Ngā wāhine toko i te ora - Te Tairāwhiti at the Māori Women's Welfare League National Conference 2023
Kaupapa Wellbeing: Actualising transformational change in Te Tairāwhiti
Ko ngā wawata a Hina. Dreaming under Hina’s influence.
Kaupapa Wellbeing shifts mindsets and data shows improved wellbeing
By Ranui Maxwell
Kaupapa Wellbeing is a year-long prototype aligned with the maramataka that seeks to provide sustainable prevention solutions for the health and wellbeing of wāhine in Te Tairāwhiti and their whānau.
The prototype was co-designed with wāhine from Ngā Wāhine Māori Toko i Te Ora – Te Tairāwhiti (Māori Women’s Welfare League – Te Tairawhiti (MWWL)) during the initial phase of our collaboration. Using their lived voice to understand their aspirations. The co-design session used Te Whare Tapa Wha framework to record their aspirations. Te Whare Tapa Wha a framework designed by Sir Mason Durie acknowledges that there are four facets to achieving ora. Using Māori frameworks like maramataka dn Te Whare Tapa Wha to guide our prototype has been key to how we have created, pivoted and supported this kaupapa to build the adaptative capacity of our wāhine.
Our wāhine have shared their lived realities and have made the Healthy Families East Cape team aware of the challenges facing our local health system and how this impacts on their health their whānau and community.
It has been a year since Healthy Families East Cape began our collaboration with our Kaupapa partners, MWWL.
Kaupapa Wellbeing has been able to refresh MWWL’s activation of leadership in our communities and within our iwi, hapu and whānau. MWWL have been activating leadership since their establishment 1951, and the partnership is about uplifting the adaptive capacity of the community in the direction of greater strength.
The Healthy Families team have recently presented the second taha, te taha hinengaro, which included;
We also able to collect data thorough our evaluation forms that indicated early indicators of success. Which supports that the collective wellbeing approach is creating a greater impact with the wāhine and their whānau and community.
Mindset behaviours also indicate that using a holistic and Māori framework approach to health and wellbeing is proving successful. Our data showed that 80% of the wāhine completed the Te Taha Tinana resource, by writing in their maramataka reflection journal, using the sleep dial to understand the amount of hours sleep they need and completing their te whare whare tapa wha activity card. 93.7% from the original group received Te Taha Hinengaro resources with a few absences in the second regional hui due to the weather conditions. In the following weeks, those who didn’t attend the hui have now completed te taha tinana and started te taha hinengaro.
One participant communicated that the resource gave her the inspiration to implement physical activity in her day. “Having it written down and in front my me made it easier to just go and do it”.
Another participant commented on how having sleep strategies has allowed her to take control of her sleep habits. She is experiencing improved sleep and the benefits of this in her day from more energy to better clarity in general.
Key learnings for the team, is to connect and provide more support to our wāhine in between the regional meetings. Team reflections have played a beneficial role in ensuring that we remain focused on what is best for the kaupapa and our back boning approach. With the increased capacity and capability in the team we have hosted a pop-in session during the week attended by six wāhine.
We have continued to use the dedicated Kaupapa Wellbeing Facebook page post content specifically around the maramataka phases and what activities are suitable during these times. Our communications team have produced five videos about the maramataka phases , these videos are designed to give our wāhine more knowledge on how they can use the maramataka in their everyday lives. These videos have also been socialised across our other Healthy Families East Cape platforms, Tik Tok yielding the most engagement.
We acknowledge that some of our wāhine don’t use social media, alongside creating content for Facebook we have created four E-Panui in aligned with each of the marama phases to a distribution of 28 wāhine. For those who don’t use email we have been able to utilise our pop-in sessions to connect and clarify the resources. Alongside our wāhine our team is participating in each of the taha this allows us to test and pivot when required.
From a systems thinking perspective, we know that advancing equity by shifting the conditions that hold a problem in place. Together with our kaupapa partners we work to influence these conditions at all of levels of the system in order to improve the health and wellbeing of our people. Relationships have been key to this approach, acknowledging that many of our wāhine hold influential positions within regional and national organisations.
The Healthy Families East Cape team also attended the Māori Women’s Welfare League National Conference held in Rotorua earlier last month. Tomairangi Higgins, Manager addressed the forum detailing our approach and Kaupapa wellbeing prototype. What is exciting is that we were able to hear and see the enthusiasm for Kaupapa Wellbeing. MWWL National team work with a number of system partners at local and regional level, they have the relationships to influence real change at many levels. Adding to our depth and reach of our solution eco-system.
The conference was attended by 130 branches from around Aotearoa as well as branches from Perth, Northern Queensland, New South Whales and the Gold Coast. The team was able to see first-hand what MWWL action through the longest running Māori organisation. They advocate for Maori women and their whanau, promote and support Maori women to find their voice and use it, develop partnerships with other organisations who align with our goals, engage in positive initiatives ,advocate for indigenous women all over the world, hold the government to account to uphold the Tre Tiriti o Waitangi and believe in the potential of us all.
We believe that Kaupapa Wellbeing is poised to be scaled across Te Tairāwhiti and up the system and across all sectors and the motu Building the leadership capability tracking towards sustainability.
