As Dame Whina Cooper said:

“Take care of our children

Take care of what they hear

Take care of what they see

Take care of what they feel

For how the children grow

So will be the shape of Aotearoa”

In short, “be a good ancestor” – Elizabeth Medicine Crow, Alaska.

During lockdown, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu established a relationship with #Protectourwhakapapa which we have proudly maintained over the last ten months.   

Protect our Whakapapa brought together simple, relevant, evidence-based information and resources for whānau during the COVID-19 rāhui and beyond. They created easy-to-read resources – posters in te reo Māori and English, that you can share with whānau of all ages. There are also links to support services and activities for tamariki, wāhine, tāne and whānau.

The motivation behind Protect our Whakapapa was very clear:

“As Māori we have a history of surviving adversity, using concepts such as rāhui to keep our whānau safe and protected. If we apply tūpuna wisdom to our current circumstances, it can help us stay alive and our culture thrive.   Everything we do comes from a desire to support whānau in their journey through Te Pō (a place of isolation and growth) moving into Te Ao Mārama (new ways of living and being)”.  

We set out to:

  • Inspire whānau to channel and use their tūpuna wisdom.

  • Empower whānau to develop resilience and capability.

  • Collaborate with rōpu whose kaupapa aligns with ours.

  • Inform whānau about current developments during COVID-19.

  • Connect whānau with support networks in their communities.

  • Engage whānau through a variety of resources and online events.

This week I received some statistics about how well Protect our Whakapapa has been received over the last ten months.   The results are staggering!

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Congratulations to the POW team who have really reached into all our communities and made an impact.    We can be really proud that #ProtectOurWhakapapa was started by a collective of Creative Nātives, based in Ōtepoti. This has since expanded to include kaimahi and volunteers from across Aotearoa – from Murihiku to Muriwhenua, from Tairāwhiti to Taranaki.

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Fresh from Aranui in Ōtautahi this week, comes this newsflash about Kai Connoisseurs.

Kai Connoisseurs is coming to Hampshire Street, Aranui!! 

Kia ora Aranui Community! My name is Sachiko and I have lived in Atown for almost 10 years. I have three tamariki and am the eldest of 6. I love Kai, I love to cook and I am passionate about hauora, whānau and community.  In 2019 my brother and I started selling dumplings as a way to earn some extra income, the success of this small operation led to other opportunities. I ended up starting a catering business and 

Kai Connoisseurs was born. 

With the help of Crossroads Youth with a Future we are about to open up the Café on Hampshire St, formally known as Café 53. We have a vision to enhance the community through Kai. We are going to start running Kai Coaching classes to share our love for kai and knowledge with anyone who would like to come along and learn! Dates and times to be confirmed. 

We hope to be open at the end of Feb. 

We will have a stunning menu with a fusion of our most popular kai. Dumplings, Bao buns, plus the usual favorites such as an epic all day breakfast menu, a cabinet full of delicious  wholesome kai and of course coffee! 

Café days/hours will be Tuesday to Saturday 8.30 am – 4 pm 

We are super excited and cannot wait to open the doors! 

It has been an amazing journey, we all look forward to serving you! 

Arohanui, Kai Connoisseurs. 

Checkout our Facebook page 





Awarua Hosted Waitangi Day

We couldn’t resist this beautiful photo of Murihiku Magic, from the Waitangi Day celebrations at Awarua.




This week the final roundtable for the Resilience work programme was held at the hearty Murihiku Marae, with providers, kaimahi, and MSD all acknowledging the great year’s mahi. Our Tu Pono advisor, Serena Lyders, was proud to present the dazzling Vanessa Whangapirita, Pouwhakataki for the southern resilience work, with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers to mark her vivacious leadership in the role. We know that Te Taurapa o te waka will continue a new journey into the next phase and we wish everyone well in that pathway forward.




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Te Waipounamu Māori netball tournament

Te Waipounamu was established to encourage Maori whanau well-being using netball as the vehicle. Tu Ora, Tu Kaha, Tu Mana, Tu Maori.  The purpose of Maori Netball is to promote “oranga whanau – whanau ora” to Maori women and their families using netball as the vehicle. “Mai i te kopu o te whaea ki te kopu o te whenua – From the womb of the mother to the womb of mother earth”.

In the first week of February, up to 150 young women participated in a wananga in Murihiku, where they learnt new drills, skills, speed and agility testing.   The netball wananga, held in Oamaru, included young women aged 12-24 years.   The squad are preparing for the Aotearoa Māori Nationals 2021 at Easter weekend in Whangarei.  

Tu Ora, Tu Kaha, Tu Mana, Tu Māori – Be Healthy, Be Fit, Be Proud, Be Māori

We have supported Te Waipounamu Māori netball through our Navigator Tinana workstream, led by Vania Pirini. 

Te Waipounamu Maori netball is made up of over 200 people from players, administrators, whanau supporters’ coaches, commitment, and time to manaaki these excellent young sportswomen and strengthen this organisation.

Netball skills during training and skills delivered will include preliminary moves and passing, footwork, agility, attacking skills, defensive skills, and turning and blocking.   The goal is to help create motivated, nurturing, and confident young whanau all over Te Waipounamu who are healthy, strong, and fit. Hauora is the goal, but they also aim to create social and cultural connectedness with their netball peers throughout Te Waipounamu.





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Ticking off the goals

This week we have the privilege of sharing a glimpse in time in the life of Anika Bolton who has been working with one of our Whānau Ora Navigators, Kim Garrett.   Anika enabled us to share photos of her son, Roman, attending his first day at preschool, a really exciting moment for the whole whanau. Anika’s goals that have been ticked off so far:

  1. Find a house for my whanau –

  2. Help finding work –

  3. Upskill with education –

  4. Access early childhood education for my tamariki or mokopuna –

Working with whānau like the Boltons is always so wonderful when you see progress being made in such a short time.  Ka pai Anika!


First day at preschool for Roman

First day at preschool for Roman

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Kim and Anika celebrating the progress achieved in ticking off goals


Oranga Tamariki 

Over the last four years, Matua Norm Dewes (Te Runanga o Nga Maata Waka) and I have been part of a Māori Design Group that was called together by departing chief executive Grainne Moss.  We gathered this week to remember some of the big changes that have occurred over that time.   Whilst we can, and must, always look to do better for all our tamariki mokopuna in care, there are some major changes that have occurred that should not be overlooked.  

  • While any Māori child being taken into care is one too many, it is good to see a reduction in overall numbers.  A few years ago, 5 in every 1000 Māori children were taken into care (approximately 3000 a year).   In 2021, 2.5 in every Māori children are in care (900).

  • Over that same time period investment has doubled in Māori and iwi providers

  • Previously iwi and Māori care partners received the grand sum of $2m a year.   Last year, that amount was $20m.

  • Social workers, four years ago, had a caseload of 33 whānau per kaimahi.   That ratio has now reduced to 19 whānau – what this means is more time is available to provide the support needed.


Members of the Māori Design Group: Deidre Otene, Matua Norm Dewes, Frana Chase, Hoani Lambert, Helen Leahy, Eugene Ryder.   Front row: Katie Murray, Grainne Moss, Prue Kapua (Co-Chair) and Darren Haimona.   Missing: Druis Barrett; Roku Mihinui; Tania Blythe-Williams.

“Take care of our children

Take care of what they hear

Take care of what they see

Take care of what they feel

For how the children grow

So will be the shape of Aotearoa”

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