This year I was presented with the opportunity to take part in Aoraki Bound and I grabbed the challenge with both hands, and tried really hard not to think about the reality of what I was about to do!

Aoraki Bound was everything and more than I expected it to be. Since I have been back everyone has been asking “What was it like?”, “What were your highlights?”. They have proven to be very hard questions to answer. For those who know me well, the best answer I have is – there wasn’t a single minute when I didn’t want to be there. I can honestly say this is the truth, every activity, every bit of pain, every laugh and conversation, every challenge, every person all contributed to an absolutely indescribable 20 days of adventure. [Read more…]

Katrina Whiu

Korihi te manu
Takiri mai te ata
Ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea
Tīhei mauri ora
Ko Aoraki tōku mauka
Ko Waitaki tōku awa
Ko Tākitimu tōku waka
Ko Kāi Tahu tōku iwi
Ko Kāti Huirapa me Ruahikihiki ōku hapū
Ko Arowhenua me Ōtākou ōku whenua
Ko te Hapa o Niu Tīreni me Tamatea ōku whare nui
Ko Eru (Ned) Russell tōku pōua nō Ōtākou
Ko Katherine Ngahine Russell (née Solomon) tōku tāua nō Arowhenua
Ko Eru (Joe) Russell rāua ko Judy Simeon ōku mātua
Ko Adrian tōku hoa rangatira
Ko Te Rangihau taku tama
Ko Atawhaia taku tamāhine
Ko Katrina Whiu ahau [Read more…]

Felicity McMillan

Ko Aoraki tōku maunga
Ko Waitaki tōku awa
Ko Uruao tōku waka
Ko Arowhenua te marae
Ko Ngāi Tahu tōku iwi
Ko Kāti Huirapa tōku hapū
Ko Tarawhata tōku tupuna
Ko Arowhenua te marae
Ko Te Hapa o Nui Tireni te wharenui
Ko Liz rāua ko Lloyd ōku mātua
Ko Neihana rāua ko Irihapati aku tamariki
Ko Nathan Meager taku whaiāipo
Ko Felicity McMillan ahau
Kei Waipopo tōku kāika
Nō reira
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou tēnā tātou katoa. [Read more…]

Early January saw around 120 of our extended Kāi Tahu whānau return to Arowhenua and to Te Hapa o Niu Tireni for the annual Kura Reo Kāi Tahu run by Kotahi Mano Kāika. This event has tripled in size since 2010, when it first took place at Arowhenua and while the new whare made things a little easier – feeding the multitudes for a week proved a great challenge for the kitchen team. Kura Reo is a Māori language wānaka for intermediate and above level speakers of te reo Māori with a major focus on our Kāi Tahu history and stories. Classes, which were taken by our own Kāi Tahu language experts, took place on and around the marae. Parents were also free to join in the classes with the tamariki being looked after at a tamariki programme at the kura next door. [Read more…]

Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua annual general meeting was held October 9. Elections resulted in a change of chairmanship for Arowhenua rūnanga, with Vania Pirini-Hurunui elected to serve for the next three years as the new Kaiwhakahaere.

Vania Pirini-Hurunui, a descendant of Te Anau and granddaughter of the late Mohi Fowler, brings skills and expertise currently working for Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu past employment for He Oranga Pounamu, Ministry of Health, Sport and Recreation NZ and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and mahi aroha for a variety of not-for-profit activities over the past 20 years. She excels in leadership, advocacy and decision-making across Te Waipounamu particularly the health and fitness sectors, including governance roles such as school board of trustees and Arowhenua Rūnanga.

Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua (Executive):
Chairperson – Vania Pirini-Hurunui
Treasurer – Mandy Home
Secretary – Aroha Rickus

Committee members:
Michelle Reihana
Mokai Reihana
Lyndon Waaka
Darren Solomon.

Congratulations to the incoming board. To the members of the outgoing board, we acknowledge the years of commitment and hard mahi that everyone has implemented for our whānau of Arowhenua. Ngā mihi for the many challenges, tears and sweat attached to these roles. A special acknowledgement to our outgoing Chair John Henry and Treasurer Richard Hopkinson for the often unseen work that goes on and the many hours and meetings held to re-develop our marae and implement our two Mātaitai. Although there are many other committees lead by John and Richard the two mentioned are of great significance to them both. To Aunty Suzy who has passionately and tirelessly given her time and energy to our marae, we thank you. You have been a strong, encouraging and supportive role model for wāhine and a great ambassador in your role as a health promoter. Congratulations on ensuring our marae is auahi kore. It’s now time for you to take a well-deserved rest…enjoy.

Kia ora tātou, I am Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Māmoe through my mother, Rei Kanuia Tutaki, née Taipana and Ngāti Kahungunu through my father, Tipene Matua Tutaki. Sadly now both deceased. I have always enjoyed summing up my reflections and observations of life in poems. This started in primary school when one of my teachers praised my first efforts in class.

I have recently been attending monthly open-mic nights organised by Catalyst in Christchurch. Two of my poems have been published in Leaving the Red Zone, this year. I have applied to the Hagley Creative Writers Course for 2017, only 20 people a year are accepted, so fingers crossed.

This poem has been accepted by Poetry NZ and will be in their publication, Poetry NZ Yearbook 4, due out in March 2017.

By Raina Kingsley

When we are born
our tīpuna smile
slap each other on the back
that one looks like you
…and you

their faces soften
they goo and gaa
with their wrinkled
crinkled eyes nearly closed
delighted beyond all delight

but when we leave our whānau
to be in the world
on our own
cut adrift
off to school

they hold their breath
whisper karakia
will this one make it?

3 o’clock we come home
for the first time alone
initiated and stunned
“my skin’s made of poo!”

our tīpuna cry
oh no, here we go again.
Nā Raina Kingsley.

We are pleased to announce the re-opening of our Marae. The reopening of our marae will take place on:

Date: Saturday 12 November
Time: Starting 10am
Venue: 38 Huirapa Street, Arowhenua.

V slider 1 Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua Notice of celebration

A friend of mine is a kaiako with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Christchurch and I recently asked her to teach me to weave. She told me to find six other people to enrol in the Kāwai Raupapa level 4 class with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Christchurch.

My friend eventually travelled down here with another kaiako from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to enrol us. Eighteen people wanted to enrol and becasue of demand, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has started a level 4 class here in Timaru.

So my Mum and I enrolled, along with many other whānau who whakapapa to Arowhenua. This has been a wonderful time, enjoying the company of our whānau and new friends. [Read more…]

Mokopuna Reo recently visited Fale Pasifika Pre-school based at Waimātaitai School, to share culture, kai, waiata and laughter. All practiced together for ‘Te Korohi o te Pēpi’, and everyone enjoyed watching all the pre-schools participating at the event.

Also, we have been practising for the opening ceremony of Te Hapa o Niu Tireni. We are looking forward to being back in the whare. Our mokopuna reo babies were crying and sobbing asking us: ”Why are they breaking our marae?” Pātai tuarua? “Kai hea kā heihei?”

We went with the Tamariki Ora Holiday wānaka which included three fun-filled days. [Read more…]

An ode to the salmon anglers of Temuka

I’ll sing you a song that will bring you some cheer.
Sung to the tune of the pub with some beer.
When Christmas arrives I’ve one thing on my mind,
It’s fishing for salmon with folks of my kind.
I know where to go, as you all know,
where the fishing is good and the fish don’t all say no.
I load up my van and go ninety miles south
where a welcome awaits me at the Ōpihi mouth.
Now every evening I have a great thirst
and go seeking for the pup that comes first.
Its name is the crown, of world-wide renown,
where I see my old pals and toss a few down.
The talk is of fishing and deeds of the past,
till we all say, make this one the last.

Now Toby Anglem, so upright and tall
sits on his stool, with his back to the wall.
Telling his stories, all short long or tall,
he really is the king of them all,
My friend Jim Manning, so steadfast and true,
He is really one Māori right out of the blue.
When we fish together, it’s a perfect delight
Watch us catch salmon both left and right
And when I pass on, to that place up above
My spirit will stay fishing, with these Māori
I really do love.
Nā ‘Leo the Lion.’

South Island Māori representative to Te Kōruru

Karyn Thin has been elected as the South Island Māori representative to Te Kōruru, the National Governing Body of Literacy Aotearoa, Auckland. Te Kōruru members ensure that the organisation is soundly managed for the benefit of all in accordance with all legislative and organisational requirements.

