There’s a quote attributed to the writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Speech is power. Speech is to persuade; to convert; to compel”. In te ao Māori the relationship between kōrero and mana is well established.

Tā te rangatira tāna kai he korero, tā te ware he muhukai. The chief’s sustenance is discussion but the low born is inattentive

Every year, 14 regions compete in the Ngā Manu Kōrero National Secondary School’s Speech competition. Competitors must first win their regionals to qualify for nationals.

The competition is made up of four sections: Pei Te Hurinui for Senior Māori, Korimako for Senior English, Rāwhiti Ihaka for Junior Māori and Sir Turi Carroll for Junior English.

This year, the inaugural virtual Nga Manu Korero was based at Palmerston North in the Manawatu.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu celebrates and congratulates all kura, all kaikorero, all whānau who represented us so brilliantly over the course of this week.

Pei Te Hurinui Jones – Senior Māori

  • Kiringāua Cassidy – He Waka Kōtuia
  • Vahlondra Galiki – Tuia te Matangi
  • Te Kairangi Paki – Te Kura Whakapūmau

Korimako – Senior English

  • Cai Heperi – Queen’s High School
  • Sophia Clarke-Walker – Te Pā o Rākaihautū
  • Ngākau Moka-Tengu – Nelson College

Te Rāwhiti Ihaka – Junior Māori

  • Xanthe Banks – Nayland College
  • Henare Kahukiwa –  Te Kura Whakapūmau
  • Te Atarau Cassidy – King’s High School

Sir Turi Carroll – Junior English

  • Hope Te Whiu – Marlborough Girls’ College
  • Hana-Amaia Maringi Tamati-Paratene – Te Whānau Tahi
  • Rīpeka Pōtiki – Queen’s High School

The commitment to ensure the survival of Māori language as a living, spoken and dynamic treasure is captured within the essence of Ngā Manu Kōrero. We are so proud of the commitment, the determination and the perseverance within which all of these rangatira take to the stage.

How awesome was it to have four regional finalists from the same whānau / marae / hapū / iwi, Kiringāua Cassidy; Te Atarau Cassidy; Ripeka Potiki and Hana-Amaia Tamati Paratene! He uri rātau nō Raniera rāua ko Hana Nikuru Erihana, he raukura nō te kāika o Ōtākou, nō Taranaki mounga anō hoki.

We mihi to you all.  Particular congratulations to two of our amazing kaikōrero who placed in the finals

  • Sophia Clarke-Walker, who was second in the senior English, from Te Pā o Rākaihautū in Christchurch, won best impromptu speech
  • Kiringāua Cassidy of King’s High School in Dunedin was third in the senior Māori competition

Ko te kai a te rangatira he korero The food of leaders is oratory

Kiringāua Cassidy

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori

Māori Language Week has been celebrated each year from 1975. September 14 and commemorates the presentation of the Māori language petition to Parliament.

Here is our own team’s contribution to Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

Free Stress and Wellbeing Training Course

Wellbeing representatives are concerned that COVID-19 lockdown stresses on top of flooding issues are stretching Buller folk’s ability to manage.

West Coast DHB Director of Allied Health Jane George says the various organisations supporting the psychosocial and wellbeing of Kawatiri folk had noticed that the pressures of the COVID-19 Delta Level 4 lockdown on top of issues from the recent flooding were taking its toll.

“We’ve heard reports of people struggling, and these are folk who are usually more than capable of coping with things. Red Cross offers these great courses, and so we’ve organised a couple of half days coming up that might help give people a few strategies to get them through,” Ms George says.

The free Coping with Stress courses take place at the Westport Bridge Club on Tuesday 28 September from 1pm to 5pm, and Thursday 30 September from 9am to 1pm.

Book to attend through

A few spots will also be available on the free Psychosocial First Aid course designed for people involved with wellbeing organisations. That course takes place on Wednesday 29 September, from 9am to 4pm, also at the Westport Bridge Club.

