In a week of grim headlines last week, in Te Tauihu the news was bright.
On Tuesday, after many years working alongside one another, the eight iwi and the three councils of Te Tauihu signed an historic partnership agreement that affirms their strong relationship and commits to working more closely together for the betterment of all people of Te Tauihu.
While the headlines tell one story, this agreement speaks to another; one of hope. I would like to acknowledge the eight iwi, who also govern Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, and the councils of Tasman, Marlborough and Nelson, for their leadership and vision. The Together Te Tauihu agreement reminds us of the value of our collective strength; while seasons change, our connections and relationships remain constant.
Partnership was also front of mind at a recent Mana Kāinga Māori Housing Leadership Programme wānanga in Tairawhiti. There, too, we sought to make the most of our connections, to share knowledge, know-how and ideas, so that we can then navigate shared issues more effectively. Again, the work at Hikurangi Enterprises (who presented at the Symposium), continued to inspire. We look forward to connecting with further rōpū to support solutions here in Te Waipounamu.
While in Tairawhiti, we were also privileged to visit Taiki E! and Haututu Hacklab, both innovative and positive spaces for whānau in Gisborne. Taiki E! Impact House is a dynamic hub dedicated to people eager to tackle pressing social and environmental challenges through entrepreneurship. It is a cool meeting place for those wanting to change the status quo for good and to pursue more durable societal change.
Taiki E! is a call to action and believes a business should be a force for positive social and environmental innovation. Renay Chateris, Director of Taiki E! says we should, “Let aroha drive the mahi”.
She is referring to the ‘Aroha Economy’, an economic system underpinned by indigenous knowledge. It is based on relationship economics, which ascribes to the idea that when businesses value people, experiences, and aspirations, they reap the benefits measured in profitability, loyalty, and advocacy. I can certainly see the appeal of the aroha economy and its alignment with te ao Māori.
Haututu is a vibrant and funky space that covers several kaupapa including 3-D printing, a plant and soil shop, laser printing and the digital space for those wanting to learn, know or do more in these areas. A group of local rangatahi from the Taiki E! Next Gen Entrepreneurship Club created a space for themselves where they can grow their leadership capability, create opportunities for rangatahi and learn entrepreneurial skills. As a result, many of the items they create in Haututu Hacklab, they sell through their shop. As you can see by the photos, the bowls produced using the 3-D printer or the lampshades created using the laser printer, highlight why these were popular items.
The Gen Club also created an escape room at the back of their shop to combat the lack of entertainment for rangatahi in the local area. The escape room is a popular activity for all age groups and allows the Gen Club rangatahi to further use their entrepreneurial skills. On the evening of the last day, we were able to enjoy for a few minutes the beautiful coastline and the stunning sunset.
Finally, as the Christmas rush takes over, I want to wish you all fabulous holidays this festive season. Take time to relax and rejuvenate, enjoy those moments with your whānau and remember it is all about your presence not the presents.
Meri Kirihimete, ngā mihi o te Raumati.