Kia ora whānau
With spring in the air, the timing has been perfect for planting fruit trees for our whānau garden. A handful of helpers put in the hard work, with special thanks to Nige Robinson and Mike Atwill for their professional installation of the irrigation system.

Trenching in the irrigation.

Planting the trees.

A gardener in the making.

Bruce over-seeing the job.

Looking good.

Kapa haka

Our team has been practising regularly these days and members are getting some new waiata under their belts. It’s not too late to join in, our ability levels are quite varied and practices are loads of fun for the tamariki! For more information, please contact Liz Robinson or [email protected]

Canterbury Area Schools tournament

This annual event was recently hosted by Akaroa Area School, and thoroughly enjoyed by the rakatahi. The Ōnuku Marae facilities were well utilised and many of our whānau, young and old, donated their time to food preparation, umpiring, homestays, transportation and much more.

Pōwhiri wānanga

On November 11 we will hold a wānanga at Ōnuku to strengthen our field in kaikaranga and whaikōrero. For details contact the office or Rik at [email protected]

Raising Hemi – our son with autism

To whānau, friends and the wider community, our son Hemi has beautiful hazel eyes, sandy brown hair, two gorgeous dimples and an infectious smile. He loves to kick his rugby ball and play outside amongst the trees. He is non-stop on the go and has difficulty sleeping. Dinosaurs, shapes and colours are also favourite things of his. He has shown us how amazing his little mind is whether it be using keys to unlock the door to run off or using toilet rolls to aid his climbing expeditions. Hemi is two years old and has recently been diagnosed with autism.

Since diagnosis we are now on a journey together celebrating the smallest steps of progress as he meets new challenges. Hemi has limited language skills and finds everyday things difficult. Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in Australia and New Zealand. One in 160 children is diagnosed with autism. There is no medical cure. However with early intervention Hemi will be able to attend mainstream school with his siblings. He will learn to communicate and socialise. Early intervention is an essential element in Hemi leading an independent typical life. Early intervention aims to rewire the brain. The theory is that very young brains are more ‘plastic’ (able to be reshaped) and that new neural connections can be made.

Research shows that between 25 and 40 hours per week of intense evidence – based intervention provides the greatest improvements for young children with autism. However with this intense therapy there comes a cost. We have worked out that we need $33,000 per year. After funding, we need to come up with $20,000 per year.

Therefore we invite you to become a sponsor to benefit ‘raising Hemi’ – our son with autism. The primary source of funding for raising Hemi is from corporate sponsors as there is limited government funding and fundraising activities. We will gladly accept items to auction online, goods and services and if you choose to make a monetary donation, a receipt will be issued for tax purposes.

Fundraising diary

Wrist bands for sale (available through his Facebook page and at Hui-ā-Iwi)
Custom made singlets, tees and snapbacks (available through his Facebook page and at Hui-ā-Iwi
Online auction 16 November – 24 November exciting music event will be held early in 2013
Your sponsorship will help assure the success of ‘raising Hemi’. All sponsors will be thanked through social networking (via Facebook), at the concert and promotional media. For further information, questions or account details please contact me via the three links below.

Yours sincerely,
Kylie, James, Tiaarangi, Meihana, Tama and our Hemi Mason.
[email protected]