Pictured: Justine (Comet Swimming instructor) Māmā and Pēpi of Taurikura at Elgin School Swimming Pool
By Ranui Maxwell
“He pukenga wai he hononga tāngata. He hononga tāngata, he pukenga kōrero – Where water meets, people meet. Where people meet, knowledge flows.”
TAURIKURA to harness the power of mātauranga māori in a transformative approach to swimming and water confidence.
From a Te Ao Māori perspective, the relationship with water is considered important to many of our tikanga and kawa (protocols and practices). Most believe that we are born from water, it is a giver of life and the connection to water is embedded in our cultural identity. However our drowning rates paint a different picture.
Drowning is one of the top ten causes of death worldwide (WHO, 2014). Last year, Māori accounted for 31% of all drownings in Aotearoa, New Zealand despite only making up 17.1% of the population (Statistics New Zealand, 2021; Water Safety New Zealand, 2021). The 2021 Māori drowning toll was slightly higher than 2020, and 43% higher than the five-year average, recording the highest number of Māori drownings since 2001 (Water Safety New Zealand, 2021). Most of these drownings for Māori occurred while swimming (Water Safety New Zealand, 2021).
Te Tairāwhiti is surrounded by 80% of water, between 2012 – 2022, 50% of drownings in Gisborne occurred at beaches. All-year round activities involving water is common practice for the region. Subsequently the region continues to be impacted by severe weather events including significant flooding in some areas, the importance of water safety and water confidence is paramount for the region.
Tomairangi Higgins (Healthy Families East Cape, Manager), is a current board member of Comet Swimming Club. Tomairangi first attended learn to swim lessons with the club when she was 5 years old, making this kaupapa a full circle moment for her and her whānau. Comet established in 1958, earlier this year was unsuccessful in their application for the learn to swim tender, which was awarded to an overseas provider for the newly established Kiwa Pools. Comet still run lessons out of the Elgin School swimming pool. They recently won the Best Swimming Club Innovation Award for 2023, the Taurikura kaupapa formed part of the application for the award.
After the birth of her first baby in January 2023 Tomairangi inquired about swimming lessons that could be offered to māmā and pēpi through another sub provider, they incurred a number of barriers including long wait lists and costs. Through Tomairangi’s relationship with Comet Swimming Club she approached them with the idea to run classes for māmā and pēpi. Within a couple of weeks, funding had been secured to offer free lessons to 10 māori māmā and their pēpi between the ages of 3 to 6 months. The Taurikura kaupapa began to take shape, with a building and flying the plane approach started. We have named this kaupapa Taurikura this translation means 'to be prosperous, to be thriving". This is the opportunity we are giving both our māmā and their pēpi through building a positive connection to waiora.
“Tomairangi found a group of local Māori māmā and pēpi, Justine, our Comet instructor, to take the jumped at the opportunity to begin bilingual lessons. Her ultimate goal is to teach these lessons 100% in Te Reo Māori” says Rochelle, Comet Swimming Club Manager.
Taurikura has provided a safe and nurturing environment, based on reciprocity, Justine is supported in her Te Reo Māori journey while our māmā and pēpi are taught water safety techniques. Our intention is to build the capability of the group and extend knowledge around moana. “Combing the expertise of Comet with the enthusiasm of our māmā we look forward ensuring our community and wider whānau are safe in and around the water” says Rochelle.
"I feel deeply connected with the kaupapa and whānau in this space. I am truly blessed to be able to hold and grow this space for our māmā, pāpā, pepi and whanau where we combine valuable swimming skills, positive experiences, Waiata, Kōrero, Te Ao Maōri as one.I hope to encourage more whānau to come and be a part of this kaupapa", says Justine, Comet Swimming Instructor.
Through a systems mapping exercise, there is a need for more water safety and confidence classes to be offered. Taurikura is the only kaupapa offering classes to babies under 4 years of age. Other providers are focusing on high needs tamariki or tamariki 4 years and over. There were over 1200 Māori pēpi born in Te Tairāwhiti between 2022 and 2023. Healthy Families East Cape’s aspiration is that Taurikura is able to be scaled and offer classes beyond the 10 māmā and pēpi the kaupapa is currently serving. From a health prevention lens, we can see the potential and the need for these classes to be offered in the future.
Healthy Families East Cape, has been partnering with a number of kaupapa partners using maramataka to understand our natural environment and how the marana has an impact on our overall health and wellbeing. The Taurikura prototype seeks to harness the power of mātauranga māori by using the maramataka to guide the lessons, waiata and karakia māori as a form of transitional knowledge while normalising te reo māori in places we live, learn work and play.
It is a trend that Māori are drowning and most of these incidents are preventable, by testing māori frameworks, belief systems and knowledge systems allows us to determine if Māori connect better to values and ideas that are indigenous to them. This is an opportunity for Healthy Families East Cape team to test our assumptions that maramataka and mātauranga māori can help us predict what dangers might be on a particular marama phase or read tohu (signs) better to ensure safety.
We know that each marama can dictate if it is a good time to be around water or not. These same principals can be applied when interreacting with any body of water and will be taken into consideration when planning Taurikura lessons in the future.
Western water safety and water confidence lessons play a role in lowering the drowning rates, however costs and timing can often be a barrier to whānau Māori. We understand that there are minimal opportunities for whānau to access kaupapa māori based water confidence lessons throughout Aotearoa. Through the Taurikura kaupapa, Healthy Families East Cape have connected Nati Pēpi and Turanga Health with discounted classes with Comet for the māmā and pēpi they are working with. Our kaupapa partners Māori Women’s Welfare League – Ngati Uepohatu are also supporting Taurikura in access resources to support the kaupapa in 2024.
