Transformation of one’s life direction; transformation of attitudes, of behaviours of practice.

Te Ara Whakatipu

The exquisiteness of Whakatipu Waitai/ The Hollyford Valley is one of those mystical, magical places that is described as the perfect setting for transformation.   Transformation of one’s life direction; transformation of attitudes, of behaviours of practice.

This week we had the rare privilege of attending the launch of an elegant digital story featuring Te Ara Whakatipa, a rangatahi-focused programme that combines Ngāi Tahutanga  and outdoor leadership. This wānanga was developed by Kara Edwards nā Makaawhio and acknowledges the manawhenua of both Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio and Ōraka-Aparima Rūnanga. 

Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been thrilled to invest in this hīkoi; to support Ngāi Tahu rangatahi through exploration of their connection to self, to Ngāi Tahutanga,  and to the natural environment. 

 A founding belief of Te Ara Whakatipu is that engagement with Te Ao Tūroa (the natural world) enriches connection to place and self.  The cultural framework adds a strong platform to connect with iwi and an enhanced a sense of Ngāi Tahutanga

Whakatipu Waitai is a very important traditional pounamu trail linking Te Tai Poutini with Ōtākou and Murihiku.  Over a century later, the dream of Kara Edwards was to enable our rangatahi leaders to walk their ancestral trails as a virtual metaphor of the life journey they deserve to enjoy.   Te Ara Whakatipu includes a 21km walk (each way), outdoor bush skills, e reo Māori, waiata/haka, whanaungatanga and learning in a remote area of significant cultural value and absolute beauty.

How wonderful was it to see rangatahi from right across Aotearoa and even Melbourne return to Ōtautahi to be part of the launch of their own story – seeing the world through their eyes.


Rangatahi Have the answers

One of the disappointing features of the responses to the occupation at Ihumatao has been a somewhat careless assumption that the issue is polarized between rangatahi and kaumātua.   Some of the political commentary has exacerbated this division by implying the kaumātua are mana whenua while the rangatahi are rā waho – outsiders who have come together for the opportunity to protest.   And yet these same political commentators have not taken the time to ask those who have campaigned under the movement of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) the purpose and the context for their occupation on the historic reserve.

This week the blog is full of rangatahi in their wonder – reclaiming ancestral landscapes, creating new narratives for tribal stories, celebrations of their talent, their potential, their insights.

Mana Rangatahi Tuangahuru; Wairau

Ngāti Apa ki te Rā To held a red carpet disco and a private concert with special guest star Tawaroa Kawana as part of their tenth Mana Rangatahi wānanga.   Tawaroa Kawana also composed a waiata for the rangatahi which was released at the concert.

Māori martial arts and movements such as mau rākau and tuwaewae are important taonga taught and practiced within the wānanga.   The wānanga started at Omaka Pa and made their way to the stunning Punga Cove and then to the wāhi tapu Meretoto. While there the rangatahi learnt about the tipare kawakawa and performed a ritual acknowledging Kupe.

One of the special features of the wānanga is acknowledging those who have shown transformation.   Congratulations to Nellie Jane – the top warrior – and three junior Jedi – Nakita Gapper, Dominic Knill and Maximum Parish.   


Manu Kōrero in Ōtautahi

On 28 June 2019, Lincoln University hosted the Waitaha Regional Ngā Manu Kōrero Speech contest on campus. Thirty two schools attended including 23 with participating speakers and nine high schools and primary schools supporting the event. The overall winner for the contest was Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Kura Whakapumau i te Reo Tuturu ki Waitaha.

In total, there were 820 registered attendees and approximately 200 whānau and community supporters. The pōwhiri was attended by the great majority of the attendees and facilitated by the local mana whenua, Te Taumutu Runanga and our local high schools Ellesmere College and Lincoln High School.

Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu was so pleased to be able to provide a contribution to the day through sponsorship of Manaaki tangata.  A key underlying value at Lincoln University is manaaki. To that end, it was important that the organising committee provided lunches to every registered speaker and their supporters. On the day prior, a group of assembled volunteers spent 4 hours making 1400 buns, packed 800 apples and stacked 1000 bottles of water. In addition to feeding the schools, morning and afternoon tea and lunch was provided for kaumātua, kaiako and the Judges.


