Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the alphabet in Greek, the language used to write the part of the Bible commonly called the New Testament. Alpha and Omega are also the names of the two sons of the prophet, Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana. It represents the all and everything; the total alphabet; the complete world.

When Katrina Bryant shared with us her series of t-shirts as part of the Taurite Tū kaupapa, we thought – yes, this represents a movement which is all-encompassing; which is as much about whakawhanaungatanga and kotahitanga as it is about health and wellbeing.

Taurite Tū is an exercise programme especially designed for Māori aged 50 plus and their whānau in the Dunedin community. Members of Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou have designed this programme with physiotherapists and Māori movement experts to make a safe, engaging programme for any older Māori to join. Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu supported this kaupapa in 2020 and has been so proud of their developments since. This week our contracts advisor, Nathan Tau, paid a visit to catch up

Initial research addressed concerns by Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou (TRO) upoko, Edward Ellison, that kaumātua Māori were not receiving targeted falls prevention approaches. Kaupapa Māori Research (KMR) principles were applied: addressing needs identified within rūnaka; consulting with Kaumātua (Rōpu Kaiārahi) at all research process and importantly resulting in positive outcomes ageing Māori.

The name, Taurite Tū, was suggested by the Rōpu Kaiārahi: Taurite- meaning the balance of everything, and Tū- to stand; refers to standing strong as the elements of wellbeing are balanced (inferring to a holistic approach), and of course balanced standing. Experts in mātauraka Māori contributed to the development of Taurite Tū exercise classes.

Taurite Tū was successful with their bid as a Rūnaka to conduct ACC/HRC funded research into how to spread Taurite Tū template into other rohe. They currently have Taurite Tū research and delivery in three venues (the three original rohe plus Hokonui, Awarua, Nga Kete/ Murihiku, Moeraki/ Waihao in Oamaru, Porirua (Ora Toa) and Turanga- nui-a-Kiwa (Turanga Health)).

They all have their own Tshirt colours and we are supporting 150+ whānau members to be exercising, with twenty researchers being upskilled in conducting research within Māori health organisations. We could not be prouder of your success. Ka mau te wehi!

Kōanga Kai At Kaingaroa

It was so exciting this week to catch up with the progress at Kaingaroa School in Wharekauri / Rekohu / Chatham Islands. They are using our school’s ‘Pony Paddock’ which was used back in the day before a school bus was used for those who rode to school on horses. It is a couple of acres below the school.

During lockdown, they sprayed off the area. Then a local farmer has come in with a large tractor and 3m wide rotary hoe to dig over the area. They have purchased a commercial rotary hoe which is 50cm wide from the Stihl Shop, which they will use from now on. 18 fruit trees have arrived and been planted on the bank above our garden beds. They have sourced a water pipe alongside our field, but have not designed or bought an irrigation system yet. Their 10m x 2.4m tunnel house is at the Timaru wharf waiting for the next ship to Chathams. Teresa Hutchings is the paid coordinator for the project.

Hamish Chisolm from Predator Free Chathams is also coming to plant a few more akeake for shelter and setting some possum traps in the neighbouring bush. Maori Community Health have got a Pataka for outside the school gate.


Te Waka Hinepau

Our whānau champion, Te Ra Morris was fortunate to be Todd and Leanne Jago’s first Waka paddle since lockdown from Kaiteriteri around to Toka Ngawhaa (split apple rock) last weekend.

The Kaihoe were new wave 15 recipient Josh, Lisa and Kahumoana Joseph of Kohatu Kai.

Kōhatu Kai is a whānau owned and operated Business. They are a mobile hangi and catering service who serve the Wairau, Waitohi and Waikawa rohe. The Kōhatu Kai philosophy is that “Kai Maori should be accessible, affordable, and obtainable for everyone to enjoy”.

