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.

NZ Certificate of Health and Wellbeing graduation

Last week we were overjoyed to celebrate the graduation of the first cohort of Whānau Ora Navigators to complete their NZ Certificate in Health and Wellbeing. This totally unique qualification was created in partnership with Ara, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, and our network of Whānau Ora partners. It focused on enhancing the skills that our navigators naturally bring to their mahi, and offering them the opportunity to add a professional qualification to their kete.

Mau rākau at a recent Rukuwai Collective wānanga

Rukuwai Collective – revitalising mau rākau

We were very pleased to see one of our initiatives celebrated in the media this week, in this article about the revitalisation of mau rākau for wāhine. An interview with mau rākau kaiako Sharlene Maniapoto explores the potential for the martial art of revive lost knowledge and nurture Māori culture and history. Sharlene has been working with Isley Tipene from one of our Wave initiatives, Rukuwai Collective, to deliver mau rākau at a women’s retreat. These retreats, run by Rukuwai Collective, have a focus on healing and personal development that is a perfect fit with mau rākau.

Our very own Ati Vili celebrating the launch of Pi Faitau.

Samoan Language Week

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.

The Corstorphine Hub

We have been proud to support the incredible team at the Corstorphine Hub in Ōtepoti, who have been working within their community to meet every day needs for whānau. We were delighted to see their hard mahi celebrated with this article, explaining what the hub is all about and hearing from some of the kaimahi that make it all possible: Mere Jouanides, Moana Taana and Andrea Woodford.

The Corstorphine Hub provides daily services like free kai, homework and play groups, as well as health and social services including nurse-led clinics, free social workers, podiatry, diabetes testing, breast screening and wānanga on topics like suicide prevention.

Introducing Te Kapa

We are excited to launch Te Kapa, a new page of staff profiles on our website. Over the past few weeks, the teams from Ariki Creative and NAIA have been working on a unique way to celebrate our kaimahi and we are very happy to show you the final result – click here. We want our website to be a place where whānau feel welcome, and can get a good understanding of who we are and what we do. We hope these profiles will help whānau get to know our staff, and feel comfortable reaching out for tautoko.