Enroute to Motueka

Enroute to Motueka


I was at a kaumatua hui this week when a question was asked of a kuia, what would she do when all her mokopuna went off to school. Her answer was immediate:

“Wait for them to come home”.

Sometimes it’s the simple messages that we need to hear, to remind us what’s important.

Speaking at the hui was Hon Dame Tariana Turia. She told a story of when she was a little girl, living with her aunty Wai (Waiharakeke Hunia). One day young Tariana found a shilling on the floor. Filled with the delicious anticipation of what this fortune might provide, she ran to the shop, and below long all the cousins were sitting together on the verandah, eating lollies to their heart’s delight.

Aunty Wai then drew young Tariana aside and asked her where she got the money from to buy the sweets.   Tariana replied, “it was on the floor in the bedroom”.

“And was it yours?” asked Aunty Wai.

“”I found it” came the reply.

“That’s not the question I asked” said Aunty Wai. “Was it yours to spend”?

You might remember the rhyme, ‘Find a penny, pick it up, and all day you’ll have good luck” or “Finders keepers, losers weepers”. Aunty Wai didn’t believe in that riddle. Her message to young Tariana was that what she had done was nothing less than theft. It was a harsh message to hear at the time, but the point was not lost.

Whānau Ora reminds us to cherish what is ours; to restore to ourselves a sense of belonging; the wonder of connection. It challenges us not to covet that which doesn’t belong to us; but to fall in love with all that we are, and all that we will be.

One of the kōrero I loved the most from these beautiful kuia and koroua was almost a competition as to who has the naughtiest mokopuna. But just as quickly as they laughed about the mokopuna mischief, they spoke with love that they wouldn’t have it any other way – that they worshipped the ground their mokopuna walked on.

Music for the heart; a song for the soul.

Te Ara Tapu-o-Hohepa

Meanwhile in Motueka, Tania and Sean Delany are setting up a prefab unit at their whare to start production from home for two natural products: “Patu Waeroa” a mosquito and sandfly repellent and “Tane-Whakapiki-Ora” used for sprains, bruising, healing tendons and mending bones.

The Kotahitanga Motueka Charitable Trust are supporting Tania Delany and her whanau with the initiative to make and produce Māori, Papatuanuku-friendly products that are whānau owned and whānau driven. 

The aims of the initiative are not limited to creating and selling products. Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is proud to invest in this whānau entity as the underlying message for this kaupapa is about ‘hauora’ and ‘educating’ whanau to once again, become familiar with our rakau rongoa, environment and all its facets.

Mehrtz Meats – Andre Mehrtens: Hokitika

Over on the West Coast, Andre and Nigel Mehrtens, through WAVE funding, have been able to kit out their home kill business with equipment (although the photos might be a little gruesome for the blog).

Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu is funding the whanau initiative Mehrtz Meats who wish to expand their part time home-kill operation into a fulltime registered business. Andre and Nigel have over 16 years’ experience in the home-kill meat trade. The last four years have seen them build a client base that provides whānau throughout Te Tai Poutini with meat of their own, which saw an increased demand during the lockdown period because ofthe impact of COVID-19. 

Mehrtz Meats intend to expand their current business specialising in small goods so that they can become more independent and sustainable. This independence will allow them to spend more valuable time with their whānau. With the increased interest from their tamariki and wider whanau members, Mehrtz Meats intend to pass on their skills and knowledge about home-kill processes to whānau whānui.

The Compound Studio – Manaia Davies: Ōtautahi 

The Compound Studio Incorporated is a dance studio in the heart of Otautahi CBD that the mother-daughter duo Yerane and Manaia Davies established when Manaia was only l6 years old following their dream of owning her own dance studio. 

They provide a safe and inclusive space for whanau to express and explore their creative talents through dance. The Compound Studio plan to use this funding to hold dance sessions one Friday a month with different role models within the New Zealand dance community to inspire rangatahi.

Manaia held her first Friday session recently with well-known choreographers from all over Aotearoa, all of Māori and Pasifika descent.  This is an amazing initiative for somebody her age to have created such a great space for people to express their creative talents through dance.  

