“Only when you know your whakapapa can the mana of your ancestors shine upon you." Dr Eruera Stirling

Te Kairangi: The state of excellence; anything held in the highest esteem; reaching the heights of aspiration.
Tohu Kairangi: A doctoral degree, Doctorate.
Te Kairangi Paki: the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Ropata Wahawaha Stirling award.

This week has been the most stunning experience of huhuatanga; that environment of abundance; of prosperity and promise.  Two daughters; cherished by parents who watched in adoration. Mokopuna who have been brought up to know their identity; to be able to speak their truth; to hold themselves with the pride of their tupuna.

Irihapeti’s daughter, Pirimia Burger with the inaugural recipient of the Dr Irihapeti Ramsden award, Wairaamia Tikao Taratoa-Bannister.

In many ways that is the promise of the Korimako and Pei Te Hurinui Jones – Senior English and Prepared sections of the regional Manu Kōrero competitions. To walk with the confidence and competence of your tupuna; to wear the cloak of excellence around your shoulders; fit for the world that awaits you.

When we became aware that there was a specific section in the Ngā Manu Kõrero competitions in Waitaha which didn’t have a trophy to be awarded to those who won that category, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu was only too happy to offer to respond.

Tahupotiki Stirling and Detroit Stirling passing on the Dr. Ropata Wahawaha Stirling award to the inaugural recipient, Te Kairangi Paki.

As we came together and thought about who might be appropriate to inspire a future generation, we rested upon two remarkable leaders; Dr Irihapeti Ramsden for the Korimako award; and Dr. Ropata Wahawaha Stirling for the Pei Te Hurinui Jones category of the Senior Māori prepared speeches.

Irihapeti is remembered across the globe for the development of Cultural Safety – an educational framework for the analysis of power relationships between health professionals and those they serve.

Irihapeti always had something to say; something to query.  Her favourite questions were: What do you think? What would you do? Why do you say that?  She reclaimed the hongi for Māori women. She was a truth teller, a critic and conscience leader. She asked us to think; to use our words wisely.

Dr. Ropata Wahawaha Stirling was always very prominent at the regional Manu Kōrero speech competitions in Waitaha.  He was a master of whaikōrero himself and responsible for passing on the artform of whaikōrero to many over his time. Many of his mokopuna have been previous competitors in the Manu Kōrero competitions.

One of the most special moments during the ceremony on Monday was when Irihapeti’s daughter Pirimia Burger placed a photo of the legendary leaders in front of their trophies.


There is nothing more uplifting than the collective pride of a kura who cares; mokopuna in awe of their legacy inherited through whakapapa; friends who stand in honour of their mate.   We saw that in abundance at the ceremony on Monday of Wairaamia Tikao Taratoa-Bannister; head girl of Cashmere; and a much loved descendant of those who came to celebrate her success.

Then on Thursday we were hosted and honoured by Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Kura Whakapūmau i te Reo Tūturu ki Waitaha to present the Dr. Ropata Wahawaha Stirling award to Te Kairangi Paki.

National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence

Next Tuesday, the National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence will be launched. The Strategy and Action Plan are designed to significantly improve people’s wellbeing, creating a better, safer future for everyone, but especially for the women and children of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Family violence and sexual violence are a shameful blot on our nation. This Strategy is a significant step towards changing that.

Join us at 8am on Tuesday, 7 December, as we live stream the launch on the Joint Venture’s YouTube page.

Note that after the launch, the National Strategy will be available on the Joint Venture website: www.violencefree.govt.nz

Good Yarn Mental Health Workshops

The South Canterbury District Health Board is offering Good Yarn mental wellbeing workshops in Twizel to support small businesses in the Mackenzie region. The workshops are offered free to support the local small business community, in particular those working in the tourism, hospitality, accommodation and retail areas.

The workshops are designed to help people talk openly about mental health, learn how to look after their own wellbeing, and learn how to recognise others who may be struggling and refer them to appropriate help.

