STEM education both teaches students how to learn and provides them with a valuable skill that will never leave them – confidence. The confidence that students gain in their own ability to sort through data; test hypotheses; and come to a conclusion will stay with them forever. And that is why Whānau Ora – through Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu – has been so happy to work with Massey University to deliver the STEM academy in Ōtautahi.
On Sunday evening, I was thrilled to take part – as a judge – in a 54 hour marathon weekend to support new entrepreneurs to learn from business and community leaders about how to design and launch a business in 54 hours. Their mission was clear – as a team to create a prototype and to receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts all in one weekend. They were charged with the challenge to:
Develop a business idea
Form teams around a chosen concept
Learn agile processes to make fast progress
Validate and build a prototype within 54 hrs and
Have an incredible amount of fun
The grand winner was the super-scooper : an environmentally friendly way of collecting and disposing of doggy waste. It made me cringe to think about the process of the super-scooper in action but the idea was brilliantly executed and skillfully articulated.
Each of the initiatives was assessed against four criteria: Validation, execution, business viability and impact. Whilst the weekend started with over 20 teams, by weekend end there were seven teams who were challenged with the role of pitching a five minute pitch on their idea.
Next Woman of the Year Community 2019 award.
Congratulations to Zhiyan Basharati – we are happy to say she won the Next Woman of the Year Community 2019 award.
Zhiyan is the main advocate and support for the Christchurch Victim’s Organising Committee whom our Whānau Ora navigator at Noku Te Ao, Gayle Brislane, has worked with since the March 15 shooting.
New fund puts rangatahi Māori on the path to success
Three South Island organisations have teamed up with government to fund initiatives that will improve wellbeing outcomes for rangatahi Māori.
The newly launched RUIA Fund is a collaboration between Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu (South Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency), Rātā Foundation, Ministry of Youth Development/Te Manatū Whakahiato Taiohi and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.
The RUIA Fund is a fully collaborative process between funders and rangatahi – ensuring young people have a strong voice around their wellbeing needs in the decision-making process .
RUIA will accept applications from rangatahi, whānau, groups and organisations that need funding to make their ideas and/or initiatives for rangatahi Māori aged 12-24 years become a reality.
All applications should align with at least one of Ngā Pou o RUIA (the RUIA principles):
Whānau Ora – Wellbeing in the context of whānau
Ngāi Tahutanga and Te Ao Māori – culture and Identity
Mana-Tangata – leadership and self-determination
Wānanga – learning, connectivity, participation
Auahatanga – innovation and enterprise
Te Ao Tūroa – mahinga kai, natural environment and sustainability
Te Pūtake – strengthening capability and responsiveness
The fund will be promoted by a dedicated RUIA Coordinator who will work under the administration of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu. A campaign will kick off this year to announce when applications are open.