Kia ora Whānau

We hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas break and were able to spend time with whānau and friends. Hopefully you are now feeling energized and ready to meet the challenges of 2015. If you have enjoyed a birthday in the last month or have new additions to your whānau, congratulations and wishing you all good health and prosperity for the year ahead.

What an awesome period of warm weather we have experienced over the summer. This weather has been a boon for holidaymakers and it has been wonderful to see so many people out swimming, surfing and enjoying the beautiful beaches in our rohe.

While we bask in the sun and grumble about how the garden could be better, we spare a thought for those affected by drought conditions further up-country. Water truly is our most precious resource and as kaitiaki, it is vitally important that our decision-making regarding this resource takes account of the needs of our future generations.


It’s been a big year for Albie and Joy Belcher, both making the healthy age of 80. But more importantly achieving something not many do, and that is celebrating 60 years of marriage. This achievement has been recognized by the Queen, the Governor General and our Prime Minister.

Albie was born in Southland in 1934, the son of Decimus and Marion Belcher, who were farmers in Woodlands and good Pākehā stock. Joy was born in Ashburton in 1934 and was the daughter of Bert and Agnes Bates, best known for being a saw miller. Good Māori stock with ties to many groups in Te Waipounamu.

Joy and Albie met in Fairlie after Albie moved there to join Telecom. Not long after that, in 1954, they were married and had three boys John, Stephen and Michael.

Joy is well known in the greater Ngāi Tahu community having set up rūnanga support groups in Tauranga and Ōtaki. Today the couple resides in Ōtaki.

Joy and Albie are an example to all of us and show that through love and trust we can achieve anything. Congratulations Joy and Albie. Nā Mike Belcher.

Joy and Albie.

Joy and Albie.

Monthly meetings

The general monthly meetings usually take place at Takutai o Te Tītī Marae on the second Sunday of each month. The dates for 2015 are as follows: 8 March, 12 April, 10 May, 14 June, 12 July, 9 August, 13 September, 11 October; 8 November. All members are welcome to attend the general meetings, so please feel free to come along and find out what is happening. If for any reason these dates change we will notify whānau as soon as possible.

A visit to Colac Bay

I had finished doing business in Invercargill and had a few hours to fill in before my plane left for Christchurch, so I went to Riverton for a drive. I had not been there for over 25 years. I stopped at the viewing platform on the edge of town looking out over the bay.

Across the road I noticed a sign indicating the offices of Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka. I went over and introduced myself and received a warm welcome from Lynley. She suggested that I go and have a look at Takutai o te Tītī Marae at Colac Bay.

As it was such a nice day, I took her advice and at the marae I met up with Iain, who showed me around. I was overwhelmed by the breathtaking views and the marae setting.

The marae itself has clearly had a lot of work done to it, transforming it from an old school into the magnificent place that it has now become. No doubt this transformation is the result of many hours of hard work by the unsung volunteers and staff that have made this truly beautiful place a reality. Thanks Iain and Lynley. Nā Richard Travers.

Richard Travers.

Richard Travers.

Contact details

We are always looking at ways of improving our communication with whānau, so in order to help us with this, could you please ensure that you keep all your contact details up-to-date.

If you have recently started using email or changed your Internet provider please let us know your details so we can add or amend them on our distribution list.

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