E māpuna atu ana i ngā mate huhua o te wā. Ka tangihia, ka poroporoakitia rātou mā kua karangahia e Tahu Kumea, e Tahu Whakairo. Waiho atu mātou ki konei hei hopo, hei matapōrehu mō koutou. Nawaki atu rā ki te kāinga wairua i te rangi. Okioki mai rā. Te pito mate ki te pito mate. Te pito ora ki te pito ora. Tēnā rā tātou katoa.

Hoki mai rā koutou i tō koutou hararei, i tō koutou nohotahi ki te whānau. Ko te tūmanako ia e ora ana koutou i te whakatā, ā, kua whai oranga koutou mō ngā āhuatanga katoa kei mua i te aroaro i tēnei tau.
Nāia te whakamiha o te wā. Tēnā rā tātou katoa.

The summer holidays treated us with stunning weather. I hope you had a good relaxing break with whānau and friends, and that you’ve had a chance to re-energise yourself for the year ahead.

Early this year, I travelled with a small New Zealand delegation to the United States, where we met with organisations and schools to investigate ‘inquiry learning’ (problem solving) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education methods. We were there to find out about what STEM offers and to see whether it might work for us here in Te Waipounamu. What we saw and learnt was amazing in terms of student achievement and confidence and the ability to create solutions that apply to current issues for children.

Our first big event for the year was the Ngāi Tahu Treaty Festival at Awarua Marae on Waitangi Day to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty. It was a wonderful day with the Awarua whānau putting on a wonderful event as always.

For me, it was great to catch up with so many people and to soak up the manaakitanga – and of course the kai was spectacular. The theme of the day – the demographics of Aotearoa – got us thinking about where the Treaty might take us and what it might offer in future years.

Another focus was the importance of collaboration and partnership with other iwi, the Crown and the local community.

Next month the motu will descend on Christchurch for the world’s biggest Māori event, Te Matatini. He Ngākau Aroha is the theme for this year’s Te Matatini and it’s an opportunity for us to reciprocate the manaakitanga given to us during the earthquakes. I am counting the days until we welcome the motu to Ōtautahi and I encourage the iwi, Cantabrians and Te Waipounamu whānui to come along and experience this awesome spectacle – the finest of Māori performing arts, arts and crafts and of course beautiful kai.

It’s not too late to buy your tickets so go to www.tematatini.co.nz for more information. I hope to see you all there.

Ngā mihi,