Auē te tangi kau atu ki ngā mate huhua o te wā. Ka maumaharatia rātou mā i aituātia rū ki Waitaha nei i ngā tau e rima ki muri nei. Ka noho ki te pūmanawa e kore rawa e wareware. Ka matapōrehu kau atu hoki i te mātanga take Māori, i te uri a Whakatōhea, ki a koe Tākuta Ranginui Walker. Ko te motu e hopo ana mōhou. Nō reira e ngā mate huhua o te motu, hanatu rā ki te kāinga wairua i te rangi, ki ngā mātua tīpuna. Okioki mai rā, ā, whakangaro atu rā.

Ki a tātou te urupā kanohi o rātou ki a tātou, tēnā rā tātou i runga i ngā tini āhuatanga o te wā. Ko te wawata nui, e noho ora ana koutou i te kāinga. Noho ora mai i ngā manaakitanga o te wāhi ngaro. Naia te whakamiha.

February was a time of remembrance for Canterbury whānau and we had a few reminders from Rūaumoko about the tough times we have faced over the past five years. I continue to be humbled by the large numbers who still attend the earthquake memorial services in the Botanic Gardens and at the CTV site. These numbers speak to the lasting impact of the 2010–2011 quakes.

At the beginning of March, I was invited to speak at the 2016 Tāne Ora Conference. The theme of the conference was Whakanuia Ngā Rangatira – Celebrating Leadership.

I have spoken about leadership many times and when I think about it in the context of our appalling statistics for family violence and Māori men’s health, I keep coming back to one thing – good leadership is rooted in a solid sense of personal identity and, by virtue of that, in encouraging our whānau to be the best they can possibly be. We need our men to know who they are and where they come from. We need them to embark on a journey of cultural growth, to renew their ties to their whakapapa and what it means to be Māori. And as I’ve said far too many times before, it’s time to stand up against abuse; to speak out against neglect; to seize every opportunity, to believe our whānau, and especially our children, should be cherished, nurtured, loved and cared for.

The moment that we come together and appreciate the intimate connection between whakapapa, wairua and wellbeing will be the moment in which we can proudly say we are whānau, we are Ngāi Tahu, we are Māori.

You may be aware that Ngāi Tahu Farming was selected as one of three finalists in the Ahuwhenua Māori Farming Awards. In their bid for the award, Ngāi Tahu Farming hosted the judges on the 7-8 March, with the public who were also welcome to look at the facilities on the 8 March. The winner will be announced in May, and I am hopeful Ngāi Tahu Farming will win the award.

On a final note, it is with great sadness that I acknowledge the passing of Dr Ranginui Walker. Ranginui had a profound influence on Māoridom. His passion for te reo Māori and Māori history were second to none with his services to Māori recognised in 2001 when he became a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Dr Walker will be remembered for his activism, writing, teachings and social commentary. Our aroha and condolences are with his whānau.