Whānau Ora partners and entities across Te Waipounamu have been busy this month, and we have been proud to be alongside them. Keep reading for the latest news and events from Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

Health Day at the Pā

Te Tai O Marokura Health and Social Services is a hapū-based service at Takahanga Marae in Kaikōura for all whānau who reside within the Ngāti Kuri takiwā. Last month, kaimahi made the journey north to support the Tai O Marokura team and Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura with their Health Day at the Pā. What an awesome kaupapa! Kai, flu shots, mirimiri, acupuncture  – there was a heap of support for whānau and we were so proud to see Whānau Ora Navigators Miriama Allen, Aroha Allen, and Courtney Halliday in full swing – their manaaki was on point! Ngā mihi ki a koutou – it is always touching to see our communities coming together to ensure no whānau is left behind.

Aroā screening event

Aroā, in conjunction with He Waka Tapu and Screen South, held another screening event at Te Whenua Taurikura here in Ōtautahi last week. It was a beautiful day with whānau and we were also lucky to have Dr Kelly Tikao, Senior Lecturer of Māori Indigenous Health Innovation at Otago University, attend with three Masters Nursing students to share their knowledge. As well as cervical screening, the event also offered information on breast and bowel screening and, of course, our manaakitanga was on point. We are committed to doing what we can to make screening a more comfortable experience for whānau. Keep an eye out for the next Aroā event.

Sharing knowledge

In Wairau, filmmaker Keelan Walker is nurturing the next generation of Māori storytellers. Last weekend the first in a series of digital storytelling wānanga was held for rangatahi and it was an impressive start! Keelan said it was a special weekend, underscoring the importance and effectiveness of using local pūrakau to connect and learn. The end result was a short film depicting the battle between Kupe and Te Hau, a story told in the pouwhenua at Pokapoka/17 Valleys, just outside of Blenheim. “I am truly amazed by the ambition, passion, and capability that our rangatahi have shown to produce this story, even with no real previous experience,” said Keelan. “They conceived, wrote, planned, and shot this short film in less than 24 hours. They had some help with the editing, but overall, the whole film was their effort.” Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is proud to support this wānanga series with WAVE funding. You can watch the rangatahi films here and here.

Catching up with our Mokopuna Ora whānau

Last month, Tania Batley, Kaitauwhiro Mātātahi Mokopuna Ora/Mokopuna Ora Contracts Advisor, travelled to Te Tauihu to visit three Mokopuna Ora entities – Maata Waka in Wairau, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Kuia and Whakatū Te Korowai Manaakitanga Trust. These organisations and their Connectors support whānau through crisis and tough times and Tania relished the opportunity to kōrero and share whakaaro kanohi ki te kanohi. It was so inspiring to see how each of the entities works to support whānau; this is not a one-size-fits-all approach!

Hawai'i International Summit

Two of our kaimahi made a special trip across Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa last month to attend the 21st Hawai’i International Summit on Preventing, Assessing, and Treating Trauma Across the Lifespan Conference in Honolulu.

Vanessa Whangapiritia, Pou Whirinaki ki Te Tai Tonga/Regional Champion for Southland, and Harley Kaihe-Katterns, Pou Whakatere/Relationship and Engagement Manager based in Ōtautahi, said the kōrero left a profound impact.

With a record attendance of 1600 individuals from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, the summit proved to be a monumental gathering of minds dedicated to addressing the complexities of trauma.

In a rare opportunity at an international level, Indigenous peoples from throughout the world were able to come together to address common themes, including the role of language revitalisation as a tool for healing trauma, the impact of the continued fight for whenua and human rights over generations, and systemic issues that contribute to sexual and physical abuse, drugs, and alcoholism and how these have resulted from colonisation and assimilation.

Vanessa and Harley say the summit reinforced the benefits of the Whānau Ora approach and the mahi being undertaken by partners right across the motu.

Kāpuhipuhi Māori Funders Forum

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu represented at the Kāpuhipuhi Māori Funders Forum in Whakatū last month. We loved catching up and encouraging whānau to seize those opportunities. Pictured are Jennifer Sasa and Leza Barnes, who are Whānau Ora Navigators with Whakatū Te Korowai Manaakitanga Trust, Deedee, our Pou Whirinaki in Te Tauihu, our old colleague and friend Te Ra Morris and Teone McGregor, Whānau Ora Navigator at Whakatū Marae.


And over to Wairau …

Deedee also attended the funders’ forums in Havelock, Blenheim, and Seddon last week – the Blenheim event in particular, was packed, which is perhaps indicative of the current belt-tightening and increasing pressure on community groups. In Seddon, people travelled all the way from Kaikōura. We look forward to more collaborative opportunities like this in other areas of Te Waipounamu, too.

RUIA and Tama Ora are open!

The rangatahi funds – RUIA and Tama Ora were launched last week. Applications for both funds close at noon on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. To find out more about RUIA or Tama Ora and how to apply, check our website or give us a call at 0800 187 689. Please help us make sure that our whānau are aware that RUIA and Tama Ora are open and ready for new ideas!

NZ Careers Expo

The team headed to the NZ Careers Expo in Ōtautahi last week to promote RUIA and Tama Ora and take the opportunity to hear from rangatahi themselves. Over two days at Wolfbrook Arena, we surveyed more than 500 rangatahi from throughout Waitaha and heard lots of inspiring kōrero. This week, we are at the NZ Careers Expo event in Ōtepoti.

