This is my life, this is my breath


Kānapanapa mai ana a Matariki
Matariki shines on the New Year

I love the magic of Matariki.

There is nothing that represents our evolving nationhood more than the celebration of Matariki resplendent in the dawn sky.

From 25 to 28 June, Matariki will re-appear, signalling the start of the Māori New Year.   It is such a special time of year, to rejoice in change, in growth, in gratitude for all that we have and all we can give to one another.   For our whānau this Matariki, we celebrated the 85th birthday of my dad, and the birth of a beautiful new mokopuna; both equally precious blessings across the age spectrum.

Matariki / Puanga (Puaka) is the time to be on the whenua, to reconnect to Papatūānuku; to reinvigorate lines of legacy, the bones of whakapapa.   It is a good time to start planning for the year ahead – to focus on fitness, to immerse ourselves in the journey of te reo rangatira, to come together in a time of feasting, of festivity, of tākaro and waiata.   It is our special time to read the starts, to interpret in that clear bright landscape of hope, what the upcoming seasons will reveal. In Ōtautahi, whānau members of Hale Compound Conditioning came together for a Matariki hākari – to dress up in hokohoko clothes; to dance the night away.   And don’t they look stunning!


I am looking forward to a trip to Dunedin next week, to see in the Matariki with Piata Mai.

Ka Whiti, Ka Whiti
Pīata Mai Matariki Festival

The word pīata refers to the brightness of these stars as they shine in the night sky – just as the Pīata Mai Matariki Festival will provide a platform for our local Māori artists, designers and entrepreneurs to showcase their talents.

To coincide with the rising of the Matariki star cluster, kapa haka stars He Waka Kōtuia will open the festivities with songs from their new album He Mahi Tamariki supported by Mara TK of the Electric Wire Hustle.  For more information, check it out on and follow us facebook or instagram

Ka Whiti, Ka Whiti is brought to you by Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

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Great Hall, The Arts Centre, 2 Worcester Blvd
Friday,  June 28, 5pm-8pm. Te reo Māori lesson 6.30pm to 7.30pm.
Adults $20, children $15

Whānau owned and operated seafood eatery, FUSH will be serving up Kiwi favourites like classic fish and chips (ika me ngā tipi) with house made tartare sauce and a pulled pork burger and chips (peka poaka me ngā tipi). Spaces for this unique event are limited. Get your tickets for this wonderful entity which Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been so happy to support:


Hei Whakapiki Mauri annual hui at Te Hapa o Niu Tirini, Temuk

How special was it to be with He Whakapiki Mauri as they went on to Arowhenua Marae for their noho this weekend.    


There were so many moving moments as we surged into the process of whakawhanaungatanga.   There was the significance of Tamara and the Nolan family, happy to be back at home on their marae.   Taua Shona shared the profound feeling of return as she came home, after last being on the marae at her Pōua’s tangi in 1991.   And I so loved spending time with Simon as he went through his extensive knowledge of Māori women politicians; a topic I was very interested in!

Taua Suzi Waaka was particularly delightful; telling us about the love she has for Arowhenua – a place to cherish the 460 mokopuna that stem from five generations back to her parents.   The pōtiki of eighteen children, Taua Suzi said “I love this place. This is my life. This is my breath”. She reminisced about the plentiful abundance of food in the Awaroa; the lush supplies of watercress; the kangakanga – blind eels that flowed free in every running water.


It was great to meet our Mokopuna Ora Navigator, Whaea Cath who is leading the initiative on behalf of Arowhenua Whānau Services.

Arowhenua Whānau Services; Te Muka

The approach taken by Mokopuna Ora in Arowhenua include supporting whānau to baby proof their homes and increasing their health and fitness with their pēpi.  Parents are consistently gaining confidence to the point that they are now able to have conversations with the teachers at pre-school. Using the SKIP resources, they have a clear pathway for providing support for whānau who are often apprehensive of ‘services’.  Whānau now feel more confident in their understanding of basic tikanga, and how they engage with nurses and mental health teams, and Oranga Tamariki.

There is solid engagement not only with whānau but with other organisations that complement their kaupapa.  Whānau have made connections with the early education centres in the rohe. Their focus is on encouraging and promoting concepts such as whanaungatanga, kotahitanga and manaakitanga with these centres to encourage whānau to make contact when necessary.


Free Digital Workshop

Are you interested in brand identity and digital marketing for your community organisation or business?

Nau mai, haere mai

Ariki Creative will be running a free Digital workshop on Thursday 4 July 2019 at the Rangitane Cultural Centre.

Please click on the link below to register.

Whānau Ora Certificate Level 4 – starts in Ōtautahi 17 July and Westport 31 July

Tipu Ora is a private training establishment that delivers Kaupapa Maori programmes that promote wellness models of health whilst focusing on building new skills and developing leadership qualities.The aim is to enhance the skills of practitioners and people seeking a career in health and hauora to better deliver   services that are appropriate for Maori, tamariki, mokopuna, pakeke and whanau.

Tip Ora have two Whānau Ora Certificate trainings about to start in Ōtautahi and Westport so we encourage whānau who are interested to get in touch with them.

Crowdfunding Training

This week in Ōtautahi we hosted a Crowdfunding Training in partnership with Māori Women’s Development and the Māori Women’s Welfare League Otautahi Branch.

Crowdfunding, of course, is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.

It was a great two day course facilitated by Kay-Maree Dunn where whānau could learn how to utilise the power of Crowdfunding to raise funds for great ideas, projects, community kaupapa or business/enterprise.


Maranga Mai Te Waipounamu

Maranga Mai is a community-focused initiative. An opportunity to participate in creative, cultural and physical activities that promote connection and wellbeing.

Kawatiri: 22 June, 12noon-4pm, Buller High School
Motueka: 23 June, 1-4pm, Motueka High School
Ōtepoti: 30 June, 1-4pm, HUB Otago Polytechnic

Oranga Tamariki wants to hear what caregivers have to say on issues that affect them and the children in their care, including the financial support they receive.

Please RSVP to this email if you would like to attend either hui.

Christchurch – Hui on Wednesday, 26 June from 10.30am—2.30pm at:

Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu

Ground Floor

10 Show Place



Christchurch – Drop in consultation on Friday, 28 June from 12:00 noon—8:00 pm (caregivers can attend at any time between these hours) at:

Te Hāpua, Mohoao

Halswell Centre

341 Halswell Rd



An online survey option is also being developed for caregivers living outside these areas, or for those who can’t attend the consultation sessions to have the opportunity to have their say.

Get in touch

If you have any questions you can contact the review team at

Luke EganComment