Amandla, Power to the People

Just over thirty years ago, on the 6th August 1990, I packed my life into my car; said goodbye to Ōtautahi and drove to Whanganui-a-Tara to start a new era.

I had been a classroom teacher at Hagley Community Learning Centre. I loved that job. The rangatahi in our whānau bilingual class were born to lead. They were resilient and resistant; rebellious and energetic. I loved their courage to speak out; their belief in one another; their refusal to be typecast. Our prefab classroom was just outside the gates of the rest of the campus. It became symbolic to us that we were living on the edge; creating our own landscape of learning. There was a skateboard pad just outside our window; a carving studio located in the centre of our block; our whare had a kitchen to cook up noodles or frybread. We took on te reo rangatira with a passion; we prepared for the manu korero and regional kapa haka. And one fabulous day Whaea Bev Maata-Hart and I bundled the entire class into our two cars and went to the theatre.

In those days, seatbelts were not compulsory – indeed many cars only had seatbelts in the front seat. Bevvy drove a Holden station-wagon and I was driving a Chevrolet impala (pillarless) and between us we were able to fit the whole class of twenty or so rangatahi. The concert was a South African stage show – Amandla. As we left the show we all hung our heads out the window and sung at the top of our lungs, Amandla, Amandla!

Amandla in the Nguni languages means “power”. The word was a popular rallying cry in the days of resistance against apartheid, used by the African National Congress and its allies. The leader of a group would call out “Amandla!” and the crowd would respond with “Awethu” or “Ngawethu!” (to us), the rallying cry “power to the people!”.

I will always remember that moment. We were inspired by the freedom fighters to know that human rights were worth protecting; that indigenous ways of being should be celebrated. We united with the cause of justice; it was soul-solidarity; a connection of hearts and minds. We knew we were stronger together; that no institution or individual; no system could beat us. We would willingly take on the world.

When I see the former students of that time – people like Chevy Allen, Huata Arahanga, Piri and Rahera Cowie; Marz, Ngaire and Gary Hunt; Debra Kidwell; Jayne Tutaki; Nathan Tau; Corrina Ruki (King) – and so many more – I am immediately transported back to that attitude of invincibility; that spirit of fire that ignited something in me. I believed I could touch the sky; that the children were our future; that the lyrics of the songs we sung then could reinforce our knowledge that ‘we are the world’. It is a very precious memory of moments that encouraged me to grow; that showed me nothing was impossible; that our collective strength was our greatest resource.






The Winning Attitude




Biggest congratulations to Birthright Canterbury Trust who took out the gold medal in the Selwyn Awards 2021 for the Diversity and Inclusion Category. The Diversity and Inclusion Category was a newly added category for the Selwyn Awards for this year.

Birthright was represented by Lynette MacDonald, community facilitator and Rhodora Sagles, manager during the Awards Night.  Lynette and Rhodora both went up the stage when they heard Birthright Canterbury Trust called out for the Gold award for Diversity and Inclusion.

“We felt so excited, proud of this achievement -made possible by the local champions, the whānau members who attend Hui Mātua and all our funders and supporters.   As we listened and clapped for other nominees and awardees, we are so grateful to be part of this mahi. It was truly a night of celebration of the outstanding people and organisations all trying to make a difference in the District.

Vaccination clinics across Te Tauihu

The COVID-19 Immunisation Programme in Te Tauihu has a whānau centred approach.
This means that when a member of the whānau is eligible to book, you can book in your whole whānau to be vaccinated at the same time!


Book in with your preferred hauora provider:

Te Piki Oranga: 0800 672 642
Te Hauora o Ngāti Rarua: 03 577 8404
Marlborough PHO: 0800 268 822
Nelson Bays PHO: 0800 358 4636




Nav Nation meet up at Rehua Marae in Otautahi








This week marked the start of the second group of Navigators on the Level 4 Health and Wellbeing learning journey. We have a total of 36 Whānau Ora Navigators working through this course at Rehua Marae and the following are some whakaaro that the navigators have shared thus far:

‘…my cup is overflowing with aroha, matauranga and pukenga…’

‘…making connections is massive for me…’

‘…Although I feel nervous, knowing that I have the power of the collective onboard is comforting…’

‘…I’m beginning to feel comfortable in being challenged…’

‘…this is another example of – He waka eke noa…’

‘…thank you for this opportunity to do this together in a way and style that I know…’

The next step is to explore the possibility of co-facilitating and co-delivering the Level 5 Diploma of Whānau Ora with ARA. We will be posting to Tatai Whetu a Poll to capture navigators who may be interested in registering an interest. Alternatively, an email registering your navigator/s interest would suffice.

