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.


Te Puna Reo o Te Ahi Kaikōura a Tama ki te Rangi

Te Puna Reo o Te Ahi Kaikoura a Tama ki te Rangi, a new kaupapa Māori early learning Centre on the grounds of Hāpuku School, provides a whānau-inclusive, te reo Māori learning space for all tamariki in Kaikōura. The first of its kind within the Kaikōura takiwā, the puna reo started as a bilingual playgroup, growing into a weekly, two-day immersion space. It then became clear to whānau involved that they needed to take the next big step and provide a purpose-built puna reo that would be open to everyone who wanted to attend. Read more here.

The gift of giving

We had the honour of helping the Biological Husbandry Unit Organics Trust (BHU), a Kōanga Kai entity, with their recent Swift organic potato harvest – nothing better than new potatoes at Christmastime! Despite the wet weather, a few hours in the māra kai saw a great harvest and allowed us to bring the bounty back to Te Whenua Taurikura a couple of days later to sort, pack and distribute to whānau. Swift are one of the earliest cropping potatoes and are great for boiling and in salads. Thanks to all who ‘dug in’ to help – ngā mihi ki a koutou.

Connecting whānau

It can be hard enough getting an appointment with your GP but imagine being based hours from the nearest town. Our Uruora telehealth initiative was created to help address the digital divide that exists for our Māori, Pasifika and rural communities in Te Waipounamu. A recent workshop for the shearing community hosted at Peter and Elsie Lyon’s Quarters near Alexandra proved an excellent way to share the word. Fun and informative, we had great feedback and plan to run another telehealth workshop in Alexandra in January. If you would like to know more about Uruora, see here.

Tihi Hauora Matihiko

Sam Selwyn, Manukura Kaitātari Kōrero ‑ Data and Information Manager, and Martin Conway, Toki Kaupapa Matua – Projects Specialist, joined by Ivy Harper and Vanessa Hutchins, recently travelled to Kirikiriroa to attend Tihi Hauora Matihiko, a digital health summitthat focused on Māori and Pacifica health outcomes. A beautiful pōwhiri from Waikato-Tainui set the tone for a full day of kōrero with the intent of identifying and amplifying the mana enhancing elements, factors and drivers that create impact in Māori- and Pacific-led digital health.

A roster of 20 speakers shared insights into how they deliver hauora in their communities and how they have applied digital solutions to the challenges their whānau face. Our participation in these events allows us to promote the Whānau Ora approach, shaped by whānau voice and led by whānau. At the same time we can learn from others who share the same objectives as us, to support better outcomes for whānau  in all aspects of life. The hope now is that the hundreds of Post-it notes sacrificed to capture the collective wisdom of the rōpū transforms into action.


Navigator induction

We held an induction session for Te Tauihu Whānau Ora Navigators at Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Kuia in Whakatū earlier this month. Pictured are, from left, Alena Beard and Toya Piggott (Motueka), Anaru Stephens (Whakatū/Waimeha), Deedee Bancroft, Ngaire Kingi (Wairau), Cliff Saxon and Lea Hemi (Whakatū), Maria Gear (Wairau) and Harley Kaihe-Katterns (Ōtautahi).

Getting festive

Here at the office, we have been getting into the swing of the festive season. Last week we had the traditional Christmas bake off, won by Mihi Rose (who made a yum brownie), Terina in second place with her ambrosia and Leanna came in third with her pavlova. We also had an ugly Christmas outfit competition, not sure if that was an honour to win but well done Kata. To top of the week we enjoyed our whānau Christmas party at New Brighton on Saturday, which was enjoyed by many.

Whānau Ora Navigators in Te Tauihu came together at Okiwi Bay to celebrate the festive season and to acknowledge the huge work the navigators do in the community. A big mihi to the holiday park who let the Navigators use their BBQ. Best wishes to our navigators in Te Tauihu and indeed throughout Te Waipounamu for safe and happy holidays!