Have a look:  https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1gus_5toDYIpR4scRIBALwMrt-xhNHaW5 and the website: https://www.thecompoundstudio.co.nz/ 

Matariki Mushrooms – Motueka

Recently Kahutane Whaanga, our Resilience Pouwhakataki, attended a Mushroom Wananga for Matariki Mushrooms where mushrooms were grown on logs.  Whānau were encouraged to bring their tamariki and this was normalised by the facilitators also having their tamariki at the wa.  


The balance of wahine/tane facilitation was awesome along with the utilisation of aural, visual and kinaesthetic modalities of teaching.  This enabled all akonga to learn regardless of preferred way of learning. Whānau were taught, shown how, given a start to create their own mushroom growing as well as the tools they need to continue to extend their mushroom gardens with tools and mushroom dowel spawn to keep learning going post wa.


Whānau were inquisitive, willing to learn and excited to know that Aotearoa has taonga in the mushroom realm. This kaupapa resonated for Kahutane particularly who could see that Matariki Mushrooms are able to interconnect with our Koanga Kai initiatives.

Matariki Mushrooms is being championed by Valeta Sowka and Mihau Wienboecker: in Motueka

  • “Our very first wananga was booked to full capacity and was a great success in terms of participant engagement and enthusiasm. We received a lot of valuable feedback as well as encouragement. Another key highlight has been finding our most ideal site for our mycoremediation pilot project ‘Heal The Whenua’; we are now just waiting on the green light from local iwi body for permission to proceed with this soil decontamination project.








Education, Health and Sports Grants Open – Ngati Koata

Ngati Koata Trust’s Education, Health and Sports grant funding round opened on 1 July. Applications and relevant information must be received by the closing date 31 July. After processing all applicants will be informed of the outcome. Download an application form from our website or pick up a hard copy from the Trust Office. Email applications to pa@ngatikoata.com or drop them off. The next funding round will open in October.

Farm 4 Life given supreme honour at KUMA Māori Business Awards 

Trailblazing Kiwi ‘edutainment’ business Farm 4 Life was announced the guardian of the top 2021 Te Kupeka Umaka Māori ki Araiteuru (KUMA) Māori Business Award last weekend.  Farm 4 Life, an online learning platform that delivers on-demand education for the dairy industry and owned and founded by local Māori farming identity Tangaroa Walker.

About 110 people from around Otago, Southland and the Queenstown Lakes District attended the dinner and awards ceremony at the Elmwood Gardens in Invercargill including kaumatua and KUMA patron Tā Tipene and Lady Sandra O’Regan, mana whenua, and our own Southern Belle Vania Pirini.

Vania was delighted to be at the table of Ngā Kete Matauranga Pounamu (Waihōpai Invercargill) who won the Resilience and Wellbeing award.   She told us how proud she was when they called out their name!

Ngā Kete Matauranga Pounamu is a mana whenua-mandated kaupapa Māori Health and Social service in its 21st year of delivery. We are so proud of Ngā Kete Matauranga Pounamu and thrilled to support them with Whānau Ora Navigators.

Ta Tipene spoke about outstanding successful Māori business recognition, celebrating particularly the initiative of Kaikoura Whale Watch.

We were also so very proud of the winner of the Emerging Enterprise (includes Rangatahi) category:

Reigning Downs Hauora Centre (Waihōpai Invercargill):

Reigning Downs is an alternative educational facility where hauora, manaakitanga and whanaungatanga are its main focus. All programs are individually created by a fully registered teacher to meet the needs of each individual participant or group. The essential skills for learning are embedded when working with hōiho (horses): confidence, leadership, building positive relationships and problem-solving.


Tracey Wright-Tawha, Founder of Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu, accepting the award

Tracey Wright-Tawha, Founder of Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu, accepting the award



COVID-19 Vaccination links

Below is a link to the schedule of COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Te Tauihu. Bookings are essential and can be made by calling 0800 ORANGA (672 642). They can help with transport to and from the clinics, just let us know when you book your appointment.  https://www.tpo.org.nz/get-vaccinated-covid-19
For those outside of Te Tauihu talk to your local Māori Health Service Provider or visit the government’s COVID-19 website

Whakanuia te tau hou Māori,2021 Celebrating the Māori new year in Invercargill.