He Oranga Poutama

Kaitauwhiro Whānau Mātua – Senior Commissioning Advisor, Mihi-Rose Tipene and Toihi Mahuika-Wright, Kaikōkiri Tinana – Tinana Champion, travelled to Rotorua last month to connect with He Oranga Poutama representatives from across the motu. He Oranga Poutama is an initiative by Ihi Aotearoa Sport New Zealand that is designed to create leadership opportunities and increase participation in active recreation and sport as Māori. We are lucky to partner with Ihi Aotearoa for our Tama Ora fund and appreciate the opportunities to connect with others involved in He Oranga Poutama.

The wānanga was hosted by Te Papa Tākaro o Te Arawa and was packed with physical activities that related to the journeys taken by their tūpuna. Participants followed the path that was paved by Hatupatu upon his escape from the bird woman, Kurangaituku. Then it was to the sacred island, Mokoia, a sanctuary to many of New Zealand’s endangered wildlife and home of the famous love story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai. The wānanga challenged everyone to push forward, to not give up and to persist. A huge mihi to hosts and organisers – Mihi-Rose and Toihi left feeling inspired, encouraged, and empowered as the next Tama Ora funding round begins.

Come work with us!

As the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island, we are a busy but hearty organisation privileged to work alongside whānau every day. We’re looking for three dedicated individuals to join our team in unique roles you won’t find anywhere else! Could you be our next Pou Whirinaki Ki Waitaha | Regional Champion – Central or Kaitauwhiro Mātāmua – Executive Assistant & Secretariat to the General Partner Limited Board or maybe our new Kaitauwhiro Whānau – Kōanga Kai | Commissioning Advisor – for Kōanga Kai. For more about these roles, and to apply, have a look here.

A special voyage

Last month, Kaitauwhiro Whānau – Commissioning Advisor Tainui Pompey had the privilege of travelling to Kaiteriteri to attend the Te Hau Kōmaru Waka Hourua Festival, hosted by local iwi and one of our very first WAVE entities, Waka Abel Tasman. This was the first time the festival had been held in Te Waipounamu and what a week it was! Tainui got to make the voyage home to Te Whakaraupō/ Lyttelton Harbour on Hinemoana with Te Toki Voyaging Trust and says it was a magical journey, with bioluminescent seas, clear skies, and an abundance of stars and wildlife. Tainui was no passenger, however, and quickly learned his way around the various roles. A huge mihi for this incredible learning opportunity to Faumuina Tafuna’i of Flying Geese, Greg Gallop (Kāpene) and Te Toki Voyaging Trust.

New Zealand Data Summit

Last week, Sam Selwyn, Nathan McCluskey, and Terina Harper from Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu attended the sixth Annual New Zealand Data Summit 2024 in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Held over three days, there were more than 40 speakers, 35 sessions, and two workshops focusing on enhancing public service through advanced data use and digital technologies. Discussions across government agencies emphasised the need to improve the lives of whānau through transparent and safe data practices and tackle some of the key challenges like data sharing and cybersecurity. The summit also highlighted the importance of co-design processes in data management and the need to place whānau at the centre of data management.

Breaking down barriers

Kaitauwhiro Mātātahi Mokopuna Ora, Tania Batley, has been busy! Last month she also attended the Australia New Zealand Gynaecology Oncology Group, (ANZGOG) Conference in Whanganui-a Tara. The theme of the conference was, ‘Breaking down barriers in gynaecological cancer care’ and brought into focus the cultural, socioeconomic, and regional diversity of patients and how through research into treatments and health practice, the increasing cancer burden, inequities of access to care and outcomes for our patients can be overcome.

Tania was invited to attend not only because of her role but also as a person with lived experience and got to share her pūrākau as well as be interviewed for the ANZGOG survivor stories series. We acknowledge Tania for her contributions in this space and also for her passion to ensure better outcomes for Māori.

Waitaha kapa haka

How incredible was the action at the Waitaha senior kapa haka competitions in Ōtautahi at the end of last month?!

It was the 60th anniversary of this prestigious competition and 13 teams took to the stage, with two rōpū, Kōkō Tangiwai and Te Kapa Haka o Ngā Hau e Whā ki Murihiku, making their debut. The top four groups, Kōkō Tangiwai, Ngā Manu a Tāne, Te Ahikaaroa, and Te Kapa Haka o Ngā Hau e Whā ki Murihiku will now go on to compete at Te Matatini 2025, in Ngāmotu/New Plymouth.

We were so proud of our kaimahi, Katarina McLean-Nutira, Kairuruku Whakahaere – Operations Co-ordinator, and Poharama Nopera, Kaitauwhiro Taura Tangata – Relationship and Fund Development Champion Tū Pono, as they took the stage after. Kata’s rōpū, Te Ahikaaroa was one of the four groups chosen to go to Te Matatini. This will be a huge commitment over the next year, but an adventure we’re all excited to support Kata with. To enjoy the magic of kapa haka over and over again, watch The Road to Te Matatini on Whakaata Māori.

Showcasing the richness of New Zealand Sign Language

We had three members of Tū Tangata Turi, Cruz, Sheree and Hemi, join kaimahi in the tari last week for our first group lesson in New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Inspired by Hemi’s presentation at last year’s Whānau Ora Symposium, we made the decision to stop thinking about it and just start learning, and it was appropriate to have the first class during NZSL Week. Cruz, Sheree and Hemi are amazing and it was a rewarding experience. We have started on numbers, the alphabet, and greetings and are committed to practising purposefully with one another until our next session next month.