Be Responsible for your energy

The landscape looking out from Ōnuku has always been exquisitely beautiful.   Ōnuku connects ancestrally to the waka Takitimu, the moana Akaroa and the maunga Ōteauheke.  As you look out at that expansive vista the world seems complete. A quick pivot around and you find the stunning Te Whare Karakia o Ōnuku.   The church was officially opened in 1878 as the first non-denominational church in New Zealand.

Ōnuku is a place of historical significance as the first of the three locations in the South Island where Te Tiriti o Waitangi was signed.  The wharekai was built in 1990 and bears the name Amiria Puhirere.

That sense of history; that feeling of place; was never more poignant this last week as two mokopuna of Amiria Puhirere lay side by side at Ōnuku, in the whare tupuna, Karaweko.   Two big men of Ngāi Tahu lay in peace - Former Ōnuku representative, George Waitai Tikao, and Whānau Ora Navigator, Pere Tainui.

Our love is with the whānau as they comprehend the loss of their loved ones.

In honour – and in grief – we share today one of the stories we have the privilege of having recorded forever about the adventures and inspiration of Matua Pere.

whare karakia.JPG

Mahika Kai Te Waihora/Akaroa

Mahika Kai Te Waihora/Akaroa series one was a wonderful story of success as evidenced by the returning number of tamariki (at least 25 per wānanga) and their whānau who come to participate and support. In the last report I received from Matua Pere – just weeks ago on 10 July 2019- he told me that the tamariki and rangatahi were engaged, learning and continue to come back wanting to learn more – 100% of survey respondents believed their whānau wellbeing has been enhanced. 

“Whanaungatanga was a hugely positive outcome of the wānanga series with many of the participants meeting other whānau for the first time. It has also brought together whānau from around the Horomaka who may not have otherwise met. For many of the rangatahi and tamariki this series was their first ever marae experience as most are from the city and until now were not connected with their marae. It has given them a growing sense of belonging with our participants now identifying Ōnuku as their place and looking forward to coming back”. 

Instrumental to the success was their co-ordinator Pere Tainui. His knowledge, skills and ability to engage our tamariki and rangatahi was outstanding. Pere had an enormous passion for mahinga kai and for passing on the knowledge he learnt from his father and grandfather to the next generations to ensure the traditional practices live on. The intergenerational approach to knowledge sharing and learning is key. 

Of the four tamariki that were interested in having a go at net making, 11 year-old Mileena (Wairewa) who had never been involved until the wānanga, learnt the skills and was able to complete a full net over the course of a day (the same timeframe required for an experienced net maker) – this is a wonderful example of the intergenerational transfer of skills for the future. It will be important that we continue to find opportunities to encourage and grow the learning of these skills in a sustainable manner beyond the life of this project. Mileena’s net was put in the water at Te Waihora for the wānanga held there and 53 flounder were caught. This net is still being used several months later. We have also identified a potential kōura leader among the tamariki. 


The opportunity to participate in the building of a waka from scratch gave the tamariki an appreciation of the work involved for their tīpuna having to craft their seafaring vessel before being able to get out on the water. Tamariki have been involved in the sanding and completion of the waka under the guidance of Pere and Bruce Rhodes. 

The mahinga kai programme was described as just the beginning of a lifelong connection to the whenua and moana and the bounty of mahinga kai held within. Our tamariki are learning the mahinga kai practices of their mātua, pōua and taua and their tīpuna for many generations before them. Not only does this transfer of knowledge and skills ensure these cultural practices survive, it is also providing our tamariki with a greater understanding of their natural environment and the importance of respecting Tangaroa and Papatuanuku - mō tātau, ā, mō kā uri a muri ake nei. 

See link for video here

Meet the Interns

We have been thrilled to have two social work interns with us on placement for the next three months, Karyn Bird and Talei Stuart-Eason.   

Talei’s field of interest is a Whānau Ora approach to navigation and the alignment to social work.

Talei’s field of interest is a Whānau Ora approach to navigation and the alignment to social work.

Karyn’s field of interest is the application of a research methodology to assessing social sector results, using Koha Kai as a model.

Karyn’s field of interest is the application of a research methodology to assessing social sector results, using Koha Kai as a model.


Mike King - New Zealander of the Year.

The 2019 New Zealander of the Year is coming to Kaikōura to talk candidly about his battle with depression, addiction, family disconnect and his ongoing journey to recovery. If you are interested in hearing about his story head along to the South Bay Racecourse Monday 5th August at 7pm. Koha/donation at the door. Learn more here.


Kaikōura 5km Fun run/walk,

AUGUST 11 @ 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM


Te Maramataka


This week, Toi Tangata hosted a one day Maramataka Workshop in Christchurch which two of our team, Gina-Lee Duncan and Marg Henry attended (see above).  The maramataka planning wānanga is designed to be empowering and informative and is an opportunity for participants to learn from maramataka practitioner, Heeni Hoterene. 