With awhina from Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Kōhatu Kai are going to establish a “Kaumātua Kai” programme. This service is a meals on wheels, frozen meal delivery service, aimed to deliver kai Māori to kaumātua and wider whānau on a weekly basis. Currently there are no service providers who support kaumātua with kai Māori options in this way and Kōhatu Kai are looking to fill this gap.

Farewell to Ariana Mataki-Wilson

Whānau Ora – as a philosophy – reminds us every day that our whānau are our world; we need to live up to our beliefs; and practice what we preach. This week our beautiful Ariana, Tu Pono champion; Mokopuna Ora advocate; showed us the beauty of taking a Whānau Ora approach to your life when she finished her official role with us, to take some much needed time out to love her whānau and restore to herself the sanctuary of a strong whānau home.

Ariana started with us almost a year ago, coming to us from Te Puna Oranga where she had been systems manager. She brought with her a wealth of experience having worked extensively in the family and sexual violence sector. That passion and purpose has been her focus in the work around Tu Pono: Te Mana Kaha o Te Whānau, as well as extending into Mokopuna Ora.

I am grateful for the enthusiasm Ariana has brought to this mahi, and I know that for her the kaupapa is a lifelong priority; which has been shaped by her Nana and mother before her, and will no doubt be seen in the generations to come.

Writer’s Gift To Spark Interesting Māori Literature

An ōhākī from a trailblazing Māori writer is being used to stir the imagination about Māori-specific literature projects. The Mātātuhi Foundation has taken a bequest of $3600 from the estate of esteemed Rowley Habib from Ngāti Tūwharetoa and added another $8600 for a one-off project grant. Trustee Paula Morris says will it be given to a proposal focused on advancing the promotion of Māori literature.

 “This is not just mean to benefit one person. What could they devise that could maybe benefit a wider community, that would encourage more people to read or encourage more people to write or enable more people to do those things? What could make a difference and what can we do with $8600 as seed money?” she says.

Paula Morris is also encouraging Māori to apply for the trust’s major project grant, which this year comes with $100,000 in funding.

Applications need to be in by October 31.

Te Whenua o Te Potiki Tautahi

This week we were taken on the land of Tautahi’s special territory; Te Whenua o Te Potiki-Tautahi. Te Potiki Tautahi settled at Koukourarata on Horomaka. They came frequently up the Ōtākaro – the Avon River – to gather kai.  They camped on the river banks and caught eels, and snared birds in the harakeke. Today, we honour the fact that Tautahi is buried in the urupā on the site of what was St Luke’s Church vicarage on the corner of Kilmore and Manchester Streets in Christchurch.

Maya Angelou once said, You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.

For those of us who had the privilege of being guided by Gina-Lee Duncan; a descendent of Koukourarata – we now know more about Tautahi; about Te Rakawhakaputa; about the maara that have now been redeveloped, reinvigorated – providing us with a direct link to the heritage and history of this special place.

I wanted to draw on this special history because as we walked in the warmth of a spring sun, we heard also about the legacy of racism – the narrative of Ngai Tahu on the back of the historic sign; the history of buildings erected upon the urupā of old; the devastation too of the earthquakes of a decade ago; that memory forever etched in our site by the 185 empty white Chairs; a haunting reminder of those who died.

In literally walking the land and sharing our stories, Gina-Lee reminded us we can fight the rolling tide of racism; we can take back control of narratives; retell stories; that remind us of the truths that are ours.

While we were on our hīkoi we stopped by to visit Cultivate Christchurch. We have commissioned Fiona Stewart from Cultivate Christchurch to be a kaimaara coach; a champion of the maara under our Kōanga Kai initiative.

Cultivate Christchurch combines urban farming with youth development and community engagement. They also transform urban areas into farms, providing employment and skills to young people, who also get the opportunity to work alongside community volunteers. They also supply fresh, organic produce to Canterbury homes as well as some cafes and restaurants locally.


Ruia ngā kākano o te tūmanako ki roto i te māra o te hinengaro. Sow the seeds of hope in the garden of the mind.

