He kanohi kitea, ka hoki ngā mahara.: 

A familiar face stirs the memory

When I was working for Whaea Tariana, and the firey debate in the political chamber had been raging with a particular intensity, we were always grateful for the invitations she would receive right across the motu to attend their special events.  

Whaea Tariana would return from those visits with a different energy burning in her puku; a glint in her eye and a jump to her step.  Being with the people always lifted her spirits, reminded her of their wonder, their creativity, their resilience, their strength.   Familiar faces would ignite memories of other days, other people, who had been a treasured part of her life.  She would resume her seat in the House, inspired by the power of example established by whānau; invigorated by the sense of purpose and spirit of compassion.

I see that same metamorphis in members of my team when they go out across Te Waipounamu to be in the presence of whānau.   It lifts their spirits; it reminds them of the reason; the energy and momentum of whānau power is infectious.




Our roadshow this week kicked off in Motueka, where one Valley spoke to another.   I loved this photo taken of beautiful kuia Wairata Marshall (nee Keepa), born in Ruatoki in 1935, Te putiputi o te Urewera; with Pikiora Spooner from Waimana.   It says so much about the value of connection; of shared love; of a sense of belonging.


Te Awhina.jpg


From Te Awhina Marae in Motueka; the Wave 13 roadshow made its way to the Victory Community Centre in Nelson later Monday night.   These photos of whānau meeting up with Whānau Ora Navigators and our kaimahi across Te Tauihu, to share their dreams and aspirations, epitomise to me what Whānau Ora is all about: collective dreaming; positivity in abundance; energy and celebration of innovation and imagination.

Remember, if you’re interested in submitting an application, go to https://www.teputahitanga.org/wave-funding-registration.   Our wave funds are a continuation of our original funding model, with two funding rounds per year.  Wave funding is for whānau, established organisations, community groups and small to medium businesses. We have refreshed the scope of what we fund through our Wave funding. For whānau, community groups, and establishing organisations this means:

  • Projects that seek to help whānau and communities thrive post COVID-19

  • Projects that seek to support our Whānau Ora outcomes

  • Projects that are determined, designed and driven by those whānau and communities they seek to support.


Nelson (2).jpg


Our Navigator Team have also been catching up with our Partners and our Navigators across Te Waipounamu.   They all got together in Te Tauihu….


Some of our fabulous team: Huata Arahanga, Kylie-Phillips, Rachael Haate, Gina-Lee Duncan, Te Ra Morris and Kiri Williams – literally out on the road

Some of our fabulous team: Huata Arahanga, Kylie-Phillips, Rachael Haate, Gina-Lee Duncan, Te Ra Morris and Kiri Williams – literally out on the road


Our Picton workshop was hit by a weather bomb (storm)  which kept whānau away but not these hardy ones.   Despite the freak storm the wave 13 initiative discussions at the hui and later via phone were amazing-  working through each question in the application, on areas as varied as papakainga for relief accommodation for whānau in need; whanau wananga and language models.




Next stop after Motueka, Nelson, Picton and Blenheim was Kaikoura on Tuesday night at the Dolphin Café.   Whether it is standing room only or just a few hearty whānau, the conversations are always rich with promise and potential for what whānau believe they can do to make life better for them and all who come after them.




Kawatiri Gardens

Our Kawatiri correspondent, Gina-Lee visited the Maara kai in Kawatiri last week to witness, firsthand the pride of producing organic produce and seeing the benefits of their mahi in being able to deliver fresh food to whanau.  The maara kai has already proven to be an asset in the Buller Community … producing seasonal kai while also cultivating blackberries and wine berries that Kaumatua love to make their jams with.  

Elizabeth Minato is the very enthusiastic kaimahi for Te Ha o Kawatiri. 


Buller maas.jpg


Whata Maketu, the navigator tinana, was at the maara working his weed eater, and sharing his excitement about the male youth he is working with that comes and helps with the upkeep of gardens and another 17 year old, who is a young dad who can pick up some produce and provide for his whanau while learning skills alongside of Whata.

Kaimahi have committed to eating their lunch from the gardens on their breaks.  



Bullerr (1).jpg



They were also very proud of the winnings from their gardens at the Buller regions A&P show.

Try this perspective shift.   Instead of seeing ‘social distancing’ and travel bans as panic, try seeing them as acts of mass cooperation intended to protect the collective whole.   This plan is not about individuals going into hiding.   It’s a global deep breath…..and agreement between humans around the planet to be still.   Be still, in hopes that the biggest wave can pass without engulfing too many of the vulnerable amongst us.   Dr Lindsay Jernigan (Psychologist, Vermont)

A Hydrangea in Timaru


IMG_3396 Timaru.jpg


A quick visit to the new centre in Timaru for Arowhenua Whānau Services, with Crystal and Debbie – and I’m holding, proudly, one hydrangea grown with love by Maria Parish – not just General Manager but also Gardener Extraordinaire.




We had a wonderful Wave 13 roadshow in Timaru at the Aquatic Centre with some great ideas coming forth – thoughts about whānau photography, kohanga reo, language growth, whānau Atawhai.   It was very exciting to be in their company.




On Tuesday night, the roadshow travelled to Otepoti (see above).

Wednesday was in Alexandra; and then Thursday in Murihiku.




Shout out from Minister Henare to the NavNation

It was wonderful to host the Minister for Whānau Ora/Associate Minister of Health, Hon Peeni Henare, at our whare this week.   Upon leaving, the Minister posted a wonderful mihi to our Navigators that bears repeating:

“Navigators are truly exceptional people.   They hold the relationship with whānau that makes Whānau Ora the special Kaupapa that it is.  They work hard to grow trust with whānau and I know for a fact that they go above and beyond   Spending some brief time with these awesome navigators in Otautahi was such a privilege.   Their energy and innovation is truly inspiring”.