Kia ora whānau, as the cold weather begins to bite here in the deep south we hope you are all keeping warm and wintering well.

A hearty welcome back to whānau who have returned from the Tītī Islands. We hope the season was kinder to you than last year.

As well as the usual round of hui and hearings, this month has seen a number of events taking place throughout our rohe such as The Mahinga Kai Regional Forum, The SELO (Strengthening Educational Learning Opportunities) wānanga and the Rarotoka working trip during Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

Over the next month we will host a Kī-o-Rahi tournament at Takutai o Te Tītī Marae featuring seven schools from our rohe. Several of these schools will enter two teams making a total number of 120 participants. It is great to see this game being played and embraced by the schools and tamariki alike. The kapa haka group is also back practicing hard for forthcoming performances.

Rā whānau

If you have enjoyed a birthday in the last month or have new additions to your whānau, congratulations and here is wishing you all good health and prosperity for the year ahead.


Robyn Tuck graduated from the University of Waikato Management School with a Bachelor of Communications, specialising in public relations and
event management.

Robyn is a descendant of Kuihi Watson formerly of Whenua Hou and also known as Mrs Nathaniel Bates.

Robyn is hoping to pursue a career in public relations and is currently looking for positions throughout New Zealand. We are also appreciative of the support that she has received from Kāi Tahu during her studies at the University of Waikato. The support enabled her to purchase study materials and texts for her courses.

One of the campaigns that she was associated with was the ‘Lose your V plates’ campaign that was aimed at getting young voters to turn out at the 2014 election. Robyn also appeared on a radio station to promote the campaign. The whole interview can be heard at

She was also involved at the Waikato Rugby Union helping to organise a campaign to encourage more people to support the Waikato ITM Cup competition.
Both of these campaigns were assessment items, so she gained valuable practical experience while achieving her degree. Nā Alison Tuck.

Robyn and whānau on her graduation day.

Robyn and whānau on her graduation day.

Kanakana monitoring

Over the past few years large numbers of lamprey (also known as kanakana and piharau) have been found dead or dying with unusual red skin markings and hemorrhaging. The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) carried out some initial testing and found evidence of bacterial infection in certain samples however, the root cause of this problem has not yet been established.

To assist with the research into the disease affecting this treasured mahinga kai species, Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka ran a kanakana monitoring programme last year under the guidance of Doctor Jane Kitson.

The monitoring programme will run again this year and is due to start once the rivers settle down from their current flood state.

We are also looking at doing various other water monitoring projects over the summer, so if you would like to assist with any of this valuable research projects, please contact us here at the office.

During the whitebait season it would be appreciated if you could let us know of any kanakana that you net and the condition that they are in.

Administrative professional day

Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka staff were privileged to attend the administrative professionals day held at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill.

The day consists of a luncheon and a celebrity guest speaker. Previous years have seen the likes of Kevin Biggar of First Crossings fame and Robyn Malcolm. This year’s speaker was none other than celebrity chef, Josh Emmett.

For many years, Josh worked for Gordon Ramsay and it was extremely interesting to hear about that part of his life. It was incredible to hear of the massive amount of hours, sheer hard work, attention to detail and sacrifices that he made to get to this point of his life. He was a truly inspirational speaker and took the time to walk round the tables speaking to as many people as he could. Josh also proved to be a massive hit with certain lady members of the audience.

From left, Ann Wakefield, Josh Emmett, Lynley McKay and Iain MacCallum

From left, Ann Wakefield, Josh Emmett, Lynley McKay and Iain MacCallum

Waka ama

Ōraka Aparima Waka Ama recently attended the Icebreaker Competition held on Dunedin Harbour during Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

This proved to be a very successful trip as the waka ama women’s novice team came first in the 10km icebreaker event.

On the Thursday, prior to the competition, the group were fortunate enough to have Conan Herbert and his team from Ngā Kaihoe Waka Ama National body come down to Murihiku to facilitate flip and float tipping drills at Splash Palace in Invercargill. This quality training was excellent as it boosted the crew’s confidence and added valuable expertise to their skill set.

Also in attendance at the Icebreaker Competition was Te Piritahi a rua (mixed crew) and Kahungunu whānau (men’s crew) both from Invercargill who both also won their respective races.

It was awesome to see such strong representation from the deep south. Collectively all the deep south crews worked together and supported each other in the leadup to the event and on race day. A big thank you to everybody involved in this great event. Nā Karina Davis-Marsden.

Ōraka Aparima Waka Ama rōpū out on the water.

Ōraka Aparima Waka Ama rōpū out on the water.

Ready, set, go.

Ready, set, go.


We are always looking for volunteers to help out with our varied projects and commitments. There is a range of roles we need help with including; representation on boards or appointment panels, helping with bird transfers, assisting at the marae, working in the nursery or the wetlands and many more. If you are keen to play a more active role within the rūnaka please contact us here at the office to discuss the options.

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 Internet provider, please let us know your details so we can add/amend them on our distribution list. Did you know we are now on Facebook? To contact us through this medium please follow this link


We welcome contributions from whānau for Te Pānui Rūnaka. If you wish to contribute please send your news and stories to us at [email protected] or phone 03 234 8192. We also now have an 0800 number: 0800 234 8192.