Farewell to Maania Farrar

This week, we were so sad to farewell Maania Farrar on her last day with Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

Maania has been a significant champion of the unique commissioning approach we have championed across Te Waipounamu.   She has dedicated energy, passion and a consistent belief in the value of the Whānau Ora approach.    She has had key responsibility for the independent assessment panel that has made decisions investing in over 180 whānau entities.  She has made a significant contribution to the evolution of the Whānau Ora approach.

Maania has, however, been offered a very significant role as Manager, Engagement in the Māori Partnerships Directorate of the Royal Commission of Inquiry in Wellington.    Engaging with Māori through all aspects of the inquiry is key to the success of the Royal Commission’s inquiry.  The Directorate will help build strong relationships with Māori survivors, hapu, whānau, and iwi and be responsible for ensuring that the design and implementation of the inquiry is culturally responsive and provides effective access for Māori survivors in the Royal Commission’s work.   The impact of the work will be momentous.

Maania with her Mum and aunty Maria, sister, brother, nieces and nephews and son.

Maania with her Mum and aunty Maria, sister, brother, nieces and nephews and son.

The original team from He Oranga Pounamu: Vania Pirini, Maania, Ben Reriti-Jones and Robyn Wallace

The original team from He Oranga Pounamu: Vania Pirini, Maania, Ben Reriti-Jones and Robyn Wallace

And there’s always room for one more rendition of Bus-Stop!

And there’s always room for one more rendition of Bus-Stop!


Be Accessible

Last week at the Be Accessible Leadership Hui in Ōtautahi  I spoke about my leadership journey, resilience in leadership, the leadership challenges and opportunities when building and sustaining community, and how the multi-dimensional nature of community enhances and tests leadership.

Be Accessible is a social change initiative and a holistic framework for accessibility with a mission to create a truly accessible country for us all. Be Accessible is managed by the Be Institute, a social enterprise that aims to work across all sectors and communities throughout New Zealand. The belief is that every person has their part to play in the creation of accessibility regardless of how big or small the change.

Be. Leadership advances a more accessible society and a dynamic community of leaders who are passionate about accessibility, with the courage to host new conversations.

At the event I acknowledged the privilege I have had through Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu to learn directly from leaders such as Ruth Jones, Gary Williams, Janice Lee, Waikura McGregor, Cate Grace and Rawa Karetai – and the enterprise and entrepreneurial initiatives they have pursued such as Hei Whakapiki Mauri; Koha Kai and Grace Training and Kahukura Pounamu and Waitaha Enabling Good Lives.   


Funding Round Open

Ako Aotearoa invite proposals for co-funded projects in the $15,000 to $50,000 category. Download the Project Funding Procedures and Guidelines and Application Form from the Co-Funding page. Send proposals no later than 5.00 pm, Friday 23 August 2019.,14723.html

Sustainability Advisor 


Fixed Term / Full Time

Kia hiwa rā!

We have an exciting opportunity for an experienced Sustainability Advisor to join our team at Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu!

Te Pūtahitanga  o Te Waipounamu is a Limited Liability Partnership formed by the nine iwi of Te Waipounamu. The organisation is a vehicle through which whānau are enabled to pursue their aspirations for health and wellbeing.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for Te Waipounamu. The commissioning agency model contributes to realising the power of Whānau Ora by developing strategies based on four guiding principles:

  • Kotahitanga - collaborative approach to integrated solutions and delivery

  • Kāinga focus - local solutions. Whānau initiated solutions are best.

  • Panoni hou - innovation through investing in new solutions, encouraging social innovation and entrepreneurship to incentivise new services, new approaches and integrated solutions

  • Kōkiritanga - partnering for success

The primary focus of the Sustainability Advisor is to support Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu in working alongside of whanau entities to ensure long-lasting impact.   The Advisor will provide leadership on commissioning with a sustainability focus as well as being responsible for leading the capability development workstream.  The Sustainability Advisor is also responsible for the Whānau Enterprise Coaches.

You will have a passion to develop a sustainable funding model, with a desire to support our entities to achieve enduring impact.   You're great at connecting with people and getting them on board; working with our team in engaging with key stakeholders.   You have relevant demonstrable experience and are looking for the next challenge.    We need someone who can think strategically, but also get things done; to support our team to enable our Whānau Ora entities.

If you are looking for an exciting and rewarding new opportunity to support the realisation of Whānau Ora, then this role is for you.

To apply please follow the link below and apply online. For further information and confidential enquiries, please contact Megan Te Kahu, Toi Tangata Advisor on 03 974 0116.

Nau mai, haere mai, tauti mai!

Te Tau Toko Ora are holding wānanga to provide safe spaces to talk about cancer.

  • Whānau will learn about tools to look after yourself when  supporting loved ones with cancer

  • Learn about support services, entitlements and rights 

  • Build connections and share journeys with other whānau in a safe space

  • Dispel the myths about causes and treatments of cancer:

Te Hora Marae, 24 and 25 August
Waikawa Marae, 7 and 8 September
Whakatū Marae 5  October 

For more information, look on our facebook page.

Luke EganComment