Celebrating a Te Arawa Whānau Ora in Education

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, friends and family, teachers, students, and most of all Graduands of the Whānau Ora Class of 2018. My name is Kim Richards and I am a descendant of Te Arawa and Ngāti Awa. It is both a privilege and honour to have been chosen as one of the valedictorians on this special occasion.

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge Te Pou Matakana, for funding a recognised NZQA qualification for Whānau Ora Kaimahi located within the thirteen lead partner organisations Secondly, we are here today proud graduands of 2018 because of the combined support and positive reinforcement from our respective organisations and Wai Tech tutors.

The past 2 years has been an amazing journey, full of ngā piki me ngā heke, lots of light bulb moments, learning, sharing and meeting the most amazing people along the way.

As many of us can attest to, the return to study was an intimidating and frightening thought. The big question was whether many of us could juggle study whilst working full-time?

Fears were allayed because the programme was fit for purpose with self-directed learning within our work places and we had many opportunities to engage with the wider Whānau Ora Diploma cohort around the North Island. This included noho marae, professional engagement through a private Facebook page, profiling fellow tauira, live feed tutorials from our Kaiako, weekly emails, texting, phone calls and so much more……..
One of the most favourable talking points at the end of the 2 years, was our Noho marae. The intensity and required commitment throughout our 4-days together we experienced a stunning line-up of guest speakers, we immersed ourselves in karakia, waiata, pepeha, group participation and we ate and even snored a pretty tune together.

We were able to share and learn from one another in a safe environment. We so wished that we had had this opportunity at the beginning and it’s great to note that Wai Tech has implemented a noho marae at the start of the 2020 Diploma class.
Learning that supported successful engagement and completion of our Te Arawa roopū journey, were our monthly workshops. We built life-long friendships and received a multitude of benefits, such as improved communication skills, increased motivation, shared knowledge, networking and learning about each other’s organisations within whanau atmosphere.

My journey on the Diploma in Whanau Ora has emphasized the importance of having Māori representation, as a way to enhance the wellbeing and decision making (voice) that embraces a culturally sensitive approach to Whanau Ora outcomes. This is the passion and perseverance that drives me to continually support whanau to make positive change.

My basket of knowledge has been filled and equipped and this has led to a new role as the Family Harm Team Leader for my organisation and as the representative for the Te Arawa Whanau Ora Collective on the Family Harm collective impact group. A daily commitment providing Whānau Ora wraparound solutions alongside representatives from Oranga Tamariki, Ministry of Education, District Health Board, Police, MSD, and the Waiāriki Women’s Refuge.

Our collective journey to completion of the Diploma in Whānau Ora has been layered with an ambition to do our personal best, to persist, and to preserve. And, today marks the fruition of many hours of hard work.

He Whakatauākī

Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōna te ngahere.
Engari, ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga, nōna te ao.
The one who partakes of the flora and fauna, that will be their domain.
But for the one who engages in education, opportunities are boundless.

Bully Free Bro pushes a strong message

WarrenTumarae(Daily Post. By Dana Kinita, Photo Stephen Parker) His T-shirt is recognisable in most Rotorua schools but Warren Tumarae wants people to know that underneath there’s a fierce passion to stop bullying.

Maybe it’s because he was bullied himself growing up, but the Rotorua co-ordinator of Bully Free Bro says there is a serious message behind the fun and engaging activities it hosts for young people.

It has hosted several free events throughout the city, visited schools, held sports competitions and hosted international guest speakers to talk to the youth.

The programme is Government-funded and was developed by Te Waiariki Purea Trust staff after research into bullying. It identified the need for positive messaging..

Bully Free Bro is nearly a year old and its main purpose is to address the issue at a community level.

Mr Tumarae said he knew of several cases where children were being victimised on a daily basis.

Extreme cases had led to suicide and self harm.

“We have one kid whose mother is on P and she went to report it to a counsellor who then told other teachers and it eventually got out,” Mr Tumarae said.

She became stigmatised, which is a form of bullying, and is wanting to leave school. I went through the same thing. My parents were on drugs, and kids would say, ‘Your mum and dad were druggies, you’re a druggie.’ I avoided school for three months.”

Being involved in rugby helped him return to school and build up a defence against the taunts. He said there were always underlying issues why bullies acted out and it often involved what was happening in their home lives.

“It’s not something we can fix overnight but we are doing this because we want to have an effect on a large scale.

“This first year has been about engaging with every level of the community – to say that we’re not wanting anything but we’re here to help.”

Mr Tumarae hoped to have a stronger relationship with schