I start the week reminded of this whakataukī, Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa, which speaks to the importance of connection, of staying connected, and of maintaining dialogue so that, together, we can continue to move forward.

Friday saw the end of coalition negotiations to form a new Government and a new leadership announced. In Te Waipounamu, another significant leadership announcement was made following the election of a new Kaiwhakahaere (Chair) at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu would like to acknowledge and congratulate Justin Tipa (Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Ngāti Hinematua), the representative for Te Rūnanga o Moeraki, as he steps into the Kaiwhakahaere role. E Kohurau e, nei ngā maunga o te motu e mihi ana, e mihi ana. Justin brings vast and proven experience and we mihi to all Ngāi Tahu whānui as you begin this new chapter of leadership.

We also acknowledge departing Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai (Poutini Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Waewae). Lisa has served on the Ngāi Tahu board for more than two decades and was the first wahine Kaiwhakahaere. Lisa has previously served as a member of the General Partner Limited Board here at Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu and we acknowledge her work and dedication over many years in the wider community.

As we all know well (but seem to have to remind ourselves), change is a constant.

I think back to Symposium 2023 and the theme, Tēnei te Pō! Tēnei te Ao!, which emphasised the cyclical nature of life and the importance of continual realignment. The message then remains the same today: whatever we are faced with, our central purpose of believing in whānau; investing in whānau; being inspired by whānau is our constant.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the new coalition Government. Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu looks forward to creating new connections and rekindling previous relationships.

We particularly welcome new Minister of Whānau Ora, Waikato-based Tama Potaka. Minister Potaka is also Minister of Conservation, Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti, Minister for Māori Development, and Associate Minister of Housing (Social Housing) and so he will be very busy.

As one of three Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu have our own unique approach, and we look forward to sharing our story and the many success stories of Whānau Ora in Te Waipounamu with  Minister Potaka.

Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa, to. Let us keep close together, not wide apart

Mauri ora


Nau mai ki a Maia

This month, we welcomed Maia Keepa to the office. Maia joins us as Projects Administrator within the Tangata Ora team as part of the Tupu Toa Summer Internship Programme and is with us until the end of February. Maia is in her second year of a double degree at Canterbury University – a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Māori and Indigenous Studies and a Bachelor of Criminal Justice. Please join us in welcoming Maia to Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

Standing proud

Fifteen Whānau Ora Navigators from throughout Te Waipounamu recently gathered at Awarua Whānau Services in Murihiku to celebrate a major milestone in their learning pathway.

For the past couple of years, all 15 have juggled mahi with their own family commitments to study toward a Certificate in Health and Wellbeing – Whānau Ora through Ara | Te Pūkenga, and it was an honour to celebrate their graduation together; we are incredibly happy to witness the fruits of their labour recognised and proud of the dedication and hard work in the quest to support whānau to reach their dreams.

The 2021-2022 cohort comprised a highly committed group of kaimahi who support whānau all over the motu across a range of situation every day, always putting improved outcomes for whānau outcomes and the centre of their work and encouraging and supporting a greater understanding and knowledge of Whānau Ora. It was not always an easy ride, but what a joy it has been to see the rōpū co-operate and support one another to get over the finish line.

At Awarua Whānau Services, the rōpū also had the privilege of having Invercargill-based Gina Malcolm (Te Āti Haunui a Pāpārangi, Ngāti Hauiti, Te Arawa, Tainui), a previous WAVE recipient, as guest speaker, who shared her insights into Whānau Ora. We mihi to Gina for her time and commitment.


He Oranga Poutama

Mihi Rose Tipene, Senior Contracts Advisor, and Toihi Mahuika-Wright, Tinana Champion, attended a He Oranga Poutama hui ā motu in Wellington earlier this month. Hosted by Sport New Zealand, our Tama Ora partner, it brought together Kaiwhakahaere from across Aotearoa to wānanga and share ways in which they have been working to support whānau Māori in their rohe.

The He Oranga Poutama investment stream is one way Sport NZ is working to address barriers for Māori and is designed to create pathways for tamariki and rangatahi Māori to stay active.

The hui covered delivery and futureproofing of He Oranga Poutama, impacts being made in the community, and how we can work together and build on our relationships with Sport NZ and one another.

Thank you to hosts Sport NZ and to all attendees; Mihi-Rose and Toihi left inspired and proud to have been able to share the stories of our own experience with He Oranga Poutama and the success of our Tama Ora entities.

He Pī Kā Pao graduation

As we reach the end of the calendar year, it was time for end-of-year assessments this week for kaimahi who have been part of He Pī Kā Pao te reo Māori (Level 1 and 2) wānanga delivered by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu acknowledges their achievements and also the dedication of kaiako Carla, Whaea Te Here and all kaiako that supported our tauira throughout the year. E mihi nui ana ki a koutou!