Literacy Aotearoa is a treaty-based organisation operating in accordance with tino rangatiratanga and guided by manaaki tangata. It has 37 poupou from Invercargill to Kaitaia who deliver adult-student-centered literacy and numeracy programmes.

Karyn is the marketing manager at Literacy South Canterbury and will continue in that role while commuting to Auckland as required. Karyn was a former company director for Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua and will take a Kāi Tahu influence to Te Kōruru.

Karyn has been instrumental in establishing the computer literacy classess whānau attend every Tuesday between 3pm-5pm. Literacy South Canterbury, Arowhenua Marae and Te Puni Kōkiri have worked together to provide two 20-week computer classes for 2016. The current class is Microsoft for Beginners. Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua congratulate Karyn on her new governance role at national level and are confident she will carry out her new role with diligence and mana.

Karyn Thin, the new South Island Māori representative to Te Kōruru.

Karyn Thin, the new South Island Māori representative to Te Kōruru.

Margaret Hill poroporoaki

Arowhenua Whānau Services (AWS) hosted the poroporaki for Margaret Hill on 3 August. Margaret was a senior manager at the South Canterbury District Health Board. Ruth Garvin, director of Māori Health attended along with members of the South Canterbury District Health Board Māori Health Advisory board: Rae De Joux, Suzanne Eddington and Suzi Waaka. Margaret was instrumental in the establishment of AWS and has always been a strong supporter of our services.

From left: Rae De Joux, Suzanne Eddington, Margaret Hill, Suzi Waaka and Ruth Garvin.

From left: Rae De Joux, Suzanne Eddington, Margaret Hill, Suzi Waaka and Ruth Garvin.

Flu vaccine funding

Funding was made available through the Aoraki Foundation to benefit health-related projects in South Canterbury. Arowhenua Whānau Services (AWS) received $550, which was used to buy 60 flu vaccinations. We have been offering these flu vaccines free to whānau. They are available to those who would not normally qualify for the free vaccine.

We still have some vaccinations left and hope to distribute them all so please come and see the friendly nurses at AWS to receive your flu vaccination.

The AWS team has received funding through Aoraki Foundation.

The AWS team has received funding through Aoraki Foundation.

The 10th FLAVA Festival, ‘Kā Toi Māori o Aoraki’ was held 19 August at the Theatre Royal. There were 18 kura and 12 early childhood centres from the Aoraki region, between the Waitaki and Rakaia rivers, who joined us for the ‘Korohi o Te Pēpi’ (singing of the babies).

The FLAVA festival provides students with an opportunity to discover and experience a breath-taking lens into Te Ao Māori (the world of Māori), and an opportunity to showcase and view their wonderful talent. At the same time, whānau, friends and the wider community were able to enjoy a truly bicultural festival comprised of three categories: kapa haka (traditional dance and waiata), performing arts (waiata, whaikōrero, short stage drama, music, dance and other stage performances) and visual arts (two- and three-dimensional paintings, drawings, sculptures, and weaving).

The festival was organised by Arowhenua Whānau Services, alongside a steering group that included teachers and a number of community organisations.

Once again, the festival was a huge success, with the Theatre Royal and Caroline Bay Hall being packed to capacity for the full day. Groups that had clearly devoted long hours to perfecting their skills treated the audience to some incredibly colourful and exciting performances.

One of the rōpū performing at FLAVA Festival.

One of the rōpū performing at FLAVA Festival.

Tamariki prepare to take the stage.

Tamariki prepare to take the stage.

Flava Kā Toi Māori o Aoraki featured image

We have held various hui over the last month, a Poupou Karanga course was held at Waihoa and members of the Ngāi Tahu Funds and Archives teams came to conduct some interviews and oral archiving work with whānau.

Aunty Dorothy Cuthers

Aunty Dorothy Cuthers (née Manning) Helen and Takerei doing an oral history interview.


Wendy and her rōpū giving their presentation at the Poupou Karanga course.

Helen Thoms, Takerei Norton, and Morgan Lee came to assist with interviewing for archiving and Ngāi Tahu Fund applications.

Helen Thoms, Takerei Norton, and Morgan Lee came to assist with interviewing for archiving and Ngāi Tahu Fund applications.

Tamariki at Arowhenua Māori School had an exciting visit from Working Waters Trust in June as part of their Matariki celebrations. Keen kids turned up with gumboots and a change of clothes ready for an adventure to the stream down the end of Huipara Street.

