This morning I woke earlier than normal; awoken by two things.

One was the unpleasant odour that has been wafting in the air ever since the wastewater treatment plant at Bromley blazed into fire on 1 November, leading to a public health warning. The fire kept burning for another 19 days; and the odour would permeate through our every day as a result of a breakdown of parts of the treatment process. Quite frankly it has been disgusting.

The second event to break my sleep was a stunning performance of birdsong.   Together there was a majesty in the cacophony; a glorious triumph of trills and serenades; the music of the masses.

It is a hallelujah chorus that inspires us to be grateful; to give thanks; to rise with positivity and optimism for the day ahead.

The day would be very different if we only waited for the best birdsong to be heard; if we only listened to the soloist that was the highest or the sweetest. In its diversity and its depth, the collective rhapsody birds sing as the dawn breaks reminds us all that we each have a gift to be shared.

My daybreak reminded me that we can choose what we decide to focus on. In my case; I preferred ngā manu tioriori – and it has made all the difference to my morning.

“I hope you love birds too. It’s economical. It saves going to heaven” (Emily Dickinson).

Shot Bro – Rob Mokaraka

Last weekend Rob Mokaraka performed his incredible show Shot Bro – Confessions of a Depressed Bullet at the Rangiora Methodist Church. Shot Bro is known as theatre for social change. Rob shares his dark, hilarious and transformative personal journey through depression and suicidal thoughts, with the intention to help others with their own mental health struggles.

Shot Bro was brought to Rangiora thanks to the dedication of kaiako from Rangiora High School, who have been striving to address mental health and suicide at the school.   Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu also supported the wananga through our sponsorship.   Some of our kaimahi attended the wananga to offer their support to the crucial efforts to protect our whānau from suicide.

Hawaiki Kura

Earlier this week I was honoured to be a guest speaker at an information event for Hawaiki Kura at Te Ūkaipo in Blenehim. The amazing kaupapa of Hawaiki Kura was created by dynamic duo Kiley and Donna Nepia, and focuses on cultural revitalisation, rangatahi development, and whānau hauora. During my kōrero, I acknowledged the inspirational mahi of Hawaiki Kura, and their role as a place of belonging and certainty, a platform for hope and a bench mark for aspirations to thrive.    What I love about their approach is the diverse ways of inspiring change – Tane Ora to motivate men’s wellness; He Pito Mata – rangatahi leadership and succession; cultural competency for organisations are but a few.

While in the area, I also made sure to stop by one of our Wave initiatives Morries Munchies for a kōrero and the most delicious kai.

Kōrero + Kai – Sister Sister

On Tuesday evening the events space at Te Whenua Taurikura was jam packed with Māori and Pasifika wāhine (and one tāne!) for the inaugural Kōrero + Kai event. The first in a series of three, these are events for small businesses hosted by our Wave 14 initiative Sister Sister, focused on branding, marketing and social media. The events are open to all Wave initiatives and other small businesses in Ōtautahi, and Tuesday’s session was truly inspiring and magical, creating a buzz that rippled throughout the whole room! It was fantastic to bring together entrepreneurs from throughout Ōtautahi to share their beautiful stories and backgrounds, and to learn from one another.   Our kaimahi who attended were absolutely pumping with the momentum of so much aspiration flourishing in that space.

Kōanga Kai – Rāpaki

Earlier this week Gina-Lee met with whānau from Rāpaki who are part of the Kōanga Kai kaupapa wearing two hats – Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke and Hei Whakapiki Mauri. Pictured below is Gina-Lee with Waikura McGregor, Billy Willis, Michael Parata-Peiffer and Tiaki Hutana. The beautiful manaaki at the whare of Waikura and Billy provided a wonderful opportunity for connection, and although they were not there, acknowledgement must be made to Gary and Ruth Jones who have been instrumental in the Kōanga Kai space working across many entities. It was especially touching to meet Tiaki, who is visiting from Rotorua to gain some building experience and outdoor mahi from Michael, and who has already decided that his first māra kai will be for his taua.

Kwik Kai

This week we were delighted to see another of our Wave entities profiled in the national media. Based in Te Tau Ihu, Kwik Kai is a mobile catering and events business with a focus on traditional Māori kai. They are now expanding their services to provide kai and cultural connection to kaumātua and whānau. Click here for more.




Thanks to the long-awaited arrival of a new waka, WestREAP in Hokitika are finally underway with their Wave 13 initiative Tukuna Kia Rere. This holiday programme will give tamariki the opportunity to get in the water these school holidays.


WestREAP in Te Tai Poutini promotes community development, integrating education and the provision of information with activities in other sectors including health and social services, as well as working with community organisations, Ngai Tahu hapū and local government. WestREAP aims to normalise waka ama and make it accessible to whānau Māori and the wider community in Hokitika and Te Tai o Poutini. While it is an initiative about waka ama, this kaupapa will also include cultural practices to help people to learn about the tikanga associated with waka ama including te reo Māori and the rich history that Māori have with the awa and the land. The kaupapa will be inclusive of tamariki, rangatahi and pakeke to experience and learn about waka ama, tikanga and to provide an environment where Māori cultural practices can be freely expressed.

Harakeke Village Tapui

This week we received a report from one of our Wave entities, Harakeke Village Tapui, who have been doing an incredible job at delivering wānanga to Māori in the Wairau area. Their wānanga focus on developing gifts and talents in food, arts and hospitality, including rāranga, rongoā, toi Māori, hospitality, Māori music composition and performing arts. They are targeted at developing the skills and experience of Māori entrepreneurs who are looking to enhance their hauora and provide opportunities for income and greater financial security.

MVP Te Tau Ihu – Māori Vaccinated People

As part of our contributions to the vaccination campaign, we have been proud to support the MVP (Māori Vaccinated People) kaupapa. MVP is driven by 50 current, past and future tauira of Matike Mai, and aims to support other men to vaccinate against COVID-19 across Te Tau Ihu. It uses a tuakana-teina approach, with the participants sharing their own reasons for vaccination to support others, offering to pick them up and accompany them to the vaccination centre. There is a flow on effect as newly vaccinated tāne share their stories with others.    There’s still a bit of work to go in Nelson Marlborough with 78% of Māori having had their first dose of vaccination; 64% being double vaxxed.  The target to 90% is just under 3000 Māori.

Ki Uta Ki Tai Waka

At the other end of Te Waipounamu, vaccination took on a different look at Labour Weekend with a clinic based at the waka ama extravaganza known as Ki Uta Ki Waka. Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is delighted to have been able to support a proposal from Ngā Kete Mātauranga Pounamu in Invercargill to take the vaccination challenge to the streets and homes of Southland. 83% of Māori in Southern DHB have now had their first dose; 70% are double vaxxed with just under 5000 left to reach the 90% status.

White Ribbon Day

This week our Whānau Ora Navigators from Maataa Waka ki te Te Tau Ihu were out in force supporting White Ribbon Day! This international day takes place on 25 November every year, as people join together against violence towards women. It was great to see our wāhine toa from the NavNation out and about supporting this kaupapa.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas......

This week our famous Christmas decorations were put up, courtesy of a team led by the magical Ivy. Here is a photo of our kaimahi Hikairo Te Hae and Jason Lee putting the final touches on our pink tree (yes – there is more than one tree), with some fitting colour coordination from Jason!

COVID-19 Protection Framework

Have a look at the the traffic light protection framework coming into effect as of Friday next week. Working alongside the My Vaccine Pass. this framework has been designed to further protect our communities and provide greater freedom to those fully vaccinated.