This week Oranga Tamariki invited us to join online to participate in the karakia tikanga process of ‘whakamoea te kaupapa, whakawātea te marea’. As the organisation moves to disestablish the Tamariki Advocate Group they wanted to lay the kaupapa to rest (whakamoea te kaupapa) while at the same time support a pathway forward (whakawātea te marea).
It was a great initiative that both honoured the work done previously and created an opening to a brave new world. I love that. I love the dignifying of ebbs and flows; the respect given to connecting threads that can be celebrated as our life story.
That is the narrative I have been telling myself about ends and beginnings – that ‘finishing up’ is an illusion. I will carry Whānau Ora with me wherever I go; whatever I do. For all of us in this fantastic world that we inhabit, the Whānau Ora way is the approach we consciously take to living our best life
Our best life is about realising our collective dreams; it is about recognising that incandescent love for life that burns within us all.
I remember when our babies have had their baptism ceremonies – we often sing the song, ‘if everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world this would be’. Whānau Ora is that candle. It is the flame of fortune that smiles upon us all, if we invite it in. It is in recognising strengths and celebrating potential. It is seen in diverse ways; in a thousand flowers blooming; in local solutions; in intergenerational stories of hope. It is known through our histories of overcoming adversity; it is witnessed in experiences of transformation; it is the reminder that we can be what we want to. All it takes is for our attitude to change.
On Thursday morning we were thrilled to be invited to Ilex Cafe in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, as part of a fantastic surprise for Nazea Silbury. Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu supported Nazea through Wave 14, and later through our Tama Ora fund, in his dream of establishing a kaupapa Māori sports club here in Ōtautahi. Since its establishment last year, Kaiawa Sports Club has grown to 25 netball and touch teams – 13 of which are made up of rangatahi, and with 98 percent Māori membership. In particular, Kaiawa has made a huge contribution to creating a space for wāhine to participate in touch rugby.
Club secretary Nikki Schwass nominated Nazea for Home Ground Hero, a new competition sponsored by Bunnings and Touch NZ. Nazea was the third winner, and came along to the cafe this morning expecting to meet a friend for coffee. Instead he was surprised by Newshub’s William Waiirua, who broke the news to him live on TV as his friends and whānau appeared out of the cafe where we had all been hiding. It was a beautiful morning celebrating Nazea’s incredible contribution to the local touch community.
We were pleased to hear from one of our Wave 15 entities Ngā Pou Whirinaki Consultants, who have been supporting whānau going through court processes by preparing cultural background reports that may affect their sentence. They were proud to report a 28.57 percent increase in the number of reports being produced for whānau compared to the same period in 2020/2021, and that by growing their capacity and capabilities towards the end of last year were able to fulfil all requests. They have been receiving positive feedback from key stakeholders regarding the contents of their cultural reports, and the way they are aiding determinations being made in court.