Congratulations Taylor Hill

This week we want to honour and commend the incredible achievements of former Whānau Ora Navigator, now based in Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu, Taylor Hill.

“Kia ora my name is Taylor Hill and I have had the pleasure of becoming the Southland Coordinator for the Iwi Community Panel. Starting my first day in the specialist facilitation team at Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust (NKMP) on March 23rd 2020. The day Jacinda Ardern announced a level 4 national lockdown. Once coming into the role alongside Mana Wright, I began to observe and learn. Mana was well respected and competent in his role. He provided big shoes to fill. Mana moved to the USA in June after setting up the primary role for Iwi Community Panels (ICP). My CEO, the panel members and the police created a safe and supportive atmosphere, which allowed me to flourish. Beginning to add my own style to the panels and implementing small changes. I added in a consent form as we had a participant attend the panel under the influence of alcohol. All of these little lessons lead to better processes and greater success. We are continuing to grow.

The purpose of the Iwi Community Panel is to make a change. The panel is to reduce the crimes rate of re-offending. Te Pae Oranga is also to provide support, education and opportunities for people to grow for generations to come. Te Pae Oranga serves the community by creating a safe place to live. They provide participants a second chance to avoid a conviction and the tangled web of the justice system. Andrew Coster – Police Commissioner said, “Every licence the panel supports we are creating safer roads. For every alcohol and drug counselling support we provide, we are creating safer homes. For every training and employment opportunity we create, we are providing safer communities. Te Pae Oranga is working.”

The partnership between Police and Iwi providers is one of high importance. The outcomes achieved from the panel are witnessed now, but will also produce an impact for generations to come. We continue to work in partnership together under our five values that under pin the operation. Acronym – CARES: Culture, accountability, restitution, empathy, and safety. Through the willingness, passion and aroha provided we are continuing to carve the path to a healthier, stronger and safer Aotearoa.

And just in case you think, who is this amazing Taylor Hill, here’s a recent photo of Taylor with her Chief Executive, Tracey Wright-Tawha, dressed in their best pinnies, courtesy of Sandra Stiles. My cup is overflowing – this week I had the thrill of receiving my own gorgeous little pink number!

Taylor set Tracey and I a challenge – to bake our best surprise; and be photographed in our pinnies for the world to see. I am proud to say that all three of us successfully completed the challenge!


Patikitiki Symposium is live and available for viewing from 23 September 2021.

You will be able to access it here.

Let our baskets of knowledge be filled to over flowing so there’s more than enough to share with other’s.


This week Government launched MAIHI Ka Ora the National Māori Housing Strategy (MAIHI Ka Ora), to provide strategic direction to current and future policy, process and investment decisions that impact Māori housing.  It is strongly connected through Te Maihi o te Whare Māori – the Māori and Iwi Housing Innovation (MAIHI) Framework for Action.  Read it here.

Happy birthday

This week our special data analyst from Tai Rawhiti – Leanna Pardoe – celebrated her special day. Leanna is part of our team, ‘Hao Ora’ – the great net capturing the essence of whānau and all they are doing so that we are able to reflect and grow as a collective. Leanna has a particular focus on supporting the Navigation team.

Leanna (Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti me Ngapuhi) came to us from a similar role in Te Tairāwhiti at Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Porou [Horouta Whānau Ora] where she was the data analyst for that region for the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency. Leanna has a solid history in data analytics, organisational skills, graphic design programmes and te reo Māori. Leanna grew up in Tolaga Bay before attending Otago University. She loves working with data and has a very analytical mind. She was raised in te ao Māori me ōna tikanga. Leanna was dux of Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae in Auckland (in 2012). In her covering letter Leanna said, “While I am confident I have the technical skills you require, I also have a very real appreciation of the challenges our whānau face on a daily basis”.

She is indeed a taonga for our team. Ra whānau ki a koe Leanna!

Data analyst, Leanna Pardoe

"While I am confident I have the technical skills you require, I also have a very real appreciation of the challenges our whānau face on a daily basis”