The investment from Comet Swimming Club into Taurikura over the last three terms is over $5,000 which has allowed our māmā and pēpi to continue.
By taking a mātauranga māori approach we are building a capacity of whānau, hapu, iwi and community to understand how the marama plays a role in how we interact with water. We are strengthening the prevention in the high fatality rates in Te Tairāwhiti while nurturing healthy relationships with water and play from an early age in attempt to prevent long term chronic illness later in life. We are committed to working alongside māmā pēpi and their whānau to build a kaupapa māori approach to water confidence. The programme is designed to prioritise those most at risk. Our overall aim for Taurikura is to create environments where mātauranga māori is used to address the need to have a Māori understanding swimming and water safety programme that aims to uplift whānau health and wellbeing.
We asked our māmā to share their experience with us, this is what they had to say;
Healthy Families East Cape are continuing to partner and have conversations that seek to elevate the growth of Taurikura into the future.
Para Ika: Whānau Innovation in Action
Mana mai, mana atu, mauri mai, mauri atu, tapu mai, tapu atu, tiaki mai, tiaki atu
Whānau Innovation solves food waste problem and creates fish fertilizer using traditional tīpuna techniques.
By Ranui Maxwell
A whānau legacy of fishing, hunting and gardening has mobilised whānau innovation in creating fish fertilizer with the discarded parts of the fish like the skin and fish bones.
Mamera Patchett and her husband Mark come from genrations of fisherman, hunters and garderners. Through a love of mahinga kai and community, Mamera and Mark share the kai they catch or gather with friends, whānau and the community of Ōpōtiki.
During the 2021 COVID-19 lockdown restrictions Mamera, started to reasearch on how she could use or dispose of the fish parts more sustainably. Through reasearch, trial and error she found a way of creating a fish fertilizer. Utilising the rau pokepoke (leaf mould) in combination with the discarded fish parts to create the fertilizer. A practice that can be traced back to traditional techniques our tipuna undertook.
The fish fertilizer prototype is combination of of using traditional tīpuna techniques and untilsing modern resources such as plastic buckets and a mechanism that allows the mixture to ferment in the bucket, and locks most of the smell in the bucket.
Mamera is Healthy Families East Cape’s Communications Innovator who came up with the innovation before starting in the team. The team saw an opportunity to backbone this protoype as part of our Mahinga Kai area of activation, co-designing and co-creating kai security across the East Cape. The kaupapa also seeks to create soil resilliency while evidencing tīpuna techniques particluary with creating kai secure communities and
Healthy Families East Cape Rautaki Māori Jade Kameta coined the name Para Ika to acknowledge our wāhine atua Parawhenuamea, born from the union of Tāne and Hinetūparimaunga. Parawhenuamea is the muddy, fertile soil on Papatuanuku, as well as the earth's waters, springs, streams, and rivulets, that run off the hills and mountains. And Ika are the children of Tangaroa.
There are many benefits to this innovation, repurposing food waste, participating in regenerative agriculture, growing more nutrient dense kai and testing and evidencing our tīpuna techniques.
Healthy Families East Cape acknowledges the mahi that people and organisations who are already championing kaupapa around kai and soil relisency. We have drawn on some of their insights and knowledge to inform our direction and focus for this kaupapa.
Dr Jessica Hutchings founder of Papawhakaritorito Trust: Kaitoke. and co-reasearher and author of He Whenua Rongo report: Elevating Māori soil and kai resiliency (2022)
, speaks to how broken the food system is here in Aotearoa. We produce enough kai to feed 50 million people but many of our 5 million people are going hungry primarily Māori and Pacific peoples. “There is much money to be made in the broken food system, which is being driven by free trade agreements, corporate interests, and an intellectual property rights regime that views nature as a commodity to be patented and exploited, denying nature's sacred rights as atua (deity) within an interconnected woven universe”.
“What we know is that food prices are increasing, we are in the midst of a cost of living crisis so creating kai-security for our whānau is a top priority for us”. Tomairangi Higgins , Healthy Families East Cape, Manager.
The cost of food remains at a 13-year high, with new statistics showing annual prices were up 8.3% in September compared with the same time in 2021.
That’s the same price hike seen in August 2022 and comes as living costs and inflation remain sky high.
Stats NZ said grocery prices were the primary contributor to the movement – up 7.7% overall – with fruit and vegetables up 16% on the past year. Meat, poultry and fish prices were up by 6.7%.
“Increasing prices for yoghurt, two-minute noodles, and tomato-based pasta sauce were the largest drivers within grocery food,” consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said.
“The global food system displaces small-scale farmers and prevents Indigenous peoples from eating and cultivating our cultural landscapes as daily acts of food and soil sovereignty while also growing and concentrating corporate control and power through the reduction of the food system to a near monoculture that produces nutritionally empty food. There is a link between the loss of biodiversity in our landscapes and the diversity in our diets”. Hutchings, J., Edwards, P., Edwards, H., & Smith, J. (2022). He Whenua Rongo Summary Report: Elevating Māori soil and kai resiliency. Papawhakaritorito Trust: Kaitoke.