Vaccination campaign increases its reach

Over 300,00 Māori have now received one dose of the COVID vaccination and over 148,000 have had their second dose and are fully vaccinated. Just how close the relationship is between those New Zealanders who have been vaccinated and those who have tested positive for the Delta virus is shown in this graphic below. Red indicates not vaccinated; yellow one dose of vaccination; gold two doses of vaccine.

Te Tauihu – Karawhiua

In collaboration with the Karawhiua campaign, Te Piki Oranga and Te Kotahi te Tauihu in the week of the 16th October, there will be four kai and kōrero workshops for rangatahi Māori at Nelson Boys College, Queen Charlotte College, Motueka High School and Marlborough Boys College.

Whānau Stories

One of the most important values to us is that of mana motuhake – the ability to protect your stories and to take control over what information is shared with others.    This week we had negotiated with some of our whānau when the media wanted to talk to whānau members who had benefitted from the Puna funding. Over 141,000 whānau members have been supported over the last 18 months through the Puna funding, but we have always been very clear – that the sole purpose of our support for whānau is driven by whānau. If whānau don’t want their photos, names, stories shared, then kei a koutou te tikanga.   Whānau first, every time.

We have, however, thad a number of whānau who came forward and were willing to share their story as long as their names and faces were protected. For the media outlets we talked with, this was not something they were prepared to do. So to honour our whānau who came forward, we share some of their stories today.

Whānau One

This māmā is blessed with three sons. Her husband was ill and unable to work. The whānau also supported other whānau during lockdown . Mum is working on a low income but ironically, just too much to get support from Work and income. She is so grateful for food support and power assistance.

Whānau Two

This man is a double amputee who returned home to be supported by his whānau. He had been receiving some support from ACC but the case was currently being reviewed. At the time of lockdown he had been waiting two months to hear back from ACC. He just wanted to contribute to his home as he wasn’t working and was so grateful for the support of food voucher.

Whānau Three

In this whānau there is a hapū Māmā of three. Māmā had to have wisdom tooth looked at but couldn’t take pain relief. She has limited support from Winz, husband works in hotel but limited hours due to lockdown. Māmā had experienced so many pushbacks from Winz that she didn’t want to go back. Sh believes that people need a wraparound service but Winz is not best to provide it. Lives in Christchurch. Very grateful for our assistance.

Whānau Four

This whānau had applied for roadblock funding – funding to retrain and prepare for new roles in the workforce following the impact of COVID and the loss of previous employment . This is one of our applicants who had applied for assistance with a laptop. Desmond, was happy to give consent to pose for a photo on behalf of the whānau as his partner and sister were too shy. They were very grateful, now she is going to do a computing course at Ara, so she can find better employment.

Happy birthday to you!

I have heard it said, let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile. This week I want to do a special shout out to our two smiling queens, our birthday girls, Katarina Mclean-Nutira and Saba Azeem.

Katarina is the smile behind the call that has been talking with literally thousands of whānau over the last year as she makes someone’s day through her work in the Puna call centre. Recently we have been devastated by the fact that there has been no funding allocated to enable the Puna fund to continue. Kata was courageous with her enthusiasm; reminding us that while our tears are flowing now, we must never forget that for one moment in day we were able to help whānau when they needed it most – and we must draw on that experience to keep figuring out new ways that we can do what we need to do, to bring the smile back on the faces of whānau.

Saba is in our data team, and she, too, is driven by the quest to do whatever it takes to make a difference. She reminded us this week that no matter how hard the mahi is, no matter how disheartened we may feel, that it is a huge privilege to even be in a position to extend the hand of manaaki, and we must never forget the opportunity any of us can take us, to be the best version of our self.



Our team is so blessed with many beautiful kaimahi – this week we celebrated Kata and Saba as the Queens of Hearts we love them for.

Opening of new YMCA buildings - Ōtautahi

These photos were taken at the blessing of the new YMCA whare in Worcester Street. There are six whare currently ready to live in and the plan is to have another six more in December.

Mahina Kaui took the whare through a beautiful whakawatea and there was delicious kai and shared stories to give rise to our collective hopes for these whare.