Today marks Te iwi o Matariki- when the star cluster can be seen in the pre-dawn sky. The dawning of the Matariki enables us to draw on the inspiration of the constellation of stars to welcome the first fruits of the new year that comes upon us. Tupu-ā-nuku encourages us to consider more carefully what we are putting into Papatūānuku; to protect and preserve.

This week at Omaka Pa in Blenheim it was so encouraging to see all our beautiful tamariki indulging in the fruit and nut platters so elegantly on display. This is manaaki –literally (About — Manaaki ( and a breath of inspiration to focus on hauora – physically, socially, mentally, spiritually.



We were at Omaka Pa to support the Joint Venture Business Unit who completed their national roadshow on the elimination of family and sexual violence this week. Having watched this kura grow over the last five years, I am so proud to see the enormous growth in pride; the abundance of enthusiasm and passion that the tamariki hold themselves with. It is a huge tribute to the inspiration provided by the original foundation of Pa Ora, Pa Wananga.



At Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora in Dunedin, Tu Pono champions, Luana and Hermina, helped support Ariana Mataki-Wilson in the hosting of the hui.

In Christchurch, the legacy and life-lessons shared with us from Whaea Inupo Farrar provided some points of principle for Government to respond to. Our heartfelt mihi to the Māori wardens who supported the hui in Otautahi.




The hui at Te Awhina Marae in Motueka provided an ideal opportunity for the signing of a kawenata between TU Pono ki te Tauihu and the marae. Shane Graham and Barney Thomas, who are from the Board of Tu Pono te mana o te Tauihu were in attendance at the hui. Shane (on behalf of the board) and Joyce (Tumuaki for the marae) signed the kawenata at the end of the day.




I was impressed by this fantastic panel put together by local school, Te Kura o Pakarana.





In Motueka, I also met up with Tania Corbett, who had received contributory funding for her project, Te Pae Ako Ahurea – which is around cultural competency. [Wave 14- contributory]. Tania is pictured above with Lesley Gray who is our Tu Pono Connector. There was some challenging korero at the hui – the savage impacts of intergenerational sexual abuse; the role of iwi in confronting perpetrators; the legacy of Hine-ahu-one and of wahine tupuna who are represented in the pou in the whare.

But what was also remarkable was the honesty; the courage and the determination of whānau to air the issues; and to confront the ngarara that is violence in all our lives.



While in Motueka I stopped in for a coffee with Hineora McLeod-Bennett who received partial funding for her clothing line, Me and Marley. In the Wave 14 application it said:


Our vision for Me + Marley is to not just to find another way to educate and normalize the use of te reo but to POSITIVELY promote it. We want to counter act the negative stereotypes surrounding young Māori youth in particular by actively promoting positive kupu on our range. Creating a shift in not only the customers mind set of how they value and see themselves but also those who see us wearing this range. We also want to educate others in Te Reo and encourage people to learn and speak Māori just as we would English. This is where the unique concept of a “dictionary style” clothing range comes in to play. All our range will include a positive kupu in te reo and then a translation in English.

Over a coffee Hineora told me how her inspiration for Me and Marley was to let her daughter know that anyone can establish themselves in a business; but also as a way to promote a positive vibe. She was passionate; she was enthusiastic; she is the epitome of the Whānau Ora approach.

The magic of Matariki



Matariki is a time to ensure the storehouses are full; to feast on the abundance of gifts from the forest and the land, from the seas and the rivers. It is a time to prepare the soil for the coming year. This week our team came together for a wonderful day to reset, renew, reimagine the world we create. Our kaimahi took part in a range of activities, each one motivated by one of the stars of Matariki – our kai together was about cherishing Tupuānuku – food from the ground; the tarot readings may connect you to Pohutukawa – those who watch over you; or maybe just a moment of mindfulness, and to write ourselves a note that we keep just for ourself – to make a promise about what we are going to let drop away, or what we are going to focus on in the year to come.

Opening of Tinana Gym



Meanwhile across town in Christchurch, the official opening of Tinana free Community Gym at He Waka Tapu was led by a beautiful karakia and then it was all speed, sweat, water and weight competitions.

It is a awesome set up for our people on the East side – for those whānau who cannot afford a gym membership or clubs and teams who want to come down for a workout.

Savanah Hodgson and Jordan Wawatai are featured gathering themselves for the day ahead. Tinana free community gym offers strength equipment, cardio equipment, group fitness, individual training, health clinics and education. The community classes are:

  • Tuesday and Thursday 8.45am-9/15am with Ra

  • Saturdays 7.30am-8.30am (fortnightly) with Ra

  • Saturdays 9-10am (weekly) with Bubs

  • Thursday #WeRwell wellbeing group 10.30am-11.30am (fortnightly)


Where: Tinana Community Gym; 321 Pages Road; Wainoni; Christchurch


Māori Community Cancer Hui

Some of our team were really impressed to attend the community cancer hui at He Waka Tapu last week. The hui was strongly focused on whānau and their personal hikoi going through the system and how change needed to occur. Whānau were in tears sharing their experiences of racism and vulnerability. There were stories told about inequalities in primary care and secondary care whilst going through cancer treatment or diagnosis.


Ngati Porou ki Waitaha provided fabulous entertainment at the cancer hui

Ngati Porou ki Waitaha provided fabulous entertainment at the cancer hui


Key themes that came from the focus groups 

  • Racist system in Primary care and Secondary care

  • Lack of cultural competency

  • Whānau feeling dumb because they don’t know what questions to ask when they are diagnosed.

  • Maori health workforce development to be nourished

  • Solution based outcomes included working collectively with kaupapa Māori providers and rongoa practitioners

  • There was also reference to a desire for Whānau Ora Navigators to help our whānau when first entering into cancer treatment as well as Tele Health (credible online resources).

Te Kiwai and the Knights

Finally, it was great to get this shout-out from one of the kura who has benefitted from our Te Kiwai funding this week. Te Kīwai is available to tamariki and rangatahi between 5-18 living in Te Waipounamu, Rakiura and Rekohu/Wharekauri, and is designed to help remove barriers to participation in sport and recreation. Each tamariki or rangatahi is eligible for up to $300.00 per year to contribute to: Clothes and shoes e.g. uniforms, sneakers, boots.

“The Knights Netball Club and our Under 12 & 13 teams would like to give a massive shout out to Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu and Sports New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa for all their mahi that has gone towards the Te Kīwai funding. The girls love their new shoes and looked really smart out on the courts on Saturday. Tēnā rawa atu koutou katoa”.

Tukua kia tū takitahi ngā whetū o te rangi

Let each star in the sky shine its own light