Farewelling our General Partner Board members Simon Heath (left front row) and Rebecca Mason (right front row)

It is always hard to say goodbye to someone. Especially when that person has worked so hard for whānau and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, and so it is that we farewell with sadness two of our General Partner Board members this week.

Rebecca Mason (Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Toa, Ngāi Tahu) and Simon Heath (Ngāi Tahu) joined the board in July 2020.
We were just a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and the world was and is still, changed. No one knew quite what to expect. We were in uncharted waters. Rebecca and Simon brought humility and experience to the table and, not only their commitment to Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu and our extended whānau and their wise counsel, but also their friendship during their three-year term. We are sad to see them go but we know that they will continue their advocacy and support for Whānau Ora wherever they are.

Maybe it is te ngau o Makariri, the bite of Winter that has got to me as we farewell our directors.  The cold for many is not a welcome change.  Certainly, thinking about our whānau that are struggling with the rising cost of living and how they must cope in trying to heat their homes, and keep warm can get one down.  The season of Hinetakurua, of Winter is meant to be a time of learning, of recharging and being together.  Traditionally this is how our tīpuna would cope in the coldest of seasons.  They would find activities that they could do to keep warm, to keep their spirits up, to continue to grow and be ready for the year ahead.  It is something that Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu wants to embrace again.

As Matariki is close to the horizon,  many organisations at this time of year are in the fluster and flurry of the end of the financial year.  For Te Pūtahitanga it is the time when we pull together all the funding agreements, letters and documents from successful applicants to our various funds and create new agreements across the motu.  With over 200 sets of documents to get out the door in various forms, it is a busy, but exciting time as we think of the new year ahead and the amazing initiatives that will come about as a result of all of this work.

Felicia Whiu and Tracey Waho-Blayney, superstar whānau enterprise coaches from Fe & T Consultancy who specialise in professional business consultancy services.

In planning for the new year, we met this week with our partners in Temuka.  It’s important to us that we constantly reflect on what we are doing and whether or not it is truly supporting whānau on the ground.  Having regular meetings with our partners and taking the time to listen and learn about the challenges that they are seeing at a local level and within their communities is part of this.  We always appreciate the time our partners give us, their support to help us learn and their guidance to ensure that whatever we do truly makes a difference for whānau.  It really will take a united effort of all of us to create the changes we want to see.  Kei ngā ringa raupā o tēnā hapori, o tēnā hapori, kei te mihi.

Enjoying the magic of Matariki music

Matariki Around the World by Christchurch Symphony Orchestra


Matariki is near and as part of the lead-up to celebrations and acknowledgements of our Māori new year some of the team had the fantastic opportunity to witness the wonder of Christchurch Symphony Orchestra’s performance “Matariki Around the World” inspired by the children’s book of the same name penned by the wonderous Miriama Kamo and New Zealander of the Year Dr. Rangi Mataamua.  The night was a showcase of Māori musical talent across the board from taonga puoro, to the soloists, to the producers and composers.

As I reflect on the night and the wonder that music creates,  I am looking forward to Matariki and taking the time to look back, to help us move forward.  E te whānau, stay warm.