Think of the person who planted the tree


There is a Vietnamese proverb, “when biting into an apple, think about the person who planted it”.  For me, a simple apple has the ability to transport me back in time to the turn of the twentieth century, when my great grandparents, Charles and Elizabeth Flett had an orchard in the Lower Moutere Valley of Nelson.  They lived on the corner of Flett Road; thirteen daughters and one son; a big house with a generous verandah, where friends and visitors would sleep on balmy summer evenings.

The stories from those days, told to me by my Grandma and great aunts, speak of that rural generosity; the way in which there was always room at the table for more.  Single travellers would knock on the back door, looking for work. There was always a job that could be found, the traveller picking apples or digging up potatoes in exchange for a meal and a place to sleep.  Next day the travellers would be sent on their way with a packed lunch, and a belly full from a cooked breakfast.

Dignity, respect, kindness, pride.   Those stories taught me a lot about always looking out for others, having a heart, sharing what you have with those around you.  Most of all it showed me that a compassionate community has no time to judge others; to treat strangers with contempt; to assume we are better than the next person who comes to our door.   It’s those type of life-lessons that resonate strongly for me with Whānau Ora. I want to be part of a world where we put more effort into forgiveness and we make every attempt to live with love.

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I have been thinking a lot about the Moutere Valley this week as the fire reignited and smoke started buffeting out across the Valley.  

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu was invited to attend a day that was put together for the purposes of briefing Hon Nanaia Mahuta in her capacity as the Minister for Māori Development, Minister of Local Government.   We had such a wonderful day within the warmth of the iwi hands. Kaumātua Rory Stafford was a magnificent host, as was the dream team of Dexter Traill, Barney Thomas and Shane Graham. The Mayors of Tasman District Council and Nelson were also in the house, along with representatives from all the iwi, Māori wardens, representatives of the Fire Services, local marae and advisors from Te Puni Kōkiri.


I was humbled by the report that our emergency response navigator, Kahutane Whaanga gave.  He talked about 83 whanau supported during the evacuation period. Through the iwi mandated liaison, 23 individuals accessed accommodation support, over 300 individuals were assisted, three tonnes of animal feed was distributed and some fifteen ute-loads of food was delivered to 45 families.   It’s no wonder that the Nelson mayor, Rachel Rees, gave a special mihi to Kahutane for his generosity at the time of such crisiss.


The fire service talked about the scale of the fire being especially significant.  We are certainly appreciative of Te Hauora o Ngāti Rarua sharing their vehicle with us to travel the miles across the Nelson region.


The day ended in Wakefield, outside the Village takeaways where the Minister was treated to the best supply of fish and chips in town courtesy of local business woman Whitney Krabo and her team.


Healthier Homes Canterbury

Healthier Homes Canterbury is one way to help people to upgrade to cleaner, more efficient home heating and achieve a warmer, drier, healthier home.   There are subsidies offered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. Environment Canterbury also offers other supports including subsidies for certain low-income households who need to replace a wood burner, and temporary waivers for people facing difficult circumstances.  

Enquiries to or 0800 329 276.

Orientation Week

As students return to tertiary education across Aotearoa, what a treat it was to get these pictures in from Ngā Kete Mātauranga Pounamu in Invercargill, celebrating the SIT Orientation week for 2019.

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International Award Winners – Nurturing Workplace Culture

Jostle provides a way for our workforce to be connected to each other to share ideas, information, and collegial support. To have a collective voice, collective impact, and united approach by fostering a culture of support, belonging, and togetherness.”

Serena Lyders Navigator Manukura

Serena Lyders Navigator Manukura


In this year's competition, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu was one of 56 organizations across the world that showcased an impressive level of enthusiasm, creativity, and determination.   Jostle – an international platform – asks their customers how they’ve used the Jostle® intranet to make their workplaces extraordinary. And every year, without fail, they receive an amazing collection of stories about everyday people utilizing the platform to build more connected organizations.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu was delighted to win the category, ‘Nurturing Workplace Culture’; winning a trophy, gift card for a well-earned team party, and a bundle of goodies!   Our heartiest congratulations to Māui Studios, to the Nav Nation and to Pari and Serena for their leadership and example in getting us all connected.

Te Arotaki i Nga Tohutao

In the fast-paced and instant world of today, many of the old ways, knowledge and practices of the tupuna have been forgotten. To counteract this, participants of Te Arotaki I Nga Tohutao were asked to reconnect with the elders in their whanau and to take time to talk, listen and learn what they did in their everyday lives.   Participants then returned with a recipe that came from the older whānau members.

Whanau who have engaged in “ Te Arotaki I nga tohutao”  have created a book that includes recipes of times gone by and influenced from their kaumātua.   This Whānau Ora initiative, operates under the leadership and support of Whakatu Te Korowai Manaakitanga Trust in Nelson.

Through a series of wananga, participants learnt about traditional kai, sustainability of traditional kai, how and where to gather it as well as preparation and cooking of kai, development of gardening projects, homemade cleaners and financial stability of whānau for whanau.   The wānanga were held to create an environment where Te ao Māori practices and protocols were imparted, creating a sense of whakawhanaungatanga and to allow reciprocal and responsive relationships to occur.


And if you were in any doubt, have a look at the recipes that will be launched in this wonderful book, on Saturday 2 March at the netball pavilion in Saxton Field.: hangi oven style; corned beef, puha, kōuka; pakapaka; easy mince; braun; titi; poor man’s meal; mutton bird supreme; kumara crumbed roll; boil up 28; creamed pāua; paua soup pickled pāua; toheroa fritters; pupu – peri winkles; toroi; fresh kina; kina soup; tio; batter for fritters; tuna – eel; pātiki – flounder; raw fish; whitebait patties; ate mango; pipi and curry stew; sea lettuce hash; preserving cockles; karengo and kawakawa rub; pikopiko and sage; sweet and sour; takakou – flat bread; rewana starter;  rewana bread; paraoa parai – fry bread; purine; kanga waru – minced corn; rhubarb; raupeti jam; potato cakes; banana scallops; roroi; kao; kaanga pungrehu; pakeke; diy non toxic cleaners.

Luke EganComment