For small communities like Ōpōtiki where there is access to one supermarket. But where fishing and hunting are common practice for many whānau in the region. The protype is an exciting opportunity to address food waste, create soil resiliency and evidencing tīpuna techniques.
Mamera and Mark have been using the Para Ika fish fertilizer for just over year and observed and recorded the following insights:
“There have been so many learnings which has allowed us to really understand the power of the fertilizer, a lot goes along way” laughs Mark
We look forward to sharing more insight as we test and gather data and insights on the Para Ika Fish Fertilizer.
If you are interested in knowing more about this kaupapa, email Mamera Patchett: Communications Innovator: email@example.com
“Tōku reo, tōku ohooho, tōku reo, tōku māpihi maurea, tōku reo, tōku whakakai marihi”
“My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul, my language is my prized possession.”
Hoki atu ki tōu maunga kia purea ai e koe ki ngā hau o Tāwhirimātea
Return to your mountain to be cleansed by the winds of Tāwhirimātea
A heritage trail that stretches throughout Te Tairāwhiti from Gisborne to Ōpōtiki that promises community connectedness, whakapapa, and sustainable infrastructure to the region has begun.
Te Ara Tipuna is the proposed network of ara (paths) and accessways, connecting existing tracks, old and new, bringing to life unused trails, defunct paper roads, and encroachments, along with new mapping to create a continuous journey from one end of Te Tairāwhiti to the other, through the iwi rohe or alternatively tribal lands of Ngāti Porou, Te Whanau-ā-Apanui, Ngai Tai ki Torere and Te Whakatōhea. That’s 657 kilometers, travelled over 26 days through 22 communities and Marae.
The trail has drawn inspiration from the Camino Frances a pilgrimage starting in the south of France, over the Pyrenees mountains and across the north of Spain to Santiago de Compostela, and is being realised in Te Tairāwhiti as a multi-layered whakapapa experience. Healthy Families East Cape’s Rautaki Māori, Jade Kameta, is excited at the opportunity for Healthy Families to be involved and support the long-term project.
“It was a privilege to observe some of the engagement hui and listen to what the community had to say in response to the comprehensive Te Ara Tipuna presentation provided by the project leads. After hearing their risks, concerns, and recommendations, and reassurance that more whanau, landowners and community engagement will be held and are essential for the success of Te Ara Tipuna” says Jade.
Te Ara Tipuna, meaning the way of our forebearers, is a strategy to evoke a whakapapa experience, connecting to the whenua of our tipuna, while allowing our senses to experience the taiao, their whakapapa connections to the whenua and the many pūrakau (stories about the whenua and our tipuna.
The trail proposal also speaks of it’s power and signifcance in providing a platform for whānau to connect to their whenua, whakapapa and pūrakau. There is also potential to support whānau, landowners, hapu to start up small businesses, including courier services, accommodation, kai outlets, guided trail services etc. This is one way that whanau can elevate their wellbeing.
The beginning of 2023 saw Healthy Families East Cape receive an invite from Rau Tipu Rau Ora (Tairawhiti Regional Leadership Group) Tuara (Secretariat) to partner with them to complete the social impact report required as part of the resource consent application that the Te Ara Tipuna Project team was submitting to the Gisborne District Council, the Opotiki District Council and EBOP Regional Council. The social impact assessment report is one of a number of reports that were prepared for inclusion in the resource consent application, including cultural impact, environmental impact, archeologically impact and sport and recreation impact assessments.
Te Ara Tipuna will not only provide an opportunity for iwi members to connect with their whenua and their whanaunga but also strengthens the whakapapa and geographic connections between Tairawhiti and Eastern Bay of Plenty iwi and reinforces the mahi ngatahi that is already occurring amongst iwi, in relation to the Raukumara, housing and hauora, said Rau Tipu Rau Ora – Director, Amohaere Houkamau.
Over the past eighteen months, Te Tairāwhiti and Eastern Bay of Plenty have endured some of the most challenging severe weather events ever experienced, resulting in substantial damage to essential infrastructure, roads, bridges, waterways, whenua and housing.
Te Ara Tipuna is an opportunity to build, maintain and supplement current infrastructure through the development of walking, cycling and horse trekking accessways for communities and whanau, thereby increasing the modes of active transport available to them and enhancing their wellbeing.
Healthy Families East Cape believe that the impact of Te Ara Tipuna extends to more than the revitalisation of whakapapa and mātauranga, with the potential for active transport opportunities and health prevention ever present.
The distinct tourism experience that Te Ara Tipuna offers, in the heart of Te Tairāwhiti, is a walking cycling and horse trekking experience across isolated, rugged and rarely traversed terrain, , access to stunning beaches and bays, that will be enhanced by the unique pūrākau of our rohe, which will be front and center and told in our way, by our own people.
The unfolding of this long-term project aligns deeply with the transformational outcomes that the East Cape team is seeking for our communities. Applying our particular health prevention lens, Te Ara Tipuna has the capacity to contribute to positive and intergenerational health benefits of our iwi, hapu and whānau. Healthy Families East Cape, attended various whānau and landowner engagement hui throughout the region and can attest to the conversations around the potential impact on revitalising our matauranga across Te Tairāwhiti.
