Over the past week, the kaimahi of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu have shared in the sorrow of whānau throughout Aotearoa in the loss of Dr Terry Ryan. This humble gentleman had a huge impact on so many of us, and even in the midst of our grief it has been a joy to see our communities come together to honour him and say farewell. It has been a time for sharing stories and memories, and celebrating the life of someone who made a real difference for our whānau.   

Last week we made the decision not to publish our weekly blog, out of respect to Matua Terry and to allow our kaimahi the opportunity to visit him at Rehua Marae and make their farewells. This week, as I read through the submissions I am struck by how fitting they are, in their celebration of everything that Matua Terry held dear: the aspirations of whānau and the power of our hapori to affect real change when we work together.    

This is at the heart of Whānau Ora – the passion and the power of the collective.

From moments of whanaungatanga captured in the photos from our Uruora and Mauri Hiko roadshows; the depictions of transformative change described by the wāhine who participated in Journey2Aoraki; sitting in on Te Pāpori Whakatere and being inspired by the creativity and passion of our agents for change; to the power of a neighbourhood café that showcases the work of local artists. All of these kaupapa exemplify our inherent understanding that we are stronger together.   

With his lifelong dedication to whakapapa and history, Matua Terry understood better than most the importance of identifying and strengthening connections. The generosity with which he shared his wisdom helped many people connect with their identity and culture, weaving whānau together with an understanding of our shared history. As we honour his memory and the vast contribution he made to te ao Māori, we reaffirm our commitment to the spirit of community and togetherness that he embodied.  

Uruora and Mauri Hiko on the road

Te Tai Poutini and Te Tau Ihu got a taste of Uruora and Mauri Hiko last week. The workshops started in Māwhera (Greymouth) where we also held a Regional Catch-Up Hui for Te Tai Poutini. Heading up the West Coast to Whakatū (Nelson), over the hill to Wairau (Blenheim) finishing in Kaikōura before starting in Waitaha (Canterbury) this week. 

Dee had a catch up with the Whare Manaaki whānau after their launch of “The Vine”, a new kaupapa for their whānau to come in and ask questions or seek advice for all services from Home Ownership, CV Creation, Working for Families and a whole other range of services. It looked like a very busy time for them. We wish them the best with their awesome initiative. Their māra kai was getting some extra attention from tamanui te rā beaming down after a few drizzly days so we took advantage of that to snap a quick pic. 

Journey2Aoraki 2022

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu was proud to support this rōpū of wāhine on their Journey2Aoraki, an epic adventure of training and hard mahi with the final goal of participating in the Aoraki Half Marathon on 7 October.  

The group has been working hard, inspiring and motivating one another and they say that it’s been amazing to develop and sustain positive changes across their lives. Some wāhine even went on to participate in the Pae Ora Fun Run here in Ōtautahi the following weekend! Journey2Aoraki has given this rōpū the opportunity to reset, reconnect and rejuvenate their taha tinanga, hinengaro me taha wairua.  

Te Pāpori o Whakatere

Facilitated by Tū Maia, the third and final Te Pāpori o Whakatere wānanga was held over two days at Te Whenua Taurikura. Te Pāpori o Whakatere is a development programme aimed at supporting the development of whānau driven initiatives that have the ability to create far reaching social impact for whānau. Te Pāpori o Whakatere offers the opportunity to support the growth and development of innovative initiatives through wānanga, networking, coaching, and professional mentors that. This year’s cohort were pakihi owners from Wave 16 that took the plunge to put themselves and their aspirations out their to really upskill and upscale their pakihi. The graduates of Certified Change Agents came from throughout the motu and it was amazing to bring together such a broad range of kaupapa and experiences, including several artists who highlight the creativity of our culture. Our graduates are:  

  • Bridgette Keil from Waihōpai, who is creating mahi toi and graphic design through Koukou Designs to display the very best of our culture.  
  • Charline Wallace from Wairau, who is another Māori artist pursuing her craft through Aku Taonga.  
  • Cinnamon Laubscher from Wild Skin here in Ōtautahi, who has a passion for nail care with her range of high-end cuticle oils.  
  • Jade Hancy, half of the dynamic duo that makes up Little Shop of Taonga from Kaiapoi. She and her husband Dion create taonga that are both beautiful and functional.  
  • Niki White from Wānaka who is establishing White Creatives Ltd, a business that creates taonga to remember our loved ones who have passed on with the epitome of a personalised touch.  
  • Sheena McGlone from Te Wairua Limited in Ōtautahi, whose business was named after her daughter and provides luxurious blends of bath salts and massage oils to restore and soothe the tinana.  
  • Ty Tainui from Arahura, who brings his unique flair to carving our beautiful pounamu through Poutini Pounamu West Coast Jade 

Tātou and Mako Design – a beautiful pairing

Many of our whānau in Ōtautahi will be familiar with Tātou, the hub of wonderfulness found on Morrison Avenue in Northcote. The neighbour café sells kawhe, vegan and healthy kai, and always provides services with a smile and a focus on creating opportunities for kōrero and connections.  

Tonya Marriott and Joseph Bowen have created a warm and inviting space that represents “home” to their customers. Tonya has many years of catering and hospitality experience, while Joseph has a keen eye for design. The décor has an emphasis on toi Māori and Pasifika, and within their space our culture and identity is evident from the manaaki to the art adorning the walls.  

Ann and Tara Munro Voice are two artists who contribute to the offerings at Tātou. The mother-daughter duo are behind Mako Design, a small business that creates jewellery, homewares and gifts celebrating the beauty of Māori design.  

Both Tātou and Mako Design are beautiful examples of whānau-owned businesses, and we encourage you to check them out online and if you’re in Ōtautahi, pop down for a visit.