The stresses of Covid mean that many people have been dealing, for almost two years, with extreme financial and emotional pressures and uncertainties.  The South Canterbury DHB is rolling out Good Yarn to make mental health conversations and support available to as many people as possible.

The workshops also provide an opportunity to meet up with other people who may be dealing with similar problems.

The last workshops for 2021 will be held on:

Wednesday 8 Dec – 1pm – 4pm
Venue:  MacKenzie Country Hotel, Cnr Ostler &, Wairepo Road, Twizel 7901  Phone: 03-435 0869

Thursday 9 Dec –  8.30 – 11.30am
Venue:  MacKenzie Country Hotel, Cnr Ostler &, Wairepo Road, Twizel 7901  Phone: 03-435 0869

To register or get more information please email Annette Beautrais abeautrais@scdhb.health.nz or phone 021 777 590 or 03 687 2192.

Te Ahi Wairua o Kaikōura

Our Whānau Ora Champion Gina-lee Duncan, met with Lorraine Hawke and Celeste Harnett from Te Ahi Wairua o Kaikõura this week. Te Ahi Wairua o Kaikōura have been strengthening opportunities for whānau to engage more about māra kai through their Māra Kai Kaupapa. The kaupapa has been designed to help whānau understand the holistic benefits of māra kai and how these natural elements of te taiao influence tāngata, delving into how it positively effects wellbeing through all of our physical, mental, spiritual, and whānau connections. The ultimate outcome is that kai is economically resourced for households, with whānau at the centre of sustainability.

Rakiura Initiative – The Snuggery

Maggie George and Simon Moir have been working incredibly hard to renovate this wee building in Rakiura as they prepare for their business, The Snuggery, to open at the beginning of next year. Part of the Rakiura Initiative, The Snuggery is a café and community hub in Rakiura designed for people to have a space to come together in. Because of their location and additional complications with COVID-19, they’ve experienced various delays including their builder getting stuck on island during lock-down! It’s great to see the progress that they’ve made over the past six months, and I’m looking forward to seeing them finish their renovations and open up in January.

Savage Noble Arts

Savage Noble Arts and Coffee is a new business venture that will be opening up in ōtautahi. The business is run by Hohepa Bowen (Kāi Tahu) and his partner Tonya Marriott (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahungunu, Maniapoto, Cook Island Māori) who are passionate about Hauora.

The moemoeā of Savage Noble Arts and Coffee aligns with all our values of wellbeing for whānau.

Whanau have the opportunity to experience plant based kai and effectively change to a healthy diet if they wish. At the same time the business promotes established and emerging Māori and Pasifika artists and the opportunity for whanau to gather and connect with each other.

This week I was so delighted to get this message from Hohepa:

“We can finally let you know that we are open for business in Papanui with a small offering of our vision and what Hauora looks like for us. We are so proud to have come through all of our challenges that we have faced and excited for our whãnau and to have the chance to extend this to our people. We quietly slid the doors open last week and it has worked. Our people are coming through the doors.. Auē! Our hearts are full and our growth has been huge…its all coming to fruition. Please come in for a cuppa and make yourself at home and sit at our table. Great things have been shared at this table. It was a koha from Te Puna Oranga and means so much to us. This was the table that I first served our people kai on and will continue forever… This is how Tãtou was born. From having others believe in you and the gifts that we all carry to share.”

This is how Tãtou was born. From having others believe in you and the gifts that we all carry to share

Traffic Light Protection Framework – Life at Orange

Today we saw the new COVID protection framework implemented across the country which has been timely with the confirmed cases in Te Tau Ihu yesterday. Our kaimahi have been busy across Te Waipounamu ensuring that we’re prepared and ready to operate safely with in the ‘Orange’ setting, as we aim to best protect whānau, our kaimahi, and other businesses we work closely with. If you are coming into our office spaces please continue with our Workplace Best Practice steps of social distancing, scanning in, hand santising, signing in and keeping good hygiene practices while on-site.