"During the hui, a number of cultural opportunities were discussed, including restoring Iwi, hapū, and marae connectivity as well as amplifying kōrero tuku iho, tikanga, and kaitiakitanga across the entirety of Te Tairāwhiti. As well as other opportunities. The community were open and eager for more hui, with the need to include more whānau, particularly the landowners and key people,” says Jade.
Building on the lens of health prevention are the forethoughts for regeneration and revitalisation of cultural wealth and capability for uri (descendents) of Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau A Apanui, Te Whakatōhea and Ngai Tai. The project also promotes the opportunity to have our indigenous identity reflected and celebrated in our unique natural and built environments.
The cultural legacies that the wider project teams have been able to evoke have created a great base for storytelling experience through the eyes, ears and footsteps of our tipuna and our people.
The project seeks to build and maintain the infrastructure of accessways for communities and whānau, allowing for improved and accessible modes of active transport (cyclists, horse trekkers), local commuters, visitors, and the whole of journey hikers, bikers and riders.
Follow Te Ara Tipuna:
Mā wai taku kauae e tō ki uta ki tawhiti”
Who will carry my jawbone into the future?
A whakatauaki that speaks to leadership and succession.
By Ranui Maxwell
Celebrating Mātauranga Māori success with Jade Kameta.
Last year our Rautaki Māori, Jade Kameta handed in his last assessment for his Masters in Māori and Indigenous Leadership, through Aotahi, University of Canterbury. The three-year journey of study was celebrated in March, along with some of his cohort at Pounamunui (Houmaitawhiti) marae in Rotoiti with proud whānau and friends.
In September last year, Jade attended a haerenga (trip) as part of his Masters program – (Cross-Cultural Research Tour Paper). The haerenga was designed to introduce tauira (students) to indigenous approaches to development, innovation, and self-determination in order to provide them with a rich and diverse set of precedents from which to design creative and principle-based solutions within our own communities and organisations. These approaches and concepts are aligned with Healthy Families East Cape’s areas of activation in the prevention of chronic illness and disease.
Jade and other Masters’ tauira investigated contrasting theoretical and philosophical approaches to indigenous development to provide them with a solid framework for critically engaging with and evaluating the comparative value, impact, and efficacy of various problem-solving approaches within Te Ao Maori.
Jade’s role as Rautaki Māori (Māori Strategist) generates the big picture systems view of health equity and wellbeing for Healthy Families East Cape through the application of Māori indigenous knowledge that can strengthen local systems, environments and settings.
The Rautaki Māori identifies and secures opportunities to activate or amplify kaupapa Māori across the health system, and the sectors and systems that impact Māori outcomes across Tairawhiti and the East Cape.
They heard from some incredible Māori influencers who have had an impact on a variety of spaces, including Mātauranga Māori, marae, hapū, iwi, politics, governance, councils, academia, environmental, legal, digital, art, business, housing, entrepreneurship, financial, health and wellbeing, mental health and addictions, built environments, placemaking, co-design, social enterprises, rangatahi and ringawera.
"The MMIL gives people the ability to articulate themselves better, to push mana motuhake at a local level, which can affect any level, whether be at a grassroots, management, or policy level”. “It also helps them build relationships with like-minded people throughout the motu” (Che Wilson, 2023).
“Not only has it improved my ability to articulate my mahi and passion for mātauranga Māori, but it has also allowed me to connect and learn from other amazing like-minded leaders, innovators disrupting the systems by pushing mana motuhake in their own unique way in their own spaces. It has validated all the mahi I've been involved with so far with Healthy Families to evidence mātauranga Māori as health prevention solutions. And it has unlocked new doors to opportunities to advance mātauranga Māori”, says Jade.
What Jade valued the most was that they traced the footsteps of the illustrious tūpuna Tahu Pōtiki, starting in Te Tairāwhiri, Uawa, Turanga-nui-ā-Kiwa, Wairoa, Heretaunga, Wairarapa down to Whanganuia-ā-Tara then ending our haerenga in Ōtautahi.
TAHU-pōtiki’s birth in Whāngārā has been conservatively dated to around 1450AD. He was the younger brother of Porourangi, the founding ancestor of Ngāti Porou. Tahu-pōtiki and Porourangi trace a senior line of descent from Paikea (circa 1350AD) to Pouheni, to Tarawhakatū, then their father Nanaia. (Nga Maunga Kōrero)
The haerenga was also underpinned by Māori values such as manaakitanga, whakawhanaungatanga, kaitiakitanga, wairuatanga, kotahitanga, whakapapa as well as the tikanga and kawa of the haukāinga.
“Our accommodation was mostly at marae until we arrived in Ōtautahi and stayed at Canterbury University,” remembers Jade.
“What added another layer of meaning to this haerenga was whakapapa – I whakapapa to Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau A Apanui and Te Whakatōhea on my mothers’ side. My daughter, Mai Hawaiiki, lives in Christchurch and her whakapapa is to Ngai Tahu.”
Jade’s daughter was able to join him for parts of the haerenga in Christchurch.
“Having had time to reflect on my trip, what is reminiscent is that the leaders we heard from were innovators and system disruptors working to improve equity for Māori. They all had a clear vision and followed their passion, drawing on the strength of their whakapapa, and serving a greater purpose than themselves” says Jade.
“Overall, the haerenga was an incredible opportunity to meet and connect with many inspiring individuals who are doing incredible things for the betterment of our people, while striving for Rangatiratanga and mana Motuhake.
