Ka kitea a Matariki, ka rere te korokoro

‘When Matariki is seen, the lamprey migrate’ 

Koinei tētahi o ngā whakataukī maha e hāngai ana ki te ahunga mai o Matariki me ngā mahi e tika ana kia tutuki i a te tangata i mua i te taunga o te tau Takurua.

There are so many messages of wisdom, proverbs of hope and possibility, that encourage us to look to prepare for the winter months. It may be to harvest foods, it may be to stack up the firewood, it may be to gather and wananga.

This week one hundred of us from across Te Waipounamu gathered at the Dunedin Town Centre for the purpose of Hui Whakaoranga.

The approach to Hui Whakaoranga, including the agenda, was designed in collaboration with a range of key stakeholders (including Te Tumu Whakarae and the Māori Monitoring Group) and from insights and lessons from previous hui (such as Hui Whakaoranga 1984 and Te Ara Ahu Whakamaua).

The agenda was also informed by interviews with a range of rangatahi and rangatira Māori from across Aotearoa. These rangatahi and rangatira, captured on video by Mahi Tahi Media, have provided valuable insights that have helped to shape the hui agenda. This is a symbol of the intergenerational approach to planning for Māori health development that we require in moving forward.




For Hui Whakaoranga in Dunedin, creative illustrators from the League of Live Illustrators were present. Illustrators listened to our discussions and, in real-time, drew creative images representative of what they heard. A fabulous way of recording the korero.

It was a privilege to be part of the panel presenting at the hui, alongside of Tuari Potiki, Mata Cherrington, John Whaanga and Cazna Luke. Part of our challenge was to listen to the inspiration from the participants in the hui, and to focus on the questions:

  • What outcomes do we want to achieve over the next 25 years that will ensure the health and wellbeing of our mokopuna?

  • What do we need to do to achieve these outcomes?

  • How can we best work together locally, regionally and nationally to achieve these outcomes?




National Emergency Management conference

Another hui I had the good fortune to attend this week was the national emergency management agency gathering in Wellington. I participated, alongside of our wonderful pouwhakataki – Vanessa Whangapirita (Murihiku) and Kahutane Whaanga (Te Tauihu) in a workshop which featured different Māori community responses to crisis and adverse circumstances.

At the conference, a new ministerial committee was announced. It is an important recognition of the role that iwi bring in terms of their capability in relation to emergency management and acknowledging that their contributions have been essential – before, during and after emergencies.

The Minister for Emergency management, Hon Kiritapu Allan, after considering the findings from the review of the 2016 Kaikōura-Hurunui earthquake and tsunami and the 2017 Port Hills fire, wanted to ensure greater recognition, understanding and integration of iwi/Māori perspectives and tikanga in emergency management. The aim of the committee is to ensure that Māori perspectives are incorporated at all levels of our emergency management system and that the role marae, iwi and Māori organisations play is supported.

It is such an important recognition of the invaluable efforts of whānau, hapū, iwi, marae, Whānau Ora Navigators, Whānau Ora Partners, hauora and social service agencies, and Māori communities.

The members of the Ministerial Advisory Committee are:

Robyn Wallace (Chair) (Ngāi Tahu – Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Ngāti Kurī, Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki). Mrs Wallace is the former Ngāi Tahu Emergency Director and has substantial practical experience and extensive relationships across the emergency management sector as well as a Chair in governance positions.

Chris Tooley (Ngāti Kahungunu). Dr Tooley is the current Chief Executive of Te Puna Mataatua, a health and social services provider and has comprehensive experience in the provision of advice both to Ministers and iwi chairs. In addition, Dr Tooley was a member of the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Māori Reference Group.

Leonie Simpson (Ngāi Taiwhakaea, Ngāi Te Rangihouhiri, Ngāti Hokopū). Ms Simpson has extensive leadership experience as the current Chief Executive of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa and experience in leading in disasters through both the Whakaari and Edgecumbe events. Ms Simpson is legally qualified and brings the ability to navigate regulatory environments as well.

Kelly Stratford (Ngā Puhi, Ngāi Te Rangi). Mrs Stratford has local government experience as a councillor on the Far North District Council, representing the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Ward. She also brings community experience and has a background in business, strategic planning and governance.

Shane Graham (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Koroki-Kahukura). Mr Graham has extensive leadership experience as the current Chief Executive of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rarua. He also brings experience within government and in leading in disasters through both the Tasman Fires and the COVID-19 response.





Te Rongomaiwhiti ends a successful season

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been investing in Mahi Mahi Productions who in turn are fostering the skills and talents of whānau who wish to connect with the arts and performance industries and provide pathways for these whānau to become employed in the industry. 

Mahi Mahi recently staged a full immersion te reo Māori theatre experience including six evening shows in the Little Andrometer. Congratulations to Hohepa Waitoa, Briana Hutana and the whole crew, who came together to inspire us through the pūrakau:

Four mokopuna descended from four Atua Māori are sent to the sacred school of learning – ‘Te Wānanga o ngā Atua.’ There they are to learn how to harness their ‘mauri’ – inner power and one day carry out the important roles of their grandparents as guardians of ‘Te Ao’ and ‘Te Pō.’

Mahi Mahi are also holding an Arts Festival from 27-29 August 2021 at Ara. This will involve waiata, actors, visual arts, a haka dancers workshop and performances throughout the day. There will be a ‘superhero’ show at night. Ka mau te wehi!


New artwork to acknowledge the legacy of the Kuia of Karitane

This week, Ariana Mataki-Wilson and I enjoyed lunch with Waihao leader, Amanda Malu (Heath whānau), who is the Chief Executive of Whānau Awhina Plunket. Amanda is also the great great grand-daughter of the kuia Mere Harper, who along with Ria Tikini, was instrumental in the establishment of Plunket.

In celebrating the 114th birthday of Whānau Awhina Plunket and International Day of the Nurse 2021, a painting was unveiled, the Kuia of Karitāne, Mere Harper and Ria Tikini. This artwork was commissioned by a Kai Tahu artist of Onuku Marae, Akaroa, and captures the landscape of Karitāne, the artwork of Whānau Āwhina Plunket’s logo, and the portraits of these Kuia, healers and founding members of the Māori Health Workforce.






A webinar is being held to encourage the practical application of the Mana to Mana Practice resource. The first one is the Webinar on 3 June.

Alannah Marriot and Tric Malcolm, from Kore Hiakai, share their Mana to Mana Practice framework. This webinar series aims to assist the wide range of community food organisations as we together try to create a Food Secure Aotearoa by responding to those who are experiencing poverty related hunger, as well as addressing the systemic issues that drive that poverty.

Gumboot Friday

For those struggling with depression, it can feel like walking through mud every day. Today, May 28th is ‘Gumboot Friday’. Gumboot Friday provides whānau with the opportunity to show our support by putting on our gummies and joining the mental health conversation. Our staff will be donning their red-bands and supporting the kaupapa.

For more info visit