This week we share the news of another kaimahi who will soon be departing from Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, to pursue an opportunity of reconnection with her whānau and her whenua. The indomitable Gina-Lee Duncan is taking up the role of General Manager at Koukourārata Marae, and we know that her passion and energy, as well as her lifelong commitment to Whānau Ora, will serve her well.

We’ve said farewell to a few kaimahi over the past few months, and I have found myself reflecting on the way our whānau here at Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu continues to grow and change as people come and go. We invest a lot of time and effort into supporting the professional development of our kaimahi, and we know it’s inevitable that eventually they will want to spread their wings. Most of the time, we’re torn between feeling sad that they’re leaving us and excited and proud for the new opportunities they are pursuing.

Of course, usually it’s not so much “haere rā” as it is “ka kite anō”, as we find that our kaimahi stay connected even after they leave. Whether it’s sending us regular updates by email, popping into Te Whenua Taurikura for a visit, or joining us at staff events, we are always glad to see people again and hear about what they’re up to.

To me, this is the reality of working in the Whānau Ora space. By investing in the wellbeing of our kaimahi, we grow their ability to deliver positive outcomes for our communities. In doing so, we also enable transformational change for them as individuals and for their whānau. Working at Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu can be a springboard, a way to gain skills and knowledge while doing meaningful work on behalf of whānau. While we will always be sad to see kaimahi go, we are grateful for the time we spend together and the incredible work they do while they’re with us.

Mauri ora,


Tū Pono Wānanga

Tū Pono Connectors from all around the motu of Te Waipounamu gathered this week here at Te Whenua Taurikura in Ōtautahi. They were together to share whakaaro, aspirations and inspirations from their experiences, and next week we will be able to share photos and kōrero from this special time. Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu acknowledges the depth of the mahi by Tū Pono Connectors and how important their work is for whānau, this organisation, and the wider community. We extended a warm welcome to them all over their two days here in the whare. Ka rere te mihi ki a koutou.

Terea Te Waka Te Reo Māori Conference

With support from Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Terea te Waka Te Reo Māori Conference 2024 occurred across last weekend. It featured a stimulating array of speakers included rangatahi through to kaumātua. It was a special privilege to hear the kōrero and experience the vibrancy and insights from the likes of Stacey Morrison and Professor Rawinia Higgins.

Hana and Tā Tipene O'Regan.

The opening address from Tā Tipene O’Regan and his daughter, the amazing Dr Hana O’Regan, was particularly poignant as Tā Tipene talked about his failing eyesight and that while he did not have the same expertise in te reo Māori as many of those who will speak after him, he said he had used his expertise of the English language to do all that he could for his people. It was a beautiful reminder that we all have something to give. Representing the tari were Pouārahi Ivy Harper, Kaikōkiri Tinana Toihi Mahuika-Wright, and Kaiāwhina Pūrongo/Reo Whānau Dr Lizzie Cook. It was so refreshing, to be awash in te reo Māori during the whole event.

Ivy Harper (left) and Toihi Mahuika-Wright (right) with Henare Te Aika-Puanaki.