“I'd like to thank the organisers of the haerenga, Jamie Hape and Sheena Maru, as well as our cohort's rangatira, Che Wilson, for this amazing opportunity.”
Jade vividly also remembers and quotes Rhonda Tibble from September 2022, “research done by each graduate today, will inform the business of your family. And if you’re not informing the business of your family, then who is”.
Rhonda Tibble of Ngāti Porou was also a speaker during the haerenga, delivering a kōrero about the new forms of leadership that have come from the past, what are the existing forms of leadership, and what forms of leadership we will require in the next 10 to 50 years.
Jade is certain her words will have an influence on his leadership style in the future.
The Healthy Families East Cape and Te Ao Trust congratulate Jade on his achievement. He kai kei aku ringa.
Ara, he pai ake te kaupare atu i te tuku I te mate kia pā mai, ā, ka rongoā ai.
Prevention is better than a cure.
Rongoā, a māori system of healing, was well developed before European settlers arrived in Aotearoa.
Rongoā in its most basic form can be described as treating, preserving, and applying medicines, to find a solution to a problem. Rongoā can also be described as traditional Māori medicine – a system of healing.
A Rongoā Māori approach focuses on the essence (life force properties) within each plant, the whakapapa (genealogy) of each plant and the environment they inhabit and includes the whakapapa of the healer and the one being healed.
The modern practice of Rongoā, is practiced by many who often treat and care for their iwi, hapu and whānau without financial gain. A recent graduate of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Diploma in Rongoā level 5 says “we collect Rongoā free of charge from our taiao (environment) and therefore we don’t charge our whānau for what they need”.
“Sometimes it is also about building the capability within our whānau so they can take care of themselves”.
Small rural communities like Ōpōtiki, Tōrere, Te Kaha and Omaio have access to one supermarket, two pharmacies and a couple of medical centers often travel of 45 minutes is required to access these places and products. Rongoā māori plays an important role in rural communities, ensuring that people have access to medicines to treat inflictions. This was particularly significant during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
Māori systems for treating illness were well developed before Europeans arrived in Aotearoa. There is evidence of quite detailed knowledge of anatomy, an understanding of physiological principles, and a recognition of the healing properties of various plants. This is also evidenced in our pūrakau (stories), waiata (songs) and whakapapa.
Evidencing mātauranga māori systems is identified as a key objective for Healthy Families East Cape. When it comes to Rongoā Māori we support our whānau being able to practice their traditional knowledge when it comes to their personal and collective health journey.
Māori have a philosophical understanding that Papatuanuku (earth mother) nurtures and sustains us, as our own mothers would, then it is not hard to believe that everything that we need to be well can be found in our taiao (environment).
What we now understand is that our relationship with our taiao is important not only for our overall hauora, but provides benefits for our mental health.
Pre-colonial times, our taiao provided much of what we needed to sustain and treat us, most people knew how each leaf, branch, berry or root helped with any ailment. This is extended to the food that we grow in the maara (garden).
Rongoā māori has long been practiced by Māori both as a prevention solution and in the management of people’s overall health and well-being.
In 1800 – 1900, there was a significant decline in the overall health and mental wellbeing of Māori. This can be attributed to the diseases that the European settlers brought with them. Māori had no immunity to these diseases like yellow fever, cholera, malaria and typhus. Māori understood that these diseases needed to be treated with Western medicine. Māori also suffered a decline in population that can be attributed to foreign diseases.
The new health reforms and introduction of Pae Ora, the new Māori health system, Te Aka Whai Ora (the Māori Health authority) have acknowledged the important role Rongoā plays in the health and wellbeing of Māori.
The Te Aka Whai Ora rongoā Māori work programme will be shaped by rongoā practitioners and whānau Māori.
It has three key workstreams intended to: surface Māori priorities and aspirations for preserving, protectand support rongoā Māori to understand the mechanisms that are needed within the health system to support those Māori priorities and aspirations for the sustainability; and viability of these important services to identify the funding paths and other resources needed for a sustainable rongoā Māori sector.
“A key part of Te Aka Whai Ora’s role at the heart of the new health system is to ensure the voice of whānau is heard and helps shape health services and the future of Māori health,” Hon Nanaia Mahuta says.
“It is also central to Te Pae Tata, the nationwide plan that sets out the first two years of action for Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora as we transform the health system.”
This work is particularly timely given the progress of the Therapeutic Products Bill.
“While rongoā is not specifically mentioned in the Bill, it is captured under natural products in the proposed regulations,” Mahuta says.
“I know this may cause concern within the rongoā sector and Māori communities as the Bill goes through the Select Committee process".
“Our colleagues at Manatū Hauora are carrying out targeted engagement with Māori that is specific to the Bill".
“Te Aka Whai Ora’s rongoā Māori work programme is focused on empowering Maori to lead out on the current and future sustainability of rongoā.”
The Healthy Families East Cape team has had the privilege to wānanga with Rongoā practitioners about the introduction of the Therapeutics Products Bill, and hear their lived voices and their lived realities in the application and teachings of Rongoā.
With the introduction of the bill in its current form, our community of practitioners have held several wānanga about the regulatory function and how this might impact the future use of mātauranga māori and the indigenous knowledge system they practice.
Ngai Tai practitioners are supportive of a local-solution approach, and they acknowledge that each iwi, hapu and whānau should be able to determine what their practice is.
