Introducing Te Kete Pounamu Kuia – Hinewirangi Kohu-Morgan Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Kahu

Ko Moumoukai tōku maunga tapu

Ko Nuhaka tōku awa.

Ko Rongomaiwahine

Tōku tupuna whaea

E tū ake au i raro i tōna korowai

Tēnā rā koutou

Tēnā rā koutou katoa

Ki te taha o tōku matua whāngai tuarua

Nō Tauranga Moana ia

Ko Mauao tōna maunga

Ko Tauranga tōna moana

Ko Tamateapokaiwhenua

Tōna tupuna matua

E tū ake au i raro i tona aroha

Tēnā rā koutou katoa

Ki te taha o tōku matua whāngai tuatahi

Ko Tāmanuhiri tōna hapū

Ko Muriwai tōna marae

Ko Hikurangi tōna maunga tapu

Ki te taha o tōku Whare Tangata

Ko Te Ratu (Sonny) Mataira tōku Koro, Nō Kahungunu ia.

Ko Rakaipaka te Hapū,

Ko Nuhaka tōna Awa

Ko Moumoukai tōna maunga.

Ko Takitimu tōna waka.

Ko Hinewirangi Whakaware Brown tōku Kuia

Ko Tangitu ki tōna  moana.

Ko Maungaharuru ki uta tōna maunga tapu

Ko Mōhaka tōna awa

Ko Ngati Pahauwera tōna iwi


Hinewirangi has lived a journey that captures a young girl who faced adversities of sexual abuse and childhood trauma. Followed by teenage years, that took a pathway of self-discovery whilst learning to find empowerment within te ao Māori spiritual connections to her tipuna. Particularly to her Nanny, whose presence whilst not always there physically, was dominant spiritually to protect Hinewirangi in times of despair and risky behaviours.

“The turning point, the beginning of my reconnecting. I loved for the first time, this little man asked nothing of me. Except to love him. He said, Māmā I don’t love you when you fly away”.

“I began to write my pain, to take it outside of me in poetry, and story. I began to use my art and my stories, to find the beauty inside of me and to also tell the stories of hurt, anger and pain. My art revealed and released the many faces of pain, anger, hate, hurt, deep sadness within and I began to grow. I began to play the music of my ancestors and understood the voice within.  I understood my own voice and heard the voice of my tipuna. And in earnest I began to sing my soul back into being reconnected with myself.”

Hinewirangi has walked alongside whānau from all walks of life, to support in bringing balance to their lives and finding empowerment in the way they share their journeys from a place of resilience rather than trauma. To teach individuals how to honour their holistic selves, their own Te Whare Tapa Whā.

Now holding huge importance as the Kuia for Te Kete Pounamu, it is vital that as a ropū we continue to be aware of what Māori are doing in their communities to heal. We have to learn politically the impact of colonization on ourselves. We have to make our stand. Whatever that be.

Update from Whakatū

Tēnā koutou katoa,

Many thanks for the opportunity that enabled our Te Kete Pounamu ki Whakatū steering rōpū access to Zoom. We have been able to have regular phone contact in conjunction with the online hui we’ve hosted. These times have enabled whānau within our rōpū, as well as whānau Māori within the communities of the Whakatū region to remain connected.

Connection with one another has been vital during the past few months, more so than ever before. Ensuring we are meeting regularly has provided a safe space for whānau Māori to just ‘be’, to offload, to cry together through the challenging times and celebrate through the successes.

Following are just a few of the many, insights from our Whakatū whānau – Sharing their very raw and honest truths:

“I have been eating lots of comfort food, watching lots of movies and listening to lots of music.”

“I value daycare more since the rāhui. I have been regularly exercising which has helped maintain my mental health. Every day I choose something that I love about myself and something that I love about my son”

“At times it has been a little emotionally draining. However, I have been participating in the 25 push up challenge every day in support of post-traumatic stress disorder. I am also organising respite care for myself with Alert Level 2 coming”

“Whānau have experienced the loss of close whānau during the rāhui. A new experience with virtual and online tangihanga”

“If I can handle seven days straight in isolation and been 15 years under the Westernized system, I’m coping fine with the rāhui… That’s nothing compared to being locked up in the bin. If I can handle the bin, I can handle anything”


Kia Kaha tātou – great resilience and strength – Tū Rangatira!!

Sheryl Takiari, Regional Lead
Whakatū Region

Update from Te Whanganui-a-Tara

Throughout the rāhui period, our steering rōpū have hosted online hui which have been focussed on providing whanaungatanga and manaakitanga to our whānau within the Te Whanganui-a-Tara rohe.

Whānau who joined our hui via the zoom platform, appreciated the offer of support and opportunity to connect and kōrero with others. Te Kete Pounamu were able to check-in with whānau, to ensure that they felt safe within their space and had what they needed during this time.

Te Whanganui-a-Tara is a large rohe so it can be challenging at times to ensure adequate communication is provided everywhere. We are a new rōpū and are continuing to build our capacity in this rohe. As the regional lead I welcome any kōrero and whakaaro from whānau Māori throughout this region and extend the invite to whānau Māori who would like to gain insight or be more actively involved with who we are within Te Kete Pounamu ki Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

Nau mai, haere mai.

