No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.


- Aesop

This week there was some inexplicable tension in the workplace.   Secrets kept tight. Emails from which I was excluded. The feeling that somehow, somewhere, something was happening which I wasn’t fully aware of.

I like to know what’s going on.   But truth be known, if I had opened that closely shut door of the cupboard and let loose an outrageous babble of balloons I might just have ruined the secret that my work colleagues were holding close to their chest.   

For while I was blissfully unaware, the team at our hub had been working away on a beach party to celebrate the occasion of my birthday this week.   It was the most wonderful thing. Suzi Clarke adorned in a magnificent hat; Gina-Lee Duncan kicking back with her lei around her neck. Party food.   Flamboyant balloons. Paper hibiscus climbing the way, and Stevie Wonder singing ‘happy birthday to me’ with those fabulous lyrics

And I'm sure you would agree, it couldn't fit more perfectly
Than to have a world party on the day you came to be

Those random acts of kindness that suddenly occur once in a while are to be cherished.   The ripple effect of one gesture or act of kindness can be felt far and wide. It can be as easy as giving someone a compliment, bringing in a flourishing tulip from your garden, sharing a bag of lemons.   In the cafes of Naples, an old Italian tradition called café sospeso continues on today. People who might have experienced some good luck would pay the price of two coffees – consuming one and leaving the other for someone who needed a break of happiness out of the blue.   Collectively these acts of kindness create a culture of compassion.


Next week – on Wednesday 13th November – it’s World Kindness Day.  On this day, participants attempt to make the world a better place by celebrating and promoting good deeds and pledging acts of kindness, either as individuals or as organisations.  There are currently over 28 nations involved in The World Kindness Movement to create a kinder world by inspiring individuals and nations. Have a look through the list of seven ideas to make a brighter, happier workplace, and see how many you can tick off.


Whānau Ora in the Women’s Weekly

How fabulous this week, to open the Women’s Weekly and see our very own Cate Grace of Whānau Whanake fame.


Twenty athletes from the Whānau Whanake squad will take part in the Quarter IronMaori coming up tomorrow.  Their mission will be to take on a one kilometre sea swim; 45km bike-ride and 10.5km walk/run.  The team have done exceptionally well as they all positively manage a health condition or rehabilitation from injury. The squad have been training individually since January 2019 and came together as a rōpū in May.  They have been training three times a week since May, together as a rõpu. We wish them all the very best tomorrow – and in the recovery!

We are also supporting Korotangi to take on Iron Māori, and another  team of six called “Hikina te Taki’.   They are competing in the individual ¼ IronMaori on Saturday. They registered one year ago and have been completing regular training as a group and as individuals mostly through their memberships of Hale Compound Conditioning. Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu sponsorship has helped towards some of their clothing costs but they have also done fundraising and paid for most of the costs out of their own pockets.

Koha Kai takes on Kapa Haka


While all our primary schools have been up in Waikato land, competing as part of Mana Kuratahi amongst 61 other kura in Aotearoa, Koha Kai from Invercargill was in Christchurch, in a kapa haka festival hosted by Idea Services . It was only eleven months ago that  hundreds of first-time performers presented at the inaugural Te Anga Pāua o Aotearoa National Kapa Haka Festival. About 300 people with intellectual disabilities were given the chance to take part in the competition, showcasing their poi and haka skills. Murihiku has been gifted the Mauri and will host the festival at home next time for the South Island festival.

Koh kai.jpg

Hoe Kia Rite initiative, translates as 'Pick up your Paddle' is a key project for Ngati Apa ki te Rā Tō as it prepares for Tuia 250 commemorations at Meretoto/Ship Cove in November. We have been proud to support their training wananga and launch as they make history in their rohe by launching their own waka Te Haeata at a dawn ceremony over the weekend. The iwi have done a lot of research into their history to inform and inspire the whakairo on the waka so that their tipuna guide their vessel well into future.

I was so sad to miss the launching last Sunday morning at Lake Rotoiti, attended by over 150 people.  Over the past few months, as Te Haeata took shape, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā To has held wānanga, or workshops, to learn the traditions, songs and skills that go along with the waka.   Reclaiming the ancestral knowledge associated with waka is about planning for the future which is part of a five year journey of cultural revitalisation.

If the saying is a picture says a thousand words these beautiful photos from David James are a story into themselves.   Simply beautiful.



Nellie-Jane Robinson one of 13 kaihoe, or paddlers, who spent months training and learning more about waka mātauranga Māori, or knowledge



Te Haeata is the first Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō waka in seven generations.



Kaikarakia (prayer leader) Makaore Beavan Wilson performs a karakia to launch the iwi's new waka.