The Healthy Families East Cape team has supported our community by making a submission on the bill, providing a rationale for the importance that mātauranga Māori has in our health system. You can read our submission here For further information on the Therapeutic Products Bill click here.
Healthy Families East Cape, is excited by the recent announcement that Rongoā Māori has been removed from the Therapeutic Products Bill. We understand that the Select Committee received an overwhelming amount of submissions calling for the exclusion of Rongoā Māori from the bill.
He mihi nui tēnei ki a koutou ngā mātanga rongoa Māori e pūpūri tonu i ngā mātauranga, otirā, i tēnei taonga i heke iho mai i tua whakarere.
“I orea te tuatara ka puta ki waho. A problem is solved by continuing to find solution”
This whakatauki refers to the need for creative thinking, adaptability and perseverance in order to solve a problem.
In Tairāwhiti, a remarkable innovation movement is revolutionising the game. Taiki e! Impact House is at the forefront of cultivating a culture of impact and innovation in our community. By empowering changemakers to tackle social and environmental challenges through entrepreneurship.
Taiki e! firmly believe that business can be a powerful force for social and environmental innovation. Their goal is to collaborate on all levels and create sustainable impact, by providing opportunities for the community to engage in impactful initiatives, inspiring them to lead their own innovative solution development processes.
The work at Taiki e! delves into the realm of imagination, exploring what it truly means to thrive and what changes are needed to make a positive impact on people and the planet. While it is crucial to address the immediate impacts of recent crises, we recognise the importance of examining the underlying systems that shape our lives. This is the essence of imagination work.
Reflecting the theme of "Imagine if..." Startup Weekend Tairāwhiti 2023 sought to create a new economy that prioritises system-level change while preserving our planet. This 54-hour innovation boot camp guided participants in shaping their ideas into viable business models aligned with their purpose. The event was driven by a passionate and dedicated volunteer team, supported by the energy and enthusiasm of our community.
During Tairawhiti's fifth Startup Weekend, 35 participants embarked on an incredible journey from imagination to creation. Seventeen individuals courageously pitched their ideas on the first night, and by Sunday, six teams presented fully fleshed-out business concepts to a panel of esteemed judges.
Cherish Wilkinson, a member of the Startup Weekend Tairāwhiti organizing team, says the ideas pitched at this year’s event were truly inspiring and a beautiful expression of aroha.
“We wanted to inspire our community to use their imagination and creativity to help solve existing problems and challenges.”
“What an amazing weekend it was. We are all still on a buzz at Tāiki e! Impact House. We’re full of gratitude to the special people that made this weekend possible. From the facilitators to the mentors, volunteers and judges, our organising team and sponsors, and most of all, to the participants.”
Healthy Families East Cape proudly congratulates Arohamai Funeral Home for winning first place at Startup Weekend Tairāwhiti 2023. Their innovative solution addresses the issue of inaccessible and unaffordable funeral services, offering affordable and solutions that are mana-enhancing and steeped in Mātauranga Māori.
Arohamai Funeral Home exemplifies the profound impact that can be achieved when individuals are empowered to create innovative solutions. In the weeks ahead, Healthy Families East Cape will shine a spotlight on the top three winning rōpū, showcasing the remarkable impact they are making within our community through their innovative solutions and business models.
Stay tuned as we continue to celebrate the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in Tairāwhiti!
Pictured: Winning team 'Arohamai Funeral Home' members.
Ki ngā whakaeke, haumi – Join with those who connected the waka together. Find your place, you are part of the action.
This whakatauki speaks to the entrance into the moon phases that supports action. This is how we set ourselves up to dream of connection and more open and intimate experience of living (Wawata, Dr Hinemoa Elder).
By Ranui Maxwell
Using Te Whare Tapa Wha framework and the maramataka to guide and inspire innovation in Kaupapa Wellbeing has been the driving force behind the partnership between Healthy Families East Cape and Ngā Wāhine Toko I Te Ora.
Under the influence of the Ōturu marama on Saturday the 6th of May our Healthy Families East Cape’s Practice Lead, Tomairangi Higgins, Rautaki Māori, Jade Kameta, and Communications Manager, Ranui Maxwell presented a Kaupapa Wellbeing prototype to our Kaupapa partners, Ngā Wāhine Toko I Te Ora – Te Tarāwhiti (Māori Women’s Welfare League – Te Tairāwhiti).
It has been six months since Healthy Families East Cape began collaborating with our Kaupapa partners, Ngā Wāhine Toko I Te Ora – Te Tarāwhiti (Māori Women’s Welfare League – Te Tairāwhiti) to understand what their aspirations for their own and their whānau well-being are. As collaborative partners, we have worked together to co-design a prototype that has culminated in created resources and tools to help our wāhine achieve their aspirations.
The Kaupapa wellbeing has been able to refresh Māori Women’s Welfare Leagues activation of leadership in our communities and within our iwi, hapu and whānau. Māori Women’s Welfare League have been activating leadership since their establishment 1951, and the partnership with Healthy Families East Cape team has been able refresh the adaptive capacity of the community in the direction of greater strength.
In attendance at the regional hui were over 40 wāhine, along with the National President of the Māori Women’s Welfare League, Dr Hope Tupara.
