“Nature for me is raw and dangerous and difficult and beautiful and unnerving” (Andy Goldsworthy)

I love returning to the Coast.   The wild luxury of the bush; the constant force of crashing surf; the dynamic wonder of our landscape; embraces me in its beauty; tickles my senses, restores to me a sense of belief in the beauty of our world.

That pathway from Hokitika to Kawatiri is breath-taking in its glory.  Every corner a memory; a moment to be savoured.

 The sandy trail to the beach at Mawhera was beguiling, enchanting, willing you to immerse yourself in the sea that reaches out far and beyond.   

Yet, underneath the sparkling shimmering waters is a lurking danger, a rip that we are warned away from.  It is a good reminder to be alert; to appreciate beauty but also to always be aware of the currents that we might not see, but are ever present.   It’s a case of ‘and-and’; the glass half-full; being open to possibilities and careful at the same time.   The game of chess that we each play as creating the future we desire.




A new home at Charles Court

While we were on the Coast, we made a visit to the Charles Court Motel to catch up with Helen Rasmussen.

Umbrellaed by Kaupapa Taiao Trust, Helen will transition the Charles Court Motel into a transitional housing model. As part of Wave 12, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has invested in support for a safer place for those in need to rebuild their lives.    The team, championed by Helen, are creating a central hub for agencies and support services.  It is an initiative and an opportunity which was intensified through COVID.

The housing project will encourage whānau to take part in activities that meet their needs, grow their skills, contribute to the community and connect with each other.  

Helen and her crew have great plans.   There will be a maara kai, animals such as chooks to provide eggs and community meals will be offered to residents, so whānau can meet each other. Whānau will be encouraged to take part in composting and recycling, and other activities will be offered according to whānau interests.





Helen Rasmussen with our champion connector, Gina-Lee Duncan, at Charles Court

NKH Fitness

While on our Te Tai Poutini tour, it was wonderful to meet up with Riria Wall who is one of the Navigator Tinana, based in Greymouth.   Riria is the champion of NKH Fitness (Natural, Kind, Health Fitness). 

The focus of NKH Fitness is on increasing the health and wellbeing of whanau through the medium of physical activity in the garage of lead registered founder, Riria Wall.   The initiative’s primary focus is hauora – te taha tinana, physical wellbeing. All key messages are around healthy lifestyles, healthy kai, being active and fostering a positive sense of identity and behavioural change. 

The intent of the initiative is to bring together whanau, encourage motivation and the development of collaborative and innovative ways to increase whanau participation to address the impacts of COVID-19 through physical and cultural activities that bring about positive change.   NKH Fitness also promotes the development of whanau capability by adopting new physical activity routines, behaviors in confidence, coordination and nutritional knowledge.




hānau who came to our Wave 13 workshop at Hokitika, in the WestREAP offices

Eli Maiava – Wave 11

Whānau Maori o Te Tai Poutini is a whānau aspiration that is supported by WestREAP Hokitika. I love the way in which WestREAP actively steps up and supports whānau to create their life-plan.   One of the challenges for some whānau is how to pursue their dreams while at the same time establishing a legal entity.    When entities like WestREAP ‘umbrella’ a whānau, it helps make for a strong partnership, and takes some of the fear factor out of going on your own.

Whānau Māori o Te Tai Poutini is working to make connections between hau kaika and nga mata waka whānau Māori in their Hokitika and Mawhera community. Whānau Māori o Te Tai Poutini is keen to support whānau to connect to local mana whenua and marae in Arahura. 

With support from Ngati Waewae Runanga, a series of social and cultural events will be held for whanau. Activities include casual evenings to encourage engagement, school holiday events aimed at whanau participation immersed in, and learning tikanga, and a parenting programme run in conjunction with WestREAP. 






Rangatahi komiti for Te Tai o Poutini

Whakataerangi White is a young woman with a mission.   Whakataerangi submitted an application into RUIA as part of the rangatahi komiti for Te Tai o Poutini, to run multiple events for rangatahi (and other whānau) with the hope to bring whānau home and to have as much rangatahi involved as possible. 