Sophie Allen from the trust gave a talk at the kura about taonga species like whitebait, bullies and tuna, which resulted in millions of pātai and great story-sharing from the inquisitive kids. Sophie also focused on how our native fish have problems like habitat destruction and predation from the introduced trout, and what people can do to help the fish. [Read more…]

Ngā manaakitanga o te wā ki a koutou katoa.
Ko Ngāti Waewae, ko Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki, ko Ngāti Irakehu ngā hapū
Ko Irai Tuhuru Kaihere Weepu ahau.
He tāne ahau o Kai Tahu whānui, tītī a kai, tītī a manawa, hoaka pounamu e.

Kaitoko Mātauranga are responsible for identifying the learning needs of Ngāi Tahu whānui in their designated takiwā or clustered rohe. They also provide advice to enable whānau to reach their learning objectives and aspirations, with an overall aim of empowering and enabling Ngāi Tahu whānui to be life-long participants of learning. [Read more…]

The appointment of a Kaitoko Mātauranga to support the education aspirations of ‘ngā rūnanga me ngā whānau o Arowhenua rāua ko Waihao has been confirmed. The successful candidate for the role as Kaitoko Mātauranga is Irai Weepu, who has whakapapa links to a number of Ngāi Tahu hapū and Papatipu Rūnanga. Irai is currently employed by the Christchurch City Council as its Kaitakawaenga (Māori Community Liaison). He completed an Honors Degree in Māori and indigenous studies, where his research was looking into the Māori perceptions of western science and science education, to better understand and find new insights into why Māori disengage; and how to use these perceptions to increase Māori engagement. Irai is focused on the mātauranga and tikanga of the safe harvesting, preparation and consumption of kaimoana, he also brings significant skills in te reo and kapa haka.

Upcoming events

We have a big year ahead, events include:

  • Visit the Tagata Pasifika playgroup
  • Tarahaoa day out
  • Swimming at Caroline Bay Aquatic Centre
  • Te korihi kapahaka ki Timaru “Ahakoa he iti he Pounamu.”

Outreach programme quarterly hui

Representatives from the Inland Revenue Department, Ngāi Tahu Law and Māori Land Court were kept busy at the March Outreach programme, the second of the quarterly hui held.

The next programme will be held on 29 September from 10am-2pm. Please contact the marae office to make an appointment.

Mokopuna reo o Arowhenua

Mauri ora whānau
This year is very exciting for us, with some of us training in new arenas. Whāea Bianca has been training as a fitness instructor, and Tautau Lavinia is now a Whānau Ora Navigator working with whānau.

He waiata

Written by Matua Smiley
Ko ngā tamariki
Ko ngā mokopuna
Ko Tarahaoa
Ko te kōhanga reo
Ko te tipuraka
Ko te mana
Ko te ihi

Kua puawai te reo. (waiata practice)
Look forward to seeing you all.

Marae development

The marae is having a makeover. The mokopuna were upset at people breaking their marae, and why it was happening. Here is a progess photo, eight weeks into the development.

Progress photo from eight weeks into the revamp of the marae.

Progress photo from eight weeks into the revamp of the marae.

The marae development project is into week five and all is well. It’s been a mixture of emotions watching the changes in the face of Te Hapa o Niu Tireni. It took less than a week for the demolition contractors to come in and initiate the beginning of the transformation. [Read more…]

Environment Canterbury has employed me (Jenna Scott) to help support Waihao and Arowhenua Rūnanga in Environment Canterbury matters, particularly resource consents. Dame Margaret initiated this support role with the rūnanga a couple of years ago, in light of the fact that the rūnanga are still in the process of establishing a business entity. I am on secondment to the Tuia team from Environment Canterbury’s consents team and will report to David Perenara-O’Connell. [Read more…]

On 18 December 2015 I was thrilled to be appointed by the South Canterbury District Health board to the position of General Manager Māori health/Māori advisor.

The General Manager Māori is positioned in the senior leadership team and is responsible for planning and development of effective services to community Māori. This position includes providing advice and direction relating to things Māori in the areas of implementation of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Hauora Māori models of practice, Tikaka Best Practice, and best use of te reo Māori in the health environment. [Read more…]