Whanaungatanga is one of five core values that underpin Māori leadership, so it is natural that in the absence of kanohi ki te kanohi hui, we transitioned into a virtual space once again to continue to build and develop relationships with whānau across Aotearoa.

The desire to connect and awhi comes naturally to Māori, especially when experiencing times of uncertainty or distress. There was no exception to this when we were informed on the return of COVID19 response levels. On Thursday 13 August, whānau from across the motu connected in for the Te Kete Pounamu ‘Kotahitanga’ Zoom hui – this was the beginning of what is an incredibly inspiring and beautiful space. It has also helped substitute for regional hui as we are currently hosting less due to the COVID19 restrictions. Although ‘Kotahitanga’ is different through a virtual setting, whānau are still able to come together and continue to make a difference in strengthening the voice of Māori with lived experience.

The ‘Kotahitanga’ platform provides us with an opportunity to share, kōrero, listen, and to just ‘be’ in a safe space. Over recent weeks, this space has grown, not just in terms of numbers, but in strength as well. We have had wānanga facilitated by Terri Cassidy, Aaryn Niuapu, and Kerri Butler as well as conversation-based hui, which whānau have led and directed. These conversations have led to enhanced connections, informal inter-regional peer-support, and the development of resources to support others.

Although COVID has been disruptive and altered the ways of our day to day life, it has provided us with an opportunity to slow down, reflect, and reconnect. I have found that ‘Kotahitanga’ not only invites this opportunity but enhances it. Each week there is a time for me to ground myself and be amongst the special wairua created when people come together – I encourage you to come and be a part of it as well!

Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi.

With your food basket and my food basket, the people will thrive.









Kotahitanga Zoom: Thursday 27 August. Terri Cassidy facilitated the space and introduced the new PC framework as well as opened a discussion around the three treaty principles: partnership, participation, and protection.








Kotahitanga Zoom: Thursday 10 September. David from Ōtepoti directed the conversation and initiated kōrero around self-care and seeing what coping strategies whānau use. It became a space for people to share and take away new ideas. In response to this, we developed the resource above and shared it on our platforms so that whānau across the motu could add these to their kete as well.










Kotahitanga Zoom: Thursday 17 September. Wānanga facilitated by Aaryn Niuapu for ‘Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.’


Georgia Butler
Kairuruku, Te Kete Pounamu
Te Rau Ora

Update from Murihiku Region

Tēnā koutou katoa from the deep south,

We hope whānau are preparing for the summer. It has been a tough winter here for our steering rōpū. However, spirits are renewing with the change in season and the flowers of spring. We remain optimistic, as the alert levels have decreased surrounding COVID19. We are pleased to see that our DHB have been in a space of re-structure in Māori services, providing the opportunity for all Māori to officially speak into the future of our services. We would like to thank whānau in our Te Kete Pounamu network, as despite this year bringing a new set of challenges, together we have remained united and been reminded that together we are strong.

Spring is well and truly upon us, more fine weather and a sense of joy as people head out now that the elections are done. We are hopeful that Te Kete Pounamu can align ourselves with our continued government and its plans for our people.  As for our steering rōpū ki Murihiku we have been catching up and in the last two meetings we have been putting together our mihi, waiata and karakia to learn.  Special thanks to Hoana who has worked very hard on this to bring our Te Ao Māori to our space.








Left Photo: Whaea Moyra looking at our Mihi and Karakia book we are making

Ngā mihi

Rihari Tekoti
Te Kete Pounamu Regional lead ki Murihiku

Update from Ōtepoti Regional Rōpū

Over alert level 2, our rōpū continued to treat each day with caution, including with the remainder of the meetings we had planned for the rest of this year. Our steering rōpū members have managed to get out and about for a cuppa coffee at one of the local cafes. These catch-ups have provided our members time to talk about one another’s overall wellbeing, separate from mahi commitments. Sue has done a great job communicating with me throughout the weeks to arrange these catch-ups to ensure we remain connected during these times.

Our rōpū are looking forward to the play that we are creating, thanks to some funding from the Mental Health Foundation through the Like Minds, Like Mine community grant we were successful for. Our rōpū are yet to set a date for the play, but once we have decided on a date, this will be released to public in upcoming months.

We have two new whānau Kristine and Merehana who are potentially interested in being part of our Te Kete Pounamu Steering Rōpū. They have been encouraged to attend our next steering rōpū hui to see first-hand whether they think Te Kete Pounamu is something they would like to contribute towards and can also benefit from personally.