Last weekend, there was a full day of celebrations led by one of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu commissioning initiaitives, Mai Time.  Mai Time founder Joyce Manahi daughters and mokopuna really put on a fantastic day for all whānau of the four winds in Waihopai. 

It was a chance to get together with local Southlanders to relax and experience a romiromi or mirimiri massage, tarot card readers were supporting the kaupapa (including an accurate prediction of this weeks lotto numbers) and the highlight was celebrating with local kaumatua karakia Aunty Myra Clark who acknowledged the whānau who have left us for beyond the veil. It was also a great day to share food, tell stories, sing waiata from our local kapa haka group, play music – all a brilliant way to start the Māori new year with exciting and new beginnings.





Te Tai Tonga Reo Māori Summit

The inaugural Te Tai Tonga Reo Māori Summit is being hosted in Whakatū this year and is an exciting opportunity to gather all language champions together from throughout the rohe to discuss how we continue to grow te reo Māori within our communities.   The event will be held over three days at the Rutherford Hotel in Nelson. Register here: http://mokowhiti.co.nz/te-tai-tonga-reo-maori-summit

Taonga Puoro

Our new Pouwhakataki for Waitaha, Eileen Wolland, attended a Taonga Pūoro workshop this week with Whaea Marlena and Matua Rex at Tuahiwi kura.  Taonga pūoro were originally used for a range of purposes:

  • as a call to arms in warfare

  • as a signalling device

  • to warn of imminent danger

  • to sound the dawning of a new day

  • to communicate with Māori gods

  • to signify the planting of certain crops at different times of the year.

Taonga puoro (Māori musical instruments) are made from hue, including the hue puruhau; kōauau pongaihu, poi āwhiowhio or ‘whistling gourd’, and hue puruwai.




New Whānau Ora Navigators appointed in Te Waipounamu

An independent panel has now met on two occasions to consider requests for new Navigator roles that have come in over the last twelve months. 

New Navigator roles have been appointed to: Positive Directions Trust, Christchurch; Cholmondeley Centre, Christchurch; Oranga Tamariki, Christchurch; Te Taumutu Papatipu Runaka, Christchurch; Waihopai Marae, Invercargill; Omaka Pa, Blenheim; Canterbury Men’s Centre Christchurch; and SkillSec Dunedin.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been working with Cholmondeley through an investment in the Awhi Project.  The Awhi project enables the Cholmondeley Children’s Centre the ability to work more closely with whānau who regularly reach out to Cholmondeley for support outside of their standard respite capacity. The aim of the Awhi project is to help whānau address issues that are adding to their stresses and crisis situations and help alleviate these where possible.


Contract advisor Joanne Pera with Manager Robyn Wallace and kaimahi from Cholmondeley

Contract advisor Joanne Pera with Manager Robyn Wallace and kaimahi from Cholmondeley


Kōanga Kai

It is great to see Nelson City Council making it easier for whanau to access Maara supplies through the local libraries:




We were so exhilarated by a recent visit to our office by TupuToa founder; Chief Executive/Toihau, Anne Fitisemanu and her colleague Awhina Kanohi who is the Kaihāpai Hōtaka Programme & Partner Support.

In our Investment Plan we have the following commitment

  • Develop whānau research capability through engaging with students, universities, researchers and Crown research institutes.

  • Provide capability development through internships, mentoring and research opportunities.

I see the internships with Tupu Toa being an important aspect of this.  TupuToa is an innovative Internship Programme creating pathways for Māori and Pacific students into careers in the corporate and professional sectors; borne from a need to see increased Māori and Pacific representation in corporate leadership. TupuToa was catalysed by the New Zealand Global Women Trust and is supported by leading organisations across corporate Aotearoa.   

Their 2019/20 cohort included 210 Māori and Pacific interns across 80+ organisations taking interns. Their 2020/21 cohort is looking to offer upwards of 230+ Māori and Pacific internships across the partner network. We are so excited to get onboard.