Fully qualified nurse

Congratulations Nicholas (Nick) James Allfrey who became a fully qualified nurse in December. Nick left school at the age of 16 and worked for two-years. He was happy with what he was doing but wanted a career, and asked us if it would be ok if he went back to study and tried to get a nursing degree, we said, go for it.

He took pre-med for three months applied to nursing school and was accepted.

He has worked hard for three years studying and going to different placements in hospitals and out into the community, even venturing to Kenya as a volunteer nurse, with wonderful feedback from everyone he came in contact with.

Nā Donna Allfreg.

Proud father Lex with his son Nicholas James Allfrey.

Ōmāui whale stranding

A 8m rare female arnux’s beaked whale, (berardius arnuxi) stranded itself at Ōmāui on Saturday 20 January. This species is common around the southern hemisphere, but it is largely oceanic and mostly lives far from land. Rūnanga members, Department of Conservation (DOC) members and the local community worked tirelessly to re-float the whale.

Rescuers working tirelessly to re-float the stranded whale.

Sandbags were filled to prop the whale up, a local farmer dug a trench, continuously keeping the flipper clear, team work was required when the rollers came in to prevent the whale from being plummeted like a tumble weed (a scary sight to see a two-tonne whale being thrown around). The volunteers were aware their own safety was at risk and as a team they watched each other’s backs.

At precisely high tide a pod of whales appeared to be waiting offshore, the stranded whale began to communicate via sonic clicking, and with a final thrash of strength she returned to Tangaroa. After four hours in the water the adrenalin-filled rescuers enjoyed a hot drink and kai, finally met each other and happily headed home tired but inspired by their efforts.

Unfortunately success was short lived, two hours later DOC were advised the whale had beached again in a less accessible rocky area. At this point it was established the whale was distressed and suffering too much to survive a second rescue attempt on the next tide 10 hours later. The hard decision was made to euthanise the whale and end its suffering. The following day DOC were notified a second whale had beached straight opposite the Ōmāui whale at Sandy Point. This whale was also euthanised While the outcome was not ideal, the experience has left two Awarua members inspired and keen to attend future whale stranding hui.

Rangatahi mentoring wānanga
A series of outdoor youth mentoring wānanga will be held throughout 2013 in the school holidays to build cultural capacity and life skills of our Ngāi Tahu rangatahi. These wānanga will start and finish at Te Rau Aroha Marae in Bluff. Camps shall take place in Te Akai Tai Tonga (Catlins) over a period of four days. If you are aged between twelve and seventeen we would love to hear from you now! Sounds like you!! Give Steph a call or an email after 5pm weekdays.

Steph Blair
Awarua Rūnanga
027 281 5708
[email protected]