“Whānau keep safe in your mirumiru”
“Rome wasn’t built in a day”

Nicola Clarke, Regional Lead
Whanganui-a-tara Region

Update from Te Tai Tokerau

Tēnā koutou katoa e te whānau,

Whilst the recent weeks have proven challenging in certain aspects throughout the nation. For our Te Kete Pounamu steering rōpū ki Te Tai Tokerau, this rāhui period has given us an opportunity to build on our connections and strengthen the relationships we have with one another. We have been able to remain strong in our connection and continue to build relationships with whānau Māori within our communities, by hosting online hui via zoom.

There has been a lot of whakaaro shared in relation to services that are either specifically whaiora centred or whānau centred, but rarely cater to both. For this reason, whānau would like to see services that support the individual experiencing challenges with their Mental Health and or Addiction as well as providing education for their whānau. Including education around appropriate language that is uplifting rather than downgrading. There has been a lot of kōrero too, asking questions about some of the free training provided within Māori organisations and why they are not NZQA accredited. So, this area, remains a work in progress.

Our steering rōpū remain thankful and acknowledge the gift of time we have been given throughout this rāhui. An opportunity to hit pause, reflect on ourselves and our wellness journey. We acknowledge that we are the foundations that self-care must come from first, so we can be the best versions for the whānau we support within our region and beyond.

The beauty of the lived experience space is the removal of the power dynamics, reciprocal learning, and to know that the whānau we walk alongside already have the answers they seek, within them. Our role is to engage in conversations that unlock them. We are excited to hear from more whānau in the months to come.

Cody Black, Regional Lead
Te Tai Tokerau Region

Update from Tāmaki Makaurau

Tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa,

Ngā āhuatanga o te wā nā Henare (Tāmaki Makaurau regional lead).

Our steering rōpū ki Tāmaki Makaurau have engaged in a range of kaupapa over the last few months. We had the opportunity to attend pōwhiri at Mahitahi Trust, to strengthen the relationship we have with their organisation and to ensure that we unite to ensure our whānau are getting the support that each of our spaces provide.

Our rōpū were able to be part of whanaungatanga, share in kai and take part in kapahaka. This time gave us the opportunity to acknowledge our members and the value they bring to the vision of Te Kete Pounamu.

Mid-April, Te Kete Pounamu ki Tāmaki Makaurau held our first ever ‘Whānau Tautoko’ hui via Zoom. Our theme for this hui was all about tākaro, and strongly focussed on hearing how whānau have been maintaining their wellness during the rāhui period and seeking out how different, hauora is for each person.

We had a representative from Te Kete Pounamu National rōpū who shared a pūrākau that holds significance to his wellness journey. All whānau present, were able to relate to some extent and this supported in building connection within our hui. I was able to share my own whakaaro about using tākaro/play as a wellness tool.

The rōpū shared the resources they have been using to maintain wellness, whilst continuing to keep physical distancing at the forefront of mind.
In our May steering rōpū hui we welcomed two new members. We connected by sharing a gratitude list which included whānau, mahi and good weather.
I am so grateful to be in this space of wellness.
We would also like to thank the whānau at Turuki Health Care who provided food parcels and sanitizer to whānau during COVID 19. Also to acknowledge Te Ara Whiriwhiri for their ongoing support for our kaupapa, so we can continue to provide opportunities to embrace our past, and for the voices of Tangata Whaiora to be heard so we can make a difference for our future.

Mā whero mā pango ka oti ai te mahi
With red and black the work will be done.

Henare Waru, Regional Lead
Tāmaki Makaurau

Update from Ōtepoti Region

Our rōpū in Ōtepoti have started our journey out of rāhui and we are looking forward to being able to access resources again within the community that have not been available during Aotearoa rāhui period.

We are looking forward to hosting our first ever zoom hui (Zui) to come together as our Te Kete Pounamu steering rōpū ki Ōtepoti towards the end of May, and then following on from there by hosting our first ever Te Kete Pounamu Regional Hui through Zoom, the week following.

We don’t yet have enough resources available to meet kanohi ki te kanohi or make contact with all Tangata Whaiora Māori and their whānau down here in the South. However, we are taking the initial steps of introducing ourselves, and maintaining the kōrero, until they’re ready to take another step of trust. This is our most effective way to supporting our whānau and ensuring connection during this time.

I have met many of the service users currently on the wards at Wakari hospital in Dunedin, who have little knowledge of Te Ao Māori, and may feel vulnerable to outside influences when we take that initial step. With some perseverance and a bit of hard work we can become part of the solution.

Ngā mihi nui

Haki Davis, Regional Lead
and the team down here in the Deep South of Ōtepoti Region

Some of the rōpū, and manuhiri at our last Regional Hui (Pre-rāhui)
Carved by Vince, one of the few Tangata Whaiora Māori who work as an artist at the “Artsenta”, a community art centre for service users only, in Ōtepoti. The wood used for the carving is Jarrah wood, a native Australian wood. The wood was from an old New Zealand telephone power pole left at the art centre, which speaks of the broken lines of communication between service users who experience the phenomena of hearing the voices of their ancestors, and the professionals in the New Zealand Mental Health system. The greenstone placed in the piece is our message, Te Kete Pounamu ki Ōtepoti. The artist was given Kererū feathers and a Tui wing as a koha from us
Our greenstone (Te Āka)