The Dunedin Community House in Dunedin at our Regional Hui on the 19th of February 2020. Thanks Kerri and Kelli-Anne









Our Ōtepoti Rōpū at the Royal Albatross Centre and Cafe 10th July 2020


Haki Davis
Te Kete Pounamu Regional Lead ki Ōtepoti

Update from Whakatū

Tēnā koutou,

Here in Whakatū we were excited to implement our first whānau led workshop. Two of our steering rōpū wāhinetoa, Te Aroha Knox and Te Reia Taikato chose to workshop about rongoā Māori. We went to McKee Reserve 16 September 2020 to identify rongoā in the ngahere. Kawakawa and Kopakopa (Plantain) were chosen to make pani. Rau were harvested and the two oils were infused by Tereia and Te Aroha.

Due to weather constraints, the pani was made on the 29th September 2020 following the Te Kete Pounamu ki Whakatū Regional hui at Victory Community Centre. Ka pai to koutou mahi wāhine ma! We believe that doing social activities together outside of Te Kete Pounamu hui will strengthen our bond together.


  • Identify the whakapapa of the rau (leaves)
  • Take the grandparent, to leave the parents to support the babies (new growth)


  • Totally new and thankful for the learning experience

Te Aroha

  • Acknowledge plant – ASK PLANT – can I take you, if it comes away easily YES if not NO
  • Establish relationship – plant will let you know


  • Karakia before entering bush – listen to the bush, bird calls for our permission to enter…
  • Karakia ki ngā atua – ko Papatūānuku, ko Tāne Mahuta
  • Kia tūpato (safety) – kawakawa is a blood thinner so not necessarily appropriate for whānau who are taking blood thinning medication.

Whakamana te tangata, ki te tū rangatira i roto i tō ake mana, mana tuturu, mana motuhake, mana Māori!! –                                                    Sharing our combined knowledge to keep ourselves connected to ourselves – tools to fill our kete of health and wellbeing.

Ngā manaakitanga o te runga rawa e te whānau

Mauri ora e te whānau!







Sheryl Takiari
Te Kete Pounamu Regional Lead ki Whakatū

Regional Lead Update

This year has been a rollercoaster ride of different directions, though we collectively remain focussed on capturing our people’s voices so we can continue to strive towards influencing positive change for Māori. Learning to check in with ourselves and regularly take time to practice our self-care techniques and focus on what keeps ourselves well is equally as important.

After another month of uncertainty throughout our nation and an influx of mixed emotions among our whānau, there have been slightly less regional hui over the last few months. There has been a strong voice among our whānau of the importance in taking the time to slow down and truly focus on our individual wellbeing and providing support to our own whānau during these times of uncertainty.

Our regional leads have continued to remain in close communication with their steering rōpū members about ‘where to from here’. As a collective, Te Kete Pounamu are beginning to think about new and innovative ways to ensure we remain connected with whaiora Māori, irrespective of which alert level we may be in.

The core of who we are as Te Kete Pounamu comes from our whānau voice, so it is vital that we continue to hear their voices to ensure we are heading in the right direction for our people.


Kia Kaha, Kia Toa, Kia Manawanui
Cody Black
Ihomatua Kaiwhakahaere, Te Kete Pounamu
Te Rau Ora


Introducing Aaryn Niuapu – Kaiwhakamana, Te Kete Pounamu

He whatitiri ki te rangi, ko te arawa ki te whenua. Tīhei mauri ora! Ki te taha o tōku māmā, ko Ngāti Whakaue tōku iwi. Ko Marsh tōku whānau. Ki te taha o tōku pāpā, ko Ngāti Hāmoa tōku iwi. ko Niuapu tōku whānau. Turou, turou Hawaiki!

I have lived experience of depression, self-harm, anxiety and substance concerns, accessing mental health services in 2011 & 2012. Over the past decade, my pillars of strength within my recovery journey have been my whānau and te reo me ōna tikanga. I married my teenage sweetheart, Alesha (nee Hulme), and we have two beautiful kids – Hawaiki and Piipiwharauroa.

I have always been pulled towards matters of social justice across the mental health & addictions sector but more specifically, community rangatiratanga and racial justice. In that space and in the political organizing space, I have utilised my own lived experience to facilitate wānanga firmly grounded in the concept of whaioranga (a Kaupapa Māori-Recovery model).

I am honoured and grateful to be in my role within Te Rau Ora as Kaiwhakamana (training and development lead) – Te Kete Pounamu. I have the privilege of leading the rollout and implementation of Te Whare Whaioranga (Māori Recovery College) in the near future as well as the development and delivery of the Level 4 peer support training. In this role, I hope to support the growing capacity and capabilities of the Māori lived experience workforce.


Aaryn Niuapu
Kaiwhakamana, Te Kete Pounamu
Te Rau Ora

Oranga Hinengaro Oranga Wairua

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