Sachiko Shimamoto has a dream. A dream to be the best producer of dumplings in the world. An aspiration that people will come from all over to sample her wares; to bite into the succulent tender package of goodness that she creates at Kai Connoisseurs.

This week that call was heard from afar and the Minister for the Prevention of Sexual and Family Violence; the Co-leader of the Green Party; Hon Marama Davidson, came to town for a ‘cottage’ hui at 59 Hampshire Street, Aranui.

Kai Connoisseurs is a small whanau business that started out selling pork and chive dumplings and has evolved into a catering and food business with a growing social media presence and a reputation in their community for always being in the kitchen cooking delicious kai. Kai matauranga, manaakitanga, aroha, hauora and whanaungatanga are driving forces behind what Kai Connoisseurs does.


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The café in Hampshire Street had its official opening on 19 April 2021 – it is very new! A young Ngai Tahu/Japanese Mum; Sachiko Shimamoto is living her ‘why’: For the love of food, the need for connection and the gift of knowledge”. In the original application, Sachi had a clear intent: Whānau who may be experiencing hardship will be invited to enjoy a kai with no stigma attached. Whānau don’t need to be homeless to be hungry, however, many of our whānau who struggle would rather go without than ask for help. Our kitchen will be open for all whānau who may be needing support on selected days of the week. Her dream is to share her love of kai, and the capacity to provide, across the community. Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has invested in Kai Connoisseurs in a twelve month contract which ends 30 September 2021.

Hampshire Street once carried a reputation as the most dangerous street in Christchurch; a street to be feared. Nowadays that reputation has disappeared, as whānau rise up and live out their dreams. There’s Piwi Beard – facilitating Tu Pono Mana Tangata literally just a few houses down from Kai Connoisseurs. 

Tupono Mana Tangata will through wananga, programmes and groups that they have developed, provide advocacy, campaign and raise awareness in the areas of domestic violence, suicide, and sexual abuse. Wananga will deliver tikanga, the ability to discover whakapapa, kapa haka, learning pepeha, hauora, and manaakitanga. Programmes deliver life skills, self-confidence (mana enhancing), and promote opportunities for whanaungatanga.

The Minister wanted to meet with people who are advancing the kaupapa of the prevention of family and sexual violence. One of those leaders is Billie-Jean Cassidy of Te Puna Oranga.

Te Puna Oranga Incorporated is a non-profit organisation who work with whanau affected by mahi tukino or sexual violence. Te Puna Oranga is funded for 1 FTE Whānau Ora Navigator – this was initiated through COVID-19 for particular concern around sexual violence.


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Te Puna Oranga Incorporated has agreed to umbrella Anna Faau for the initiative led by her, Aronui. Aronui is a play-based ako and te reo Maori playgroup based in Waitaha where Maori mothers and their tamariki come to connect and normalise Maori language, customs and traditions. Aronui will be held twice a week at a specified location and will be supported with the establishment of a social media platform to support/continue the learning at home. Aronui is funded under Wave 13; funding started on 1 April 2021 for a nine month period.


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It was such a privilege and an amazing opportunity to host the Minister and provide her with time with champions like Brenda Lowe-Johnson of the Christchurch Collective for the Homeless (pictured here with Kahutane Whaanga from our team).




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Navigator Tinana

Navigator Tinana continues to implement the Moving the Māori Nation framework, a Te Puni Kōkiri initiative, which promotes Whānau Ora through whakapakari tinana.

The Navigator Tinana kaimahi and 370 mahi aroha (volunteers) promote the development of whānau capability through learning new skills in a range of areas. These include targeted sports (netball, rugby, touch) as well as traditional Māori games, kai intake, confidence building, coordination, te reo and tikanga Māori. Over the last quarter this has included:

• Whānau have taken part in 2,960 different activities this quarter, including:

• Low impact and fat-burning workouts

• Kickboxing routines

• Total body strength training

• Workouts for boosting metabolism

• Injury rehabilitation

• Eye and hand co-ordination

• Stretching sequences.

Navigator Tinana experts have lifted the ora and wairua of 2,086 whānau members this quarter, throughout the Te Waipounamu rohe. Looking after physical wellbeing, achieving work life balance and having the tools to support whānau to lead healthier lifestyles is the core purpose of this kaupapa. Have a look at what whānau say:

I gained knowledge in self defence and awareness of the maori cultural activities in Marlborough.

