The incredible panoramic devastation as depicted by Keelan Walker showed us the impact of catastrophic flooding over the weekend. As torrential rain submerged the region, properties were cut off, and up to 900 families in Marlborough were evacuated. But not John Grey.
The Grey whānau are based at Wairau Pa and of course went through the 1983 floods. They choose not to evacuate, they’ve lived there all their life, and when the river was getting to its peak, they were there trying to protect property. John provided whānau with regular photos of river levels and damage so those on the other side of the Pa could see the threat and damage.
Disaster does remarkable things to people. Over on the West Coast, 300 houses were ‘yellow-stickered’; 70 received a red sticker. A yellow sticker means you can move back in but you are encouraged to disinfect anything flood waters may have come into contact with. A red sticker means you can go inside and clear our carpet and belongings, but you are NOT able to stay in the building.
Despite the levels of physical threat and material damage, whānau are always ready to find others who are worse off than them. We have been so well served by the people on the ground – Whānau Ora Navigators; kaimahi from Poutini Waiora and Te Ha o Kawatiri; Te Puni Kōkiri staff, community heroes. You all deserve our utmost gratitude; appreciation and thanks for everything you do on behalf of others in need.
One elderly couple had found a caravan to live in as their house was red stickered. There was no toilet or shower, and only a single bed. When our champion – and local girl Gina-Lee Duncan asked the older woman ‘is that sustainable?”, she smiled, then cried, and finally said “no dear – not even after all these years”. For the first time in her life they are signed up with emergency housing; they have been seen, they have been heard.
The MEAN Team
Up in Te Tauihu, The eight iwi have had a relationship with Civil defence since the 2011 earthquakes. As a result they formed the MEAN team (Māori Emergency Action network) In response to needs – they have iwi representatives on local emergency and civil defence boards. They have activated a Māori welfare recovery team. And it was that team that when the rains started coming, the MEAN team rose.
Young people need spaces, places and opportunities to connect
That was the takeout message from an event I was invited to speak at this week, Otautahi Mataora – the flourishing face of youth in Waitaha.
“Teenagers just need somewhere like wamr and enclosed that they can be safe, that they can just sit and talk with their friends, or they can like play games or something”
The stunning Kera Sheerwood O’Regan (Ngai Tahu and Activate Agency) was part of a panel discussion following the launch of a short film, Dear Christchurch – youth letters of hope to a city, produced and directed by Amanda Blue, Bluegirl Productions London. The focus was fair and square : what are the issues facing young people growing up in Otautahi?
Other speakers included Dame Sue Bagshaw with Dr Kate Prendergast (Hei Puawaitanga); Professor Bronwyn Hayward and Josiah Tuamali’i.
Awesome support from Foodbank Canterbury
An epic donation was received from Foodbank Centerbury this month – over 100 boxes of body wash, deodorant, and shaving sticks! So our Brotherhood community can pause on donating those things at the moment.
Thanks to Jordon and Savannah at Tinana Gym for their excellent modelling skills in this pic.
Heard of The Christchurch Aunties?
The Aunties collaborate with fifteen key local organisation such as women’s refuges, YWCA, Nga Maata Waka, Family Works, and Project Esther to provide practical donations to support women and children who have experienced family violence and/or hardship. They achieve this by mobilising our team of 4,700 ‘Aunties’ from North Canterbury to Ashburton, and across the Selwyn District. Last year they supplied nearly 10,000 donations to thousands of women and children, including security cameras, emergency flights, furniture, Christmas pressies, Love Grace handbags, toiletries, and birthday cakes.
Their Big Hearts campaign is underway – in which they encourage people to donate $15 for a badge which can be purchased at Mohair Store in Beckenham, Casino Court Motor Lodge on Papanui Road, or Friday Creative on St Asaph St. Alternatively we can send one out – all details are here: http://www.chchaunties.org.nz/. You can also check out recent updates, current needs, and impact feedback on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/christchurchaunties
The Minister and Tu Pono ki te Tauihu
This week Hon Marama Davidson paid a visit to Tu Pono Te Mana Kaha o te Whānau o te Tauihu o te Waka a Maui.The key message raised by co-Chair Shane Graham was No te whānau, E te whānau, ki te whānau. The hui discussed the emphasis of whānau endorsed, iwi endorsed and Iwi Chair endorsed focussed on prevention.
The hui spoke about wanting equitable funding and resource “we don’t want to be underfunded.” Why can’t our Māori therapeutic model receive equitable funding to Government services?
We invest in our people collectively and individually. We validate our whānau champions, we rely on whānau voice to speak their truth. Te Ahi Wairua O Kaikoura also alattended in support of Te Awhina Marae.
Minister Davidson was was very clear that this is an opportunity to take our collective solutions to Cabinet and our story is very similar to other regions of whānau centred solutions.
In attendance: Minister Davidson and Gabriel ; Whaea Molly; Shane Graham; Richard Hunter; Dianne Strong – Women’s Refuge; Joy Shorrock Manager at Te Awhina Marae; Quilla Kiore– newly appointed Pouwhakamana Whanau; Tracey Wharehoka – NZ Police; Lesley – Tū Pono Connector – Te Awhina Marae; Lorraine and Parata Hawke and Melissa Sadd – Emergency Dept NMDHB.
Rangatahi takatāpui — the ākonga who need you to listen
Ko tātou tēnei | This is us is action research, supported by CORE Education, that highlights the experiences of ākonga Māori who identify as rangatahi takatāpui – members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
The research brings together the pūrākau | stories, of five rangatahi takatāpui whose voices are often marginalised or made invisible in multiple ways in learning settings. It contains provocations and resources that invite kaiako, teachers, to move their relationships with takatāpui from sympathetic to empathetic to transformative.
Lex Davis (he/him)
Josh Hough (he/him)
Invitation to Catch up with Hon Carmel Sepuloni 11am Tuesday 27 July
Minister Sepuloni wants to meet with social services providers across Canterbury, next Tuesday 27 July at the Tait Technology Centre, 245 Wooldridge Road, Harewood.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
This week we had opportunity to celebrate our new pouwhakataki team who will be taking up the Regional Lead Team roles in the resilience work programme.
There is Kahutane Whaanga back for more in Te Tauihu; Eileen Wolland in Waitaha; and in Murihiku we have Vanessa Whangapirita and Natasha Barrett (youth justice).
COVID-19 Vaccination Cinics in Te Tauihu
There are new walk in clinics being offered to Whānau from this Sunday.
No bookings are required for these special Sunday clinics and we are encouraging whanau over 16 years of age, to attend together. Spread the word and awhi your loved ones to protect themselves and their whānau from Covid 19.
Sun 25th July 19 Henry Street
Sun 1st August 19 Henry Street
Sun 8th August Endeavor Park Picton
Sun 25th July 16 Paru Paru Rd Nelson Vaccination Centre
Sun 1st August 16 Paru Paru Rd Nelson Vaccination Centre
Sun 8th August 16 Paru Paru Rd Nelson Vaccination Centre
When: 10am -4pm
Matariki ki Māhuhu
Finally I ended the week at Matariki ki Māhuhu – the Tamaki Makaurau office of the National Hauora Coalition.
During the morning, it was a privilege to support our Kahurangi, Dame Hon Tariana Turia in the opening of Te Turangawaewae Manahau a Tariana Turia.