Ko tōu reo, ko tōku reo, te tuakiri tangata. Tīhei uriuri, tīhei nakonako. Your voice and my voice are expressions of identity. May our descendants live on and our hopes be fulfilled.
Every morning the kaimahi of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu gather together for karakia. It is a moment for us to reconnect with one another, to reflect on the day that has just passed and to set the tone for the day that is still to come. It is become even more important in recent years, as we have adjusted to having our teams split across the office and their home set ups.
This week, we were delighted to be led in karakia by one of our rangatahi. He challenged us all to have a big voice – to be confident in who we are and what we are doing, and to speak out to achieve our aspirations.
We have been reflecting on his wero, and the meaning of these kupu – a big voice. To us, that means expressing our message clearly, emphasising our meaning to create lasting effect. It means advocating on behalf of ourselves, and of those who need our awhi and aroha. It means pointing out inequities and demanding that they are addressed. It means celebrating progress and success, while keeping our eyes on the aspirations yet to be realised. In a nutshell, it means Whānau Ora.
We know that the Whānau Ora approach works, and we are proud to lead a team of kaimahi who pour their heart and soul into supporting that kaupapa. This week’s karakia was a reminder to us all to share that passion and determination with everyone, and to make sure that we add our voice to the chorus of whānau, communities and Whānau Ora partners throughout the motu.
This week we have celebrated Samoan Language Week, and Samoan Independence Day on Wednesday. Both of these events are a great opportunity to acknowledge our strong relationships with our Pasifika whānau, and we were especially delighted to support our whānau at Flying Geese productions by attending the launch of Pi Faitau, a Samoan alphabet colouring book that celebrates this beautiful language. Contributors include Iliui Wilson; Iva Hitila; Fa’amanu Mauafu; Mamaitalia Sagapolutele; May Crichton; Malaea Veu; Palepa Leroy; Sala SailinAukuso; Sulla Tuatau; Talia Steiner and Terence Slade.