Dr Tupara spoke about the value of a partnership approach, noting their success with other partnerships. These partnerships are operating at every level of the system, meaning that partnership at this level can impact and influence transformational change at a policy level, and also shift behaviours at a community level.
The Healthy Families East Cape team drew inspiration for the framework from insights gathered from the wāhine across our region, and utilised a co-design wānanga that saw the Te Whare Tapa Wha framework help mould the collection of lived experiences and aspirations for wellbeing - addressing the four taha of wellbeing, taha tinana (physical), taha hinengaro (mental), taha wairua (spiritual) and taha whānau (family).
Aligned with the Māori Women’s Welfare League - Te Tairāwhiti Branch hui, Healthy Families East Cape have taken a quarterly approach, delivering prevention solutions via the resource pack and focussing on one of the four taha at each quarter.
What came from our co-design hui and insight gathering is that our wāhine acknowledged a holistic approach to well-being, and that there is a passion to utilise a Te Ao Māori worldview - a worldview where hauora can only be achieved unless we address all four taha of our wellbeing.
With this in mind, the Healthy Families East Cape team innovated to create resources that support their wellbeing journey, making it practical and drawing upon their overall aspirations - “Te Whare Whare Tapa Wha”, a take on a bingo card.
The resources included:
This quarter, the focus was on Te Taha Tinana, in line with our maramataka and the season, encouraging our wāhine to “korikori tinana” (move their body) for 20 mins and incorporate daily activities like walking their dog and visiting their awa (river/lake).
Healthy Families East Cape is committed to elevating maramataka and embedding the practice into all of our initiatives, and for some of our wāhine this will be the first time they have been exposed to the practice of Maramataka.
Healthy Families East Cape continue to gain insight from our wāhine through their reflective journal and deepen the knowledge of maramataka being a prevention solution that creates positive change in our wāhine, their whānau, and communities.
Kaupapa Wellbeing is elevating opportunities to work collectively to achieve an impact that makes a difference and evidence Māori systems of well-being.
E tū i te tū a Hamoterangi,
Wawata i ngā wawata a Hineteiwaiwa,
E Kā i te ahi a Hinemauhuika,
Tauiratia te mana a Hinetitama
Stand tall likeHamoterangi,
Dream big like Hineteiwaiwa,
Be the flame of Hinemahuika,
Healthy Families Hui-a-Tau 2023 – Sharing, learning, connecting and elevating our region’s lived realities
Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa. Let us keep close together, not wide apart.
In the final days of April, Healthy Families NZ held its annual national hui, entitled "Now & Beyond," which brought together 11 Healthy Families localities from across the country.
The national hui was hosted by Healthy Families Te Ngira at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia with the purpose for sites to learn, share and come away with tangible actions as the Healthy Families NZ health prevention and innovation movement enters its third phase.
The final night of the national hui saw all teams present kaupapa from across the country, with Healthy Families East Cape team utilising the time to raise awareness of the lived reality of our communities and region that have been and still are affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.
Attendees were given a firsthand account of the impact of the cyclone through a creative skit entitled "Survive the 35," an escape room style challenge which highlighted the barriers faced by our communities in the aftermath of the natural disaster.
The skit was used to spark discussion around preventative solutions and how communities can better prepare for future disasters.
Utilising the lived realities of six personas from both inside and outside the Tokomaru Bay community, participants in the room were invited to work together to devise real-time solutions to the challenges Te Tairāwhiti faced during the Cyclone:
“The team wanted to highlight the importance of community collaboration in disaster preparedness but also, they wanted to highlight the importance of prevention and innovative solutions at times like these, further delving into the tremendous role that Healthy Families plays in our wider ecosystem,” said Healthy Families East Cape Manager, Toni June, of the team’s performance.
Healthy Families East Cape would like to mihi and acknowledge all of our Healthy Families NZ teams for allowing us the opportunity and privilege to share, connect and be privy to their most cherished mahi from across the country.
Healthy Families East Cape would also like to mihi to Taiki e! Impact House, our pioneering community champions, for their guidance, partnerships and inspiration in providing us the innovation tools and techniques of “Fishbowl conversations” and “Unconferences” which were utilised as part of the Healthy Families NZ national hui.
These tools not only allowed our sites to creatively discuss and idea-share around key focus areas of Healthy Families, but they allowed us to elevate conversations around the importance of Mātauranga Māori as a health prevention tool, healthy food and physical activity choices, and increasing mental health, resilience, and wellbeing.
Taiki E! I rangatira mātou i a koutou. Te taea te whakahua i ngā kupu hōnore. Tēnā rawa atu koutou.
Every kōrero, connection and time for kai was an opportunity for learning, sharing, creating whakapapa ties and igniting our commitment to continuing the kaupapa of health prevention and innovation, “now and beyond.”
Finally, Healthy Families East Cape would like to mihi to Healthy Families Te Ngira for their organisation and hospitality of the national hui, for bringing our teams home to Te Rohe Pōtae o Waikato Tainui. Te kainga o tā tātou Ariki Nui Kingi Tūheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero Te Tuawhitu e noho mai nei ki te ahurewa o āna mātua tūpuna. Ko koutou kei runga tōhaunui i rangatira ai te manaaki i te motu pae ki runga i a koutou. Tēnei ka mihi.
Photographed National Healthy Families Hui-a-Tau 2023 attendees from our 11 Healthy Families localities.