This week I had a breakthrough moment.
It was the magic combination of one of our beautiful kuia, a luxurious purple mink blanket and me. I sunk into the warmth of the blanket, snuggled up to one of the favourite nannies, and cried. Howled, spluttered, sobbed and gasped for air. He tangi hotuhotu. As I cried, the rain poured down in concert, and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down.
Is there anything more soothing than a pat on the back and the gentle chide saying, ‘there, there, don’t make yourself upset’? The comfort and the compassion, the love and the laughter, was wrapped around me so tight that I never wanted it to stop.
This week I’ve had occasion to look again at Te Aorerekura – the national strategy which sets out a strengths-based vision for eliminating family violence and sexual violence. There is a stronger focus on primary prevention, healing, and the critical role of tangata whenua and community leadership for achieving intergenerational change.
In the strategy it reminds us that there are solutions within the promotion and strengthening of Whānau Ora that require a focus on healing, restoration, redress and a return to a state of noa.
It made me think about our kuia and the purple mink.
We want to work with our Tū Pono Connectors to identify spaces and supports that enable healing, recovery and restoration for whānau and communities and ways of working based on an understanding of violence and trauma.
For some those spaces might be through the process of Pure, to go to the water and be cleansed. For others it might be through karakia; through retreat; through wānanga. This weekend, for example, in Kaikoura there is the Mauri Wāhine, Mauri Tāne wānanga – click here to learn more.
Kia reka te waiata e waiatatia ana e koe, anohe mīere e whakawai ana i te tītapu.”
Let the song you sing be as sweet as the honey dew that entices the bellbird.
One of our recent investments has been to support the publication of Te Waioratanga Ōtautahi 2021, a directory of local Māori who serve and promote Māori healing and wellbeing. It is not an exclusive list; it is just a beginning. The purpose is to promote local, traditional and contemporary ways to wellbeing.
As part of our commitment to this work we have funded the creation of Te Wai-ora-tanga. The word waiora is often interpreted as the ‘waters of life’ or ‘life-giving waters’. The directory explains the word, waiora, as giving expression to the concept of sunlight; the healing rays of the sun; a secondary meaning is well-being’ or ‘prosperity’.
If you would like a copy of Te Waioratanga Ōtautahi 2021 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Keeping our spirits lifted can be particularly difficult at this time of rising numbers of Omicron cases being presented throughout our community. The Mental Health Foundation has information about how to get through COVID-19. It includes wellbeing tips, helpful resources, and self-help tools and apps – click here to access these. You can also click here to find a list of tools and information on the Ministry of Health website.
I’ve found one of the greatest sources of wellbeing through times of tension has been to just have regular time working out, particularly with people I feel really comfortable with. Here’s some of my gym buddies from HCC showing just how muscly we are. Of course when you’re standing next to the phenomenal Manu Hale with bulging biceps that show how beautifully toned she is, you really don’t want to even try!
This week our team presented to two select committees at Parliament: one about the Oranga Tamariki amendment bill (vis-a-vis subsequent children) and the other the education and workforce Committee focused on the Accident Compensation (Maternal Birth Injury and other matters) Amendment Bill. It is really encouraging to know that there are changes proposed for the assessment and allocation of support for birth-related injuries. It seems absurd however, that the injuries related to baby during the birthing process are not considered in the same legislation that responds to the situation around injuries during the birthing process for adult women.
We are mindful that:
We recommended that the cover be extended to include psychological injury relating to childbirth. We are concerned that the bill does not include psychological trauma or injury. We know that support services for this injury related to birth are severely lacking and challenging to access.
Finally, as our team meets more often virtually than it does in a physical sense, we always find ways to keep the momentum. This week, with the occasion of St Patrick’s Day, we turned out in our finest Emerald wear. So with the kiss of the Blarney Stone to motivate us, we leave you this week with this beautiful Irish blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rain fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.