Kia ora koutou e te whānau, kā mihi aroha ki a koutou katoa.
The sun is shining, the Otago Harbour is glistening but as I write this news has broken that there has been a shooting at Hakatere/Ashburton.One can only imagine the pain of sudden loss of a loved one and as this tragedy unfolds our heartfelt sympathies go out to those who are affected and are unknown to us at this moment. I hope they will find inner strength and comfort from family and friends so they are able to face the days ahead.

Ngā mate

We also send aroha and sympathy to all our whānau near and far, who may be suffering a loss at this time, kia kaha, kia toa kia manawanui.

He pēpi

Our congratulations to any new births within the hapū.

A new season

It’s spring, the time for new life, awesome. Our local wildlife are doing their bit. One of the more significant populations of moko kākāriki/ jewelled geckos live in various spots on Otago Peninsula and recent reports say they are doing well, with at least 13 new-borns recorded.

May this high hang around for a successful lambing. Toroa /Albatross eggs are laid during the first three weeks of November and parents share the incubation duties over a period of 11 weeks. Chicks hatch during late January and early February. The key to raising a healthy chick is for both parents to feed their baby on demand for eight months so they can fledge in the following September to soar the Southern Ocean in their new found freedom.

This reminds us that the key to raising a well-rounded child is to establish a solid support system at home so that tamariki can grow up, venture into the world and be satisfied with their achievements and ambitions. Go cohesive, healthy happy and prosperous whānau.

Image from Rac Chris Northern Royal Albatross chick strengthens its wings.

Northern Royal Albatross chick strengthens its wings. Image supplied by Rac Chris.

Northern Royal Albatross Centre logo.

Department of Conservation relationship

Our relationship with the Department of Conservation (DOC) is under threat and needs to improve. We would like to return to having a more heartfelt relationship rather than just a policy-based arrangement. It is significant that their director general Lou Sanson has already made contact with Ngāi Tahu to assess the quality of the relationship.

DOC managers will be expected to identify issues and help to build the relationship. We hope that the new appointment, which is to be made in November, will help by contributing ideas from Kāi Tahu on how to fill this role.

DOC has rolled out their Te Pukenga Atawhai courses to enlighten their staff in values important to kaitiaki, to build staff capability and confidence.

A week long DOC staff training programme was recently held at Ōtākou and it is still receiving acolades from DOC. It was a positive experience for all involved – boy can those DOC staff sing and also great guitaring by those pou from the north.

Rangatahi on campus

Some Ōtākou members working in the city and at the University of Otago are meeting with Ōtākou rangatahi to awhi and support them, have kai or coffee or whatever they please.

If you are studying in Dunedin and want to know more about this, contact the Ōtākou Rūnaka office. We are also looking for possible candidates for the Dunedin mayoral mentoring programme.

Ōtākou members Paulette Tamati-Elliffe and university student, Talia Ellison.

Ōtākou members Paulette Tamati-Elliffe and university student, Talia Ellison.

Hui-ā-Iwi 2015

We are pleased that Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has agreed to fund a project co-ordinator to be based here in Dunedin to assist in planning for the Hui-ā-Iwi in November 2015. Meetings are ongoing between the working party, which is made up of representatives from Ōtākou, Puketeraki, Moeraki and the events team at Te Rūnanga. Once the role is filled we look forward to planning a successful hui.

Hui at Ōtākou

Reminder that our booking calendar is already filling up for next year. If you are considering a hui at Ōtākou please book well in advance to ensure your booking is secure.

Fruit tree pruning wānanga

Thanks to all those who were involved in the recent fruit tree pruning wānanga held in the māra kai. The wānanga was held to develop practical skills as a hapū to ensure future generations reap the rewards.

A special thanks to Fred Smith from the North East Valley community gardens, who made the trip out to the marae to share his knowledge, built up over 40 years of working in orchards.

Our māra kai is flourishing in this fresh spring weather. If you’re ever in the area, pop up and see Pete in the māra, no doubt he will have something sustaining to boast in there. Ka mihi aroha ki a koutou e te whānau o Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Peter Asher, rūnanga member and groundsman prunes one of the trees.

Peter Asher, rūnanga member and groundsman prunes one of the trees.