Carers Strategy

This week a consultation hui was held to gain feedback from carers on the proposed Carers’ Strategy Action Plan to make sure the Plan is right for carers and reflects what matters most to carers and their whānau. A carer is anyone who looks after a friend, family, whānau or fanau member with a disability, health condition, illness or injury.    Over time, the aim is to have a system of support for carers that is more proactive to ensure people get the support they are entitled to, responsive and centred on whānau.

There are a range of ways that they are gathering feedback on the draft Action Plan. Ministry of Social Development is running an online survey, which you can access at:

We are also accepting written submissions:

  • Email:

  • Postal address: Carers’ Strategy, Level 9, Ministry of Social Development, P O Box 1556, Wellington 6140, New Zealand

Submissions are open now and close 16 August.

Photo depicts Waikura McGregor sharing her experience as a Whānau Ora Navigator for Hei Whakapiki Mauri.

Photo depicts Waikura McGregor sharing her experience as a Whānau Ora Navigator for Hei Whakapiki Mauri.


Whātoro Whānau, Ashburton

Whātoro Whānau provides a whānau practitioner to walk alongside their rangatahi worker in the Hakatere region. The whānau practitioner is delivering a wrap-around service for the whole whānau with a whānau-centred approach. This approach allows for the voice of whānau to be heard, and tailor-made to support services according to the needs of each whānau. Whānau are given the opportunity to lead their development to become more resilient, cohesive and nurturing.

Whātoro means to stretch out or to reach out, an approach that emphasises whaiora and whānau self-determination and strengths.  The role intends to connect whānau with the wider whānau. He Waka Tapu believe they can make an impact on the whānau and make a difference.  A key focus is rangatahi resilience, using te ao tūroa connecting to Papatūānuku and Māori traditional resources.  


Te Whakaoraka initiative in Ōraka – to restore, to revitalise, to recover

Jade Maguire is a man on a mission in Ōraka (Colac Bay) 12 km west of Riverton/Aparima, Murihiku. He has worked hard to create an eco-learning space at Te Takutai o te Tītī Marae which aims to teach the community skills to recover the natural environment and improve their own health.

Celebrated by the community for his environmental leadership Jade has ingeniously created the initiative Te Whakaoraka – to restore, to revitalise, to recover. He is spreading the kaupapa which aims to increase the mana of the environment, freshwater, and the local people.

He's built a native nursery where he works with the community to grow thousands of plants each year, which are then used in restoration projects. He's also set up vegetable gardens to teach people how to grow their own food and be more self-sufficient.

This week this digital story was released for the first time at Te Puna Wānaka in Christchurch – the Wānaka Hauora held by the Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health.   The vision of Te Whakaoraka was seen as representing hauora in action.   In my workshop with over 100 Māori nurses I described the initiative of Te Whakaoraka as the perfect expression of Whānau Ora – incorporating the spiritual, social, physical, environmental and cultural outcomes in a whānau context.                    

The Southland Times also ran a story this week with an interview with Kaumātua Stewart Bull saying that he is drawing a line in the sand against any increases in dairy farming in Southland.

Ōraka-Aparima Rūnaka has formally approached the Southland District Council and Environment Southland opposing any consents, which would intensify dairy farming.

Bull is chairman of Ōraka-Aparima Rūnaka, and said as a guardian of the land he felt a responsibility to "not pass on a legacy of degradation to the next generation."

He says "As kaitiaki we see the most appropriate action is to oppose all consents that intend to intensify agriculture: dairy conversions and increases in herd numbers."

"Ōraka-Aparima Rūnaka recognises that attempts are being made by many in the farming community to achieve better environmental outcomes and we certainly support and encourage this. However, they don't believe this will achieve the necessary improvements while further intensification continues to be consented.

We are delighted to release the video

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Luke EganComment