Have a look at some of these videos from the recent Programming Māori Potential weekend of workshops (PMP).  The winning team originally got investment of $40k but have now been told this has been increased to $100k investment for the winning idea. The team that came third we have been told are in talks with ACC around there idea.

Programming Māori Potential (PMP) is a 10-week digital start up accelerator using hackathon and design thinking methodologies, focusing on digital-tech solutions to solve wicked problems. So, like an elongated start up weekend across six weeks ending with a hackathon, and pitch to investors.






PMP will engage and connect with 125 rangatahi Māori (17-19 years of age) across five regions within Aotearoa. The winners of each region will then come together to pitch their businesses to an array of investors and judges. Participating rangatahi will be exposed to problem solving, 21st century skills, design thinking, and entrepreneurship skills whilst being exposed, connecting and rubbing shoulders with industry leaders, mentors and entrepreneurs throughout the 10 weeks. PMP is a programme that is delivered by HTK Group and supported by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

Kai Connoisseurs

Potiki Poi

PMP video




Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is delighted to celebrate 14 year old Georgia Latu  of Potiki Poi, who was awarded the Young Achiever’s Award in this year’s Nga Tohu o Matariki o te Tau.

Georgia Tiatia Fa’atoese Latu was raised in kohanga reo and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ōtākou.   Her connection to the community has been instrumental in creating the village to consolidate success.   At the annual Matariki awards Georgia was honoured as the CEO of Potiki Poi; the world’s largest Māori owned poi manufacturer.  Potiki Poi has been supported by Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu as a Whānau Ora entity.

The opportunities that Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu offers means that  Pōtiki Poi is now an entity that can employ people, from people in their whānau, to people with diverse abilities, people who work in part-time capacities and friends.    There is now an established relationship between Pōtiki Poi and Cargill Enterprises which supports local disabled persons to secure employment.   But the initiative goes further than employment – it also includes a book called Nga Mihi- the whakapapa of poi.

“They worked with Otago Museum staff to learn about how poi were made in the past and to make decisions about how they would make poi today. They have considered how this information shapes their responsibility as makers of poi. Georgia now leads workshops about the history of poi and teaches participants how to use poi” (Ihi Evaluation, Review of Commissioning Pipeline, 2021)

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu Pouārahi, Helen Leahy, said she is not surprised that Georgia has been singled out at this year’s Matariki awards for Māori excellence.

“One aspect that is a particular feature for Potiki Poi is their strong commitment to living and natural environments. Everything is recycled. They have even gone so far as towards ensuring the type of plastic used for making poi must reflect an environmentally friendly agenda.

“We are so proud of Georgia – and her mother Anna – and congratulate Potiki Poi on this stunning success”.

New role: Relationship and Engagement Manager

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is delighted to be advertising for a new role –  Relationship and Engagement Manager.  In this role, you will foster and strengthen pathways, relationships, and programmes across local and regional communities in Te Waipounamu to facilitate better outcomes for our whānau.

You will also support and manage a team of kaimahi engaged in Whānau Ora Navigation; in Mokopuna Ora; in Tu Pono: Te Mana Kaha o te Whānau and in Resilience.

The key focus of this position will be relationship management and development. Both maintaining key relationships Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu already has but also finding new networks and leads which benefit the organisation and your team.   If you would like a copy of the full position description or for any further information please email

Applications close on Friday 27th August at 5pm.

Best of luck to Jahkaya Tukaki and Delane Luke for the baby on the way






Last day today for our fabulous Jahkaya, our kaiarahi – who is on the journey of parental leave. We can’t wait for baby to arrive!

Our best wishes to everyone at Arowhenua Whānau Services who have been shortlisted for the Taonga Award at this weekend’s South Canterbury Healthcare Awards Gala.

Have a look at their amazing story:

Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children would like to invite you to take part in shaping ongoing changes to financial and non-financial support for caregivers. For information about these changes, see:

Where: Dunedin, Mō Tātou Tīpuna Clinic, 285 South Road, Caversham
When:  10 August, 10am – 2.30pm

Please let Oranga Tamariki know at least three working days before the hui if you would like to attend. To RSVP email