Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up


“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love.

When we are afraid, we pull back from life.

When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.

We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create.

Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life” .    

- John Lennon

Fear has figured large in my mind over the last couple of weeks.  Our ten year old has taken a dramatic and sudden aversion to his computer.  The child who we had to formerly limit hours spent behind the mouse, now appears reluctant to go anywhere near it.

It’s all to do with a figure created by Japanese sculptor, Keisuke Aiso,   A frightening, ghoulish female figure called ‘Momo’ has popped up in the midst of children’s programmes – Peppa Pig, Fortnite and across youtube.  The creepy face is accompanied with instructions enticing children to perform a series of dangerous tasks including self-harm and suicide.

‘Momo’ is indeed terrifying with her bulging eyes and mouth that curls into a ghastly grin.  But it cuts deep into my heart to see our beautiful boy stuck; paralysed by a fear that has left him struggling to find perspective, unable to see past the moment of his misery.   As with all fear - it is all pervasive; it is stultifying; it is just plain frustrating.

The Internet can be an amazing tool to help children learn and play.

But fear of cyber-bullying, or danger lurking on the screen, is making our children scared.   So how do we wipe away the tears of fear, and demonstrate our love through keeping them safe?

Netsafe’s advice for parents about exposure to upsetting content:

  • Let your child know that they can come to you when they find something upsetting and they won’t get in trouble

  • Stay calm if they do come to you –reassure them that it’s not their fault

  • Normalise their feelings – let them know that it is normal to feel scared

  • Don’t over-react by taking away the technology – this may make them less likely to talk to you if something else happens

  • For young children in particular, consider using parental controls to block out specific keywords like “Momo”

  • Text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282

  • Email help@netsafe.org.nz

  • Call 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723) toll free

Kia Ora Kaumātua


Fear was also a topic for discussion in the land of Ngāti Wheke, in the marae of Te Rapaki o Te Rakiwhakaputa at Kia Ora Kaumātua.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu was pleased to be able to sponsor the health day at Rāpaki which was attended by a very full whare of our beautiful taua and pōua.   One of the sessions that got everyone to the microphone, was the kōrero from Andrea Williams and Peter Rameka (featured in the photo above) from the New Zealand Police.  They talked about elder abuse and ways to say no; to make sure our kaumātua are cared for and not suffering from financial abuse, physical neglect or isolation.

Other sessions included Cate Grace (Whānau Whanake) who put us all through a thirty second tri-athlon; Mere Hibbs from Canterbury DHB and Waikura McGregor, Maire Kipa and myself talking about Whānau Ora.   It was a wonderful opportunity to share a poem from Rangimaria Suddaby from Rāpaki:

Brown Berry,

In her bloomers

Hunkering on the sands of Rāpaki

Digging for crabs or pipi

A bright sunny summer’s day watched over by Tamatea.

Tipu Ora at Ukaipo

What a treat it was to be at Ukaipo on Thursday, to share a day with the Tauira enrolled on the Certificate programme in Whānau Ora.

Designed as a contemporary meeting space for the entire community, Ukaipo is named for the Māori word for nurturing, mother, or source of sustenance,  

Ukaipo sits upon the Grovetown site given to Rangitane by the Crown after a large tract of land was taken from the iwi under the Public Works Act in the 1950s. When its Waitangi Tribunal claim was settled in 2010, based on a vast area of land promised as reserve under the Treaty of Waitangi, but never delivered, Rangitane used the opportunity to build a facility for the entire community.

The stunning solidarity of Carolyn Tipene and Whaea Sally

The stunning solidarity of Carolyn Tipene and Whaea Sally


We had such a beautiful day, with some wonderful examples of PATH plans shared across the class.   There were plans to reconnect with whānau toto; lots of memories and experiences of whāngai; goals to become fluent in te reo rangatira; a heart desire to travel to meet up with siblings; opportunities for new business ventures.   I felt so blessed to be part of a very special day with these students of life.

Iwi Mandate for Emergency Response

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Earlier in the week I had joined with iwi leaders; government representatives; local council members; fire-services, marae and our Whānau Ora Navigators at the debrief in Nelson following the Wakefield fires.

There was discussion about how we ensure we can attain the community voice by applying a Whanau Ora approach.   There were recommendations to keep it local - connecting and supporting the people of Wakefield. We talked about how important it was to ensure that respect governed our actions; to maintain clarity and responsibilities; and how things like karakia at the start of briefings helped make sure that the conversations would flow easily.

Sunrise Surprise at HCC

Former Minister for Whānau Ora popped in for an early session at Hale Compound Conditioning this week – and we mean early, 5.30am!   Te Ururoa Flavell later posted this message : Good to catch up whānau and neat to see the fruits of the struggle to make your dream come true”.


Wave Nine on Live

As we count down to the day in which all applications are due in, Maania and I have been trying a new medium – going live to encourage whānau to get your applications in.


New roads ahead for Tai Aranui

I am so proud to be on the governance group for Tai Aranui.   Te Runanga o Ngā Maata Waka in partnership with New Zealand Police, Ministry of Justice, and the Department of Corrections have come together to form an innovative Marae-based Justice Hub, Tai Aranui.   There are four work streams:

  • Te Waharoa – Youth at risk of Offending (under 17 years of age)

  • Manapou Taiohi – Youth who are Offending (under 17 years of age)

  • Manapou Wāhine – Reintegration of Women in Prison (who have children)

  • Mauri Tū – Driving Education (under 17 years of age)

This week we went on site with Fulton Hogan at a red-zoned area in Shirley, Christchurch where it is hoped the driving education programme can proceed.   In the midst of shattered asphalt and uneven surfaces, it was a special joy to find a few black boy peaches just waiting to be eaten.


Farewell to Trish Young


We are all sorry to see the dynamic manager of Awarua Whānau Services, Trish Young, retire from her role.   Trish has been a fabulous ambassador for the whānau of Awarua; open to finding new possibilities and always conscientious in her application.    We will be forever grateful too, that she let her gold star Navigator, Serena, fly the nest to take on the role of Manukura right across Te Waipounamu.   We wish you a wonderful rest Trish and then I am sure we will be in touch.


Finally, we are so proud of the amazing talent and tenacity of Māui Studios in their latest venture, working alongside the Asia New Zealand Foundation.   The crew have recently had a mission to Japan and China to scope our new business opportunities. You can catch up with their travels in their digital story, Kaikapua – Cloud Eater.

Luke EganComment