I am singing waiata, using poi and actions again. I have not done this since i was a young girl. I am 76yrs old. I have met lovely people who enjoy what i enjoy.

My eating patterns have changed and with it becoming a routine I have managed to be healthier and changed the lifestyle of my whānau to be more positive eating simple healthy kai. Our whānau participation has increased.

I am now joining my wife in eating healthy and exercising. I can’t get over how much more energy I have and can run a field again. I am inspiring my truckie mates into doing the same. My mates say I’m bloody crazy running the road and carrying tyre’s out in public when they drive past. My guts is not in the way and I can do full sit ups. I’m feeling pretty damn good.

Increased well-being a tinana me te wairua.

Pasifika Kai in the Fale

As the cool breezes of winter start to appear, our Pasifika team thought it would be a great idea to warm up the fale with some beautiful island kai. We were even honoured with the appearance of Ati Vili’s dad coming along to check up on son and make sure the kai was cooked just right. And oh what a feast we had: sapasui (chop sui); raw fish; palusami (taro leaves baked in coconut cream); coconut buns; taro, rice and a whole lot more. Suffice to say I don’t think productivity was at an all time high later that afternoon.


Gina-Lee Duncan; Anastasia Zaharioudaki and Dr Saba Azeem

Gina-Lee Duncan; Anastasia Zaharioudaki and Dr Saba Azeem


Vania Pirini and Vanessa Whangapirita

Vania Pirini and Vanessa Whangapirita


Ariana Mataki-Wilson; Carlos Thompson and Katarina McLean-Nutira

Ariana Mataki-Wilson; Carlos Thompson and Katarina McLean-Nutira



This week, two of our team, Gina-Lee Duncan and Vanessa Whangapirita, have been attending the national forum in Auckland convened by Te Rau Ora, Pātikitiki. Who should they meet there but friends from A3K in Dunedin, Anaru Phillips and Roera Komene.






It was great meeting up with Deb Raroa and Vikki Ham who both specialize in Maori Systems return. Currently they are focusing on kai; sovereignty- hauora – resilience – traditional practice – and equity. Sharing stories and knowledge in this space enables us to strengthen our kaupapa.

Auckland based PARS kaimahi – (People at risk solutions ) sit with the kaimahi of Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu. The purpose of PARS is to eliminate inequity, provide equal opportunities and empower individuals and whānau by supporting the self determined moemoea and wawata of tangata.




Attending events like this (like our symposium) are amazing opportunities to refresh and revitalise our skillset; to acquire new learning and to indulge in a moment of inspiration. The opportunity to renew connections and consolidate networks is also a bonus. Gina-Lee was rapt to reconnect with Rewi Ngatai.

The Pātikitiki Maori frameworks symposium 2021 is a forum for kaimahi Māori to whakawhanaungatanga , celebrate and share Maori frameworks utilised in practice. The kaupapa recognises the unique contribution kaimahi Māori make to uplift and protect mauri in the journey of whānau wellbeing. 

Many facilitators of influence presented, including Sharon Aroha Hawke, Sharon Shea, Hinewirangi Kohu Morgan, Patrick Salmon, Kataraina Pipi, and Kelly Carter to name a few. 

Links of interest include – – A indigenous approach to innovation with the kairua that embraces Tech-anga which is a fusion of Technology and tikanga. 

Tumanako Rangatahi Aonui Tomo is a forensic clinical social worker passionate about working with our Maori whānau in the arena of Hauora. A Youtube clip ‘It’s not about the nail’ is an example that he aligns to rangatahi humbling an audience.

Hui Whakaoranga


Hui Whakaoranga is a series of hui focused on taking a generational approach to Māori health development. By learning from our past and looking forward a generation, Hui Whakaoranga will help us to illuminate the pathway toward Pae Ora – healthy futures for whānau Māori.

Hui Whakaoranga in Dunedin will be held on Thursday 27 May (includes an evening session) and Friday 28 May 2021 at The Dunedin Centre.

Hui Whakaoranga – Virtual

A national, virtual, Hui Whakaoranga is also planned for 20 and 21 July 2021. You can also register for this event with Auaha through the following link: CLICK HERE

If you have any questions, you can email