Abuse in care

This week’s The Detail podcast interviews RNZ journalist Katie Scotcher and features extensive audio from the hearing into The Royal Commission of Inquiry - Abuse in State and Faith Based Institutions.   I strongly encourage you to listen to it and share it with your networks to understand what went on at the hearings.

Kōrero Mai e te Whānau – Give Voice to Whānau

Korero Mai e Te whānau is a Wave Eight initiative that has conducted research with whānau that have been and still continue to experience the effects of the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes. Surveys and narratives have been sought from whānau with a report outlining the findings and implications for stakeholders.  The final report will include recommendations from whānau for property recovery in the future of environmental disruptions to include the context of a Whānau Ora approach.

Jo Petrie is seen in front  of her banners she has produced that has the quotes of whanau to describe each step of engagement and how whanau felt.   Jo will be presenting her findings to whanau and stakeholders in an event on Monday 18th November. 

Korero mai e te whanau was born out of a personal and oral history project of whanau post­earthquake, specifically related to the reinstatement process of their homes.

Jo Petrie.JPG

Kia Ora E Te iwi

Another Wave Eight Whānau Ora initiative is KIA ORA E TE IWI - a programme that educates and shares experiences of whanau who have had or supported loved ones with cancer.

The unique aspect about of Kia Ora E Te lwi is that it is the first of its kind to support whanau who are supporting a loved one diagnosed with cancer. The Cancer Society was so overwhelmed with the success of 'The Living Well' programme that they have adapted this programme to meet the needs of Maori whanau which resulted in the Kia Ora E Te lwi programme. The programme is by Maori, for Maori and with a Maori kaupapa. It is about whakakotahitanga throughout the whole ordeal of managing when a loved one has cancer. 

Whānau are at the centre of this initiative as the programme is primarily aimed to give whanau an awareness that will assist them to manage the complexity of caring for a loved one diagnosed with cancer. Te Tautoko Ora Foundation Trust wants to reach as many whanau as possible to increase whanau awareness about what is involved when dealing with a loved one diagnosed with cancer.   Pictured below is a photo from their most recent wānanga at Waikawa Marae on November 2 and 3. Whānau discovered that promoting early detection is a preventative action that can inhibit the mortality effect of cancer on whānau. It is all about getting blood tests early, visiting the hauora provider, developing hauora whakaaro for their own wellbeing.


Te Papori o Whakatere

The  photo below features some of our Pāpori crew at the Institute of Managers and Leaders Intentional Leadership Series – What the future needs from you by keynote speaker  Kaila Coblin.    Te Pāpori o Whakatere is a structured capability development programme that aims to support Whānau Ora kaupapa. It is a journey that involves a series of wānanga being held in Christchurch, bringing together inspiration, aspiration and skill developments, in a whānau environment.  

Getting any kaupapa started and keeping it going involves lots of solving problems and working things out on the fly.  This programme is like a series of short cuts in the company of likeminded people. Tū Maia, in conjunction with Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, helps the team work out how to be financially sustainable, when and how to grow or shape your team, develop communications and marketing strategies and more. To do this, experts and professionals are engaged for free; legal, financial, marketing and more. They also have sessions with entrepreneurs who will share their practical insights. Feedback from our previous programme included:

“Most amazing kaupapa Māori initiative that I have been involved with”

“It was so inspiring and made me feel like we can do anything if we want to make it happen.”

“A life-changing experience. Thank you”

“This is an awesome initiative, and I have come away feeling inspired and hungry.”

Te Papori.jpg

Preparing for a future of many jobs

This week within our hub, Tokona Te Raki hosted the Foundation for Young Australians’ (FYA).  Their New Work Order research series has analysed how disruption to the world of work has significant implications for young Australians. The research shows that there are three global economic forces changing the way we work. 

  1. Automation is predicted to radically affect 70% of entry level jobs for young people; 

  2. jobs are becoming increasingly global showing 11% of service jobs could be provided from overseas; 

  3. and the way we work is becoming increasingly flexible, with the average 15 year old predicted, throughout their lifetime, to have: 17 jobs over five different careers.

The photo below features Adele Peek (General Manager Indigenous Engagement) with Adrienne Anderson.  Adele is responsible for developing and implementing FYA's Indigenous Strategy. Adele's key tasks include internal development of Cultural Intelligence and external partnership brokering to increase FYA's delivery and inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young Australians. Adele is based in Broome, Western Australia.  She talked about the fact that it’s not good enough to have a strategy for cultural competence, without the resourcing to make it happen.


Holiday next week

Finally – next Friday is Show Day in Christchurch so I’m giving our wonderful Luke Egan (who helps me format these blogs) a break – so there will be no blog next week.  While I’m away on a few days leave please contact Ivy Harper – she’s peeking out in the photo below – and is eagerly looking forward to the challenges you will send her way as acting Chief Executive.

Luke EganComment