The group has planned a diverse range of events that aim to include as much whanau as possible rather than just targeting one particular group.   The activities include Māori sports day; Māori netball, kapa hapa, marching, Ngai Tahu noho and other events, 

The rangatahi komiti for Te Tai o Poutini came about from feedback from a whanau research project that is currently being completed on the Coast. These events/activities are driven from feedback from the Fusion Kati Waewae holiday program where Hamiria and Chantal asked the rangatahi a range of questions.

The one that got them all inspired is: how do we encourage other rangatahi to come home? 


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Lucy and Whakataerangi

Wave 13 in Kawatiri


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This week our focus with our Wave 13 roadshow has been the Coast.   We had a wonderful hui at the Denniston Dog in Westport where we had a platform to hear about the exciting ideas and opportunities that whānau are looking to investigate in Westport and beyond.

The roadshow was a good opportunity for our new staff member, Anna O’Keefe, to see some of these amazing whānau initiatives in action.

Anna has been a Service Manager in Inland Revenue; a Performance Improvement Advisor for the Solomon Islands Government; and a Country Advisor for the Asian Development Bank.  Anna was a frontline manager of nine teams reporting to her in South Auckland with key Màori and Pasifika stakeholders.  She has conversational level of te reo Māori, Samoan and is fluent in spoken and written Solomon Islands Pidgin English.

Anna has an undergraduate degree in Social Policy and Master of Management.   She has recently chaired a Public/Private Digital Finance Working Group supporting the implementation of the Digital Finance component of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy.

Anna is raising her two sons, Jack and William, who have Solomon Island whakapapa.   The three of them have spent the last four years in the Solomon Islands and only recently returned to New Zealand.

The purpose of the position is to improve the planning and performance management capabilities as the organisation transforms through a rapid growth phase.    Welcome aboard Anna!

Roadshow continues on to Christchurch, Te Tauihu, Murihiku, Otepoti and Arowhenua

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Mauria Mai To Kauae

Mauria Mai Tō Kauae has established their online presence with the website www.mauriamaitokauae.co.nz, including feedback from wahine living overseas who were so grateful to be in touch with home.   A range of products has been established.  Miriama Buchanan has been operating her initiative under the legal entity of Te Whare Hauora.   

I love the series of affirmation cards that Miriama has designed.   The following card focuses on ārohirohi, the atua of shimmering heat and mirage.   It is a particularly powerful image for creating and birthing new ideas and opportunities; the perfect setting for inspiring a Whānau Ora journey.




Kiwi Kai – Reni Gargiulo

It was great to catch up with Reni at the Māori night market in Motueka last weekend.   Reni had a huge following at her Kiwi Kai Kart, particularly for her delicious kawakawa and kumara hou, Atutahi 

With Covid 19, Kiwi Kai sales decreased by 75%. Through Manaaki20 Kiwi Kai will promote and develop its kawakawa drink. There will be a dedicated emphasis on marketing and increasing the number of retail outlets selling the drink. Our investment will also help Kiwi Kai grow their capability through employing more whānau.  






Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund

The $28 million Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund has been established to trial small-scale renewable energy technologies. The funding will be allocated to selected projects over four years until mid-2024 through an open application process.  

Renewable energy solutions could lead to improved health outcomes for people in public and Māori housing. We want to support renewable generation that consistently lowers energy bills and encourages greater use of heating, leading to warmer and healthier homes.

The fund will trial new ways of generating energy and integrating it with existing electricity networks, while supporting the Government’s commitment to renewable energy generation and its climate change goals.

All project proposals must focus on installing renewable energy technologies for Māori housing, but could also seek funding for supplementary measures that improve energy efficiency and maximise the gains of generating renewable energy at a local level.

Solutions in-scope for this fund include:

  • Small-scale solar photovoltaic generation at a household level, or potentially small-scale combined installations such as community-scale generation

  • Small-scale local energy storage, for example household lithium ion batteries

  • Solar water heating

  • Technologies and solutions to maximise the benefits of energy generation to the target household such as smart appliances and timing switches, hot water diverters, or information to households on how to best manage their energy use

  • Innovative distribution and retail solutions to manage energy from the local generation and storage, for example peer-to-peer trading to share excess energy generation with other households.




Melanie McGregor (Kaiwhakarite, Te Puni Kōkiri) being revitalised through the healing hands of Karen Starkey from Maungamaunu,