“Your world can be an entirely different place than the world you lived in just a few moments ago, once your attitude toward it changes.”

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.

If everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world this would be If everyone shared and everyone cared what a bright world this would be.

Farewell to Taua Sally Pitama

This week we celebrated the indomitable Taua Sally Pitama, who is stepping down from her role as director on our GPL board. Taua Sally has been part of the fabric at Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu since her appointment in March 2019, and we have deeply valued her character and aroha. Her connection with our communities and the generosity of spirit that has characterised her work with refugee and migrant communities are of particular note. Thank you Taua Sally – you will always remain part of the whānau here at Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

Home Ground Hero - Nazea Silbury

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.

Hei Whakapiki Mauri farewells Waikura McGregor

This week our whānau at Hei Whakapiki Mauri shared with us the news that Whānau Ora Navigator Waikura McGregor is leaving the team to work with her whānau at Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke. We are so proud of Waikura and the amazing outcomes she has achieved at Hei Whakapiki Mauri, and look forward to seeing her mahi continue to support whānau. We are sharing some reflections from Waikura and her partner Billy, who will continue to support Hei Whakapiki Mauri on a part-time basis.

Waikura McGregor and Billy Willis

We are so proud of how far our Hei Whakapiki Mauri whānau have come in the past five years. To see you all supporting one another and becoming a real whānau has lifted our wairua and shown us the true essence of Whānau Ora.

While we are excited to extend the aroha and manaakitanga of Whānau Ora to Ngāti Wheke whānau, our hearts are feeling heavy. The mātauranga we take with us is because of you all. You hold so much knowledge and you have taught us so much about whānau, manaaki, tino rangatiratanga, and of course aroha.

Know that we will always be part of the whānau and we will continue to āwhi you all from afar. You will still see us at the occasional hui because we love spending time with you all. We are looking forward to heaps of laughs, kōrero (and tears) at our farewell hui.

Walking alongside you all is a privilege.

Monica Lei from Ngā Pou Whirinaki Consultants with Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu Contracts Advisor Nathan Tau.

Ngā Pou Whirinaki Consultants Ltd

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.



Migrant and Ethnic Community Support Trust

This week we were delighted to receive a report from another of our Wave 15 entities, which included the below summary of an event they hosted at the end of last year. The Migrant and Ethnic Community Support Trust (MECST) advocates for social and economic inclusion and equity among the recent migrant population to Aotearoa. This includes emphasising the significance of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga through events, outings and resources. Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been proud to support them in their efforts.

Most recently, MECST hosted a Māori Language and Culture Event on 4 December 2021 at the Christchurch Community House for newcomers to Aotearoa to be introduced to Māori customs, values, and business practices. They were accompanied by the Maea Ukulele Group and Haritaura Pitama’s group who performed waiata for the attendees. The event was coupled with a food delivery service for the needy around Christchurch. There were about 85 people from the community who attended, and the team was able to deliver over 98 food packages to shelters around Otautahi. MECST and their clients were thrilled with the turnout of the event and will be continuing these presentations throughout the next periods.

Tamariki and Rangatahi Hauora Day (Tihei Taiohi)

WHAT: Tihei Taiohi is a pop-up one-day tamariki and rangatahi wānanga focused on promoting hauora in the time of Covid-19. Fun, informative and engaging format, using mātauranga Māori and taonga tuku iho to aid wider public health messaging.

WHEN: Friday, 29 April, 9:30 am to 3:00pm

WHERE: Kaiteretere Recreational Reserve

WHO: This kaupapa is project managed is Hawaiki Kura, in collaboration with Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Te Kotahi o Te Tauihu Trust, Te Piki Oranga and Ministry of Health (MOH).