The reflection of perfection


Just outside of Ohakune, there is a wāhi tapu, a sacred lake called Rotokura.

Within that lake resides the answers for all our children and mokopuna who whakapapa to this special place.


Puna – the glimmering, pristine birth-waters; the pool of wonder.

Moko – the imprint, the legacy of generations beyond.

When we return home to the land of Ngāti Rangi, a visit to Rotokura from where you can look up to the majesty of Koro Ruapehu, reminds our children of their special connections that link them intimately with an ancestry that gives them a sense of belonging.

It is the gift of identity that I wish for all our mokopuna – to understand the line between humanity and divinity; a clarity that stretches from today to infinity.

Our tamariki, our mokopuna, are the fulfilment of our most sacred desires.   They are born from places of purity, the waters of healing and nourishment.

Wouldn’t it be a great day that whenever our mokopuna look deep into the waters of Rotokura (or whatever waters are sacred to them) they will see in that reflection looking back at them: the reflection of perfection.

Kaitiaki Training

Like so many of us, Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been tormented with the media reporting, the speculation, the naming and blaming that has been associated with the context of children in care.  A young baby at risk of being uplifted from hospital in the middle of the night; a six year old child uplifted at 7am on a school day - her foster family being given 48 hours by text to prepare themselves. Questions around how does the state agency charged with the care of children live up to the aspiration of ‘Oranga Tamariki’.

For all of us in the Whānau Ora space, we seek solutions, strategies, responses to reinforce the wonder of our whānau and our capacity to care.

Over this week, we have been holding hui in Motueka and Whakatū in partnership with Te Roopu Āwhina and Tui Kereru, as part of an information roadshow on care.

The series of hui at Te Āwhina Marae and Victory Community Centre included:

  • Kaitiaki wānanga of caregivers of tamariki, or potential caregivers

  • The process for iwi / Whānau Ora entities who want to apply to be considered for what is called ‘section 396’ status: - the approval process by which providers and entities can grant ‘caregiver’ status to whānau members who want to apply.

There is also a noho wānanga occurring to assist whānau members into the process of becoming approved caregivers, to be held 21-23 June.   Contact if you are interested in attending.

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Flourishing Whānau

One of the working groups I am on looks into the issues for the ‘children’s workforce’ – that is all those who are representative of, or involved with issues impacting on children in education, social services, health and our wider communities.

We were asked this week, what would we look like at our best?   For the sub-group I was on, we thought about the concept of flourishing whānau being protected and cared for under an umbrella of hope that consisted of four panels.

Restoration; returning to the power of the village; the collective call to care for our children

Relationships which are effective, meaningful, collaborative.

Repatriation, : ensuring our mokopuna are reconnected to their whānau context.

Resourcing: that as much funding goes into supporting parents to be awesome as it does to keep the frontline workers trained, culturally competent and with an attitude of belief in the potential of whānau to take care of their own.

It is about changing the narrative of whānau – to keep our children safe within the loving embrace of whānau; to find solutions within whakapapa; to be healed by the connections to the land.

Tipu Ora Graduations : A Flourishing Whānau Ora workforce

One of the priorities we have consistently advocated for, is that the talents and tenacity of our Whānau Ora Navigators are recognised through quality professional development opportunities.

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Research with Maori in Hurunui and Kaikoura districts

Lotteries funded research will be completed by the end of June 2019 and seeks to understand the challenges and strengths of Māori as they relate to psychosocial wellbeing in the post-disaster context. Of interest will be identifying areas of unmet need among local Māori.

The research findings will help provide an equity lens for planning, funding and service provision for Māori. It will add to the knowledge and evidence base of Māori wellbeing and what matters most to Māori living in Kaikoura.  The research findings will be shared with mana whenua, local and regional stakeholders (such as Kaikoura District Council, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Wai Pounamu, Te Ahi Wairua o Kaikoura and CDHB) and will be publicly available. It will help inform providers of services, funders of those services and other supports as well as potential health promotion efforts.

Congratulations to FUSH in Ōtautahi

We want to acknowledge FUSH in being nominated for the prestigious Te Waitī Award for Te Reo and Tikanga as part of the Matariki Awards.  FUSH UKA is the first application that we have ever submitted from one of our Whānau Ora entities across Te Waipounamu, that has made it through to being shortlisted as a finalist.   In this capacity, they are breaking new ground – not only for Whānau Ora of course, but also for the passion and momentum of the FUSH phenomenon in full flush!


It was wonderful to hear from the whānau Matthews as they prepare for the awards on Māori Television at the end of June.

“As we head up to Auckland later this month for the 2019 Matariki Awards, we carry the hopes and aspirations of all of our Te Pūtahitanga whānau and we are proud to showcase what Whānau Ora can look like from a Fush point of view. Success for Fush is success for Māori, is success for Whānau Ora, is success for Te Pūtahitanga.   Kotahi anō te hiringa i kake ai a Tāne ki te Toi O Ngā Rangi, ko te hiringa i te mahara”. 

Nā mātou iti nei 

Nā te whānau Matthews me te whānau whānui o Fush.

Fush is also very proud to announce that their own, Anton Matthews, along with some pretty awesome local legends from around Te Waipounamu, has been asked to be an ambassador for the Canterbury Road Trauma Awards to be held later this year!  The Canterbury Road Trauma Awards recognise the often unsung heroes involved in post crash care and recovery, road safety and community service.

And Congratulations to the Co-Lab!

We are delighted to learn that one year further funding has been granted to the

Ōtautahi Co-lab for Whānau-Centred Facilitation.

This is an investment opportunity that Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu has supported, to enable increased access to and engagement with services and support to strengthen whānau functioning.   Participating entities include Te Rūnanga o Ngā Maata Waka; Te Whare Hauora, Te Puna Oranga and He Waka Tapu.

One of the more recent events was a hauora day at Koukourārata Marae on May 12.   The day was well attended with approximately 100 attendees, 30 of whom whakapapa to the marae.  On the agenda was the Brainwaves Trust; Awesome Whānau; Te Whare Hauora and Te Manawa Taki o te Reo.  The day provided opportunities for new connections to be made for whānau, with each other, with kura and with providers.   Activities such as bouncy castle, face painting, races and treasure hunt were engaged in by the tamariki. One of the rangatahi who attended summarised the day: ‘Just a perfect day, everything was perfect’.   You can’t get better than that! Best of all the marae has invited Te Whare Hauora to return to offer another whanau day to further strengthen whānau.

Path Planning was provided to all the kaimahi and was facilitated by a Whanau Ora Navigator based at Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Kahutane Whaanga.

What’s Coming Up

Hei Whakapiki Mauri hui 2019

The annual Hei Whakapiki Mauri hui is being held at Arowhenua Marae 21-23 June.

Date: 3pm, Friday 21 June to 2pm on Sunday 23 June 2019 Time: Powhiri begins 3pm on Friday 21 June Location: Te Hapa o Niu Tireni, 39 Huirapa St, Temuka


The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care Preliminary Hearing, 25 June 2019

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care is holding a Preliminary hearing on 25 June at the Environment Court in Auckland. It will be live-streamed, with NZ Sign Language and captions, on the website between 10.00am-12.00pm on 25 June. If you require additional information please visit or telephone 0800 222 727.

The purpose of this Preliminary hearing is to share information about the Inquiry’s scope and focus and the methods we will use to deliver our work programme.

National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence, Sexual Violence and Violence toward Whānau

Joint Venture agencies are working together to develop a National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence, Sexual Violence and Violence toward Whānau.

More information on the Joint Venture can be found here<>.

The only hui being held in Te Waipounamu occurs next Tuesday 18th June in Christchurch at Wilding Park Indoor TENNIS Centre, 111 Woodham Road, Avonside Christchurch; 10am-2.30pm.

This is an opportunity to contribute to the strategic direction for the elimination of family violence, sexual violence and violence toward whānau in Aotearoa.   The questions that will be asked at the workshop include:

  • What does effective regional leadership and governance look like for family violence and sexual violence?

  • Where is it working well? What makes it work? What are the barriers?

  • How can government support the right enabling conditions for strong regional leadership?

If you can’t make the meeting, send your thoughts on to and we will ensure your thoughts are raised.

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Luke EganComment