The serene beauty of Te Rāpaki-o-Te Rakiwhakaputa was the landscape for which a beloved husband, father, Pōua, coach, umpire, cousin, friend and brother was sadly laid to rest this week. Damon Ruki, (1972-2021) was celebrated by the masses; mourners who came to pay their respects to the man known affectionately as “DD”.

But the acknowledgements of this great man were not just laid down on the marae; in netball courts across the region, teams wore black armbands out of respect to a mentor and an influencer; a man who laid the foundations for the development of Te Waipounamu Māori Netball; a proud advocate for the Premier team, Kia Toa.

We share our love with Whānau Ora Navigator for Taumutu, Corrina Ruki; their children Manawa and Jarman; and their mokopuna, siblings, and whānau pani.

Moe mai i te rangatira, e Damon, moe mai ra. Our love to the wider Ruki, Kamo, Whaitiri and King whānau at such a sad time.





Bros for Change graduation

It has been a massive year at Bros for Change with new staff and two programmes running at the same time. In the midst of all the changes, Bros for Change embarked on a massive two week road trip around the North Island discovering whakapapa, identity and pepeha. 

On Wednesday night, the squad, whānau and the wider school community came together to celebrate the achievements that the graduands have taken on over the last five months. It was just so wonderful to know these were young men were able to finish this program with 100% completion

The graduation was held at their Wainoni base; each of the rangatahi introduced in true Hollywood fashion – with all the hype, the gymnastics, the flips and somersaults.

The boy with the glasses was awarded the warrior of the year.

Eight of these young men graduated and another two had left the programme as they found employment. All in all a very positive result all around!









Below is a link to the new waiata ‘Kōkiri’

Produced by Hani Totorewa (Ngaati Naho), with support from Creative Nātives and Te Whakaruruhau o ngā Reo Irirangi Māori, ‘Kōkiri’ honours the revolutionaries who fought for the recognition of Te Reo Māori as an official language of Aotearoa.

WERO Warriors celebrate Te Kiwai




I love these photos of all these beautiful babies at Nga Hau E Wha Marae Kohanga Reo in Invercargill.

Vania Pirini gave a kōrero to them on Te Kiwai fund and the parents were really into it. The pepi loved their T-Hati.

Thank you Pikia whānau for the invitation. 

One of the highlights of the 2021 Symposium, was the session run by Wero Warrior – the Pikia whanau and wider whanau who are championing strategies to overcome various challenges to lead a healthy lifestyle. 

There are two main components of the whanau initiative, Tinana Pai and a holiday programme. 

  • Tinana Pai includes a range of activities aimed at motivating whanau to lead healthier lifestyles. This includes a 10-week weight loss initiative, and a sports activity whanau initiative where the whanau try new sports. There is also a healthy kai and te reo Maori component, which will be mainly delivered thru wananga. The wananga will also involve weaving, taiaha, waiata, and kai preparation, while learning and using te reo Maori. The whanau will also support each other around individual goals such as reducing smoking. 

The holiday programme provides affordable care for up to twenty tamariki, aged between 5 to l5 years of age. Activities on the whanau initiative will include toi maori, cooking, sport and cultural activities. This initiative provides an opportunity for whanau to have meaningful engagement to address their own health and wairua issues in a culturally competent and safe environment.


Te Ora Hou, Christchurch

Last week, the Hapori team lead a PATH wananga with 14 whānau from the community.


PATH wananga is a monthly workshop where rangatahi and whānau are invited to map out their moemoea (dreams and aspirations). Just like most wananga, those who attended last week were nervous at first – some were not comfortable introducing themselves and didn’t want to share at all. But with a bit of manaaki and some honest sharing of stories around the room, by the end of the wananga the atmosphere was buzzing and whānau were openly sharing their moemoea. It’s important for Te Ora Hou to create a space where whānau feel safe to dream.


Chanelle was a part of the first Rangatahi Tū Rangatira Leadership programme which was delivered to Year 12 wahine at Avonside Girls’ High School in 2018.

Rangatahi tū Rangatira is a Youth Leadership Programme that aims to inspire young Māori and Pasifika rangatahi to discover and grow their individual strengths in leadership. Its goal is to challenge the inbred mana of our Rangatahi to stand and be a Rangatira in school, home and community.

She came to Te Ora Hou with such a bubbly persona and a real care free attitude towards life and was always keen to give things a go – except for when we challenged her to put her name forward for leadership positions, she had such big doubts, certainly didn’t want to put her name down for Head Girl. But by the end of that year, – Chanelle was picked to be Head Girl for her Kura for the following year! A massive achievement and a role that she was definitely built for.

After a successful year of leading Avonside High School – Chanelle is now working towards a degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Canterbury, she spends her time studying psychology, Māori, youth work, law and criminal studies, holds down a part-time job and continues her connection as a youth leader and volunteer for many of their events and programmes and is a valuable member of the Whakapakari Leadership programme.


Fast floods and rapid recovery

Our hearts have been with the whānau and Whānau Ora Navigators supporting all of the families displaced and distressed through the floods that have ravaged Te Waipounamu this week. It has required a rapid recovery effort to clean up garages, return to drenched homes and start the massive restoration required in homes across the Hurunui, Waitaha, Arowhenua and Hakatere regions. 

Mauriora Kombucha

This week the first of the successful Wave 14 initiatives have started on a series of workshops to develop their reporting and monitoring milestones. How lucky were we to sample the delicious wares of Mauriora Kombucha in the whare! Mauriora Kombucha

Mauriora Kombucha is a hands-on Whanau operation in the business of nurturing a living culture. Tamara, Natalia and Booker T are the dynamic trio behind Mauriora Kombucha. Their journey began with a koha of a SCOBY from a close whānau friend over nine years ago. They became curious and intrigued about its health benefits and what started as a hobby quickly blossomed into an obsession for themselves and their whānau health and wellbeing.

Combining their passion for health and wellbeing along with their love for their culture and te reo as tāngata whenua planted a seed of hope & aspiration in sharing these taonga with everyone.








Matariki Event in the Top of the South

Coming soon: an amazing MATARIKI cultural experience/fundraiser for our beautiful Te Pā Wānanga babies so they can get a playground at their kura. 

Matariki ki Omaka – Matariki ki Omaka, matariki, tamariki – ASB Theatre

Dine and discover as we celebrate and educate you around the meaning and significance of Matariki. We will wow you with Maori culture, sensational kai, art auctions and unforgettable entertainment including our fabulous MC Anika Moa.

Come along and support the tamariki of Marlborough’s only bilingual school Te Pa Wananga o Omaka Marae as we fundraise for their playground.

Venue: Omaka Marae

Date: Saturday, 26 June

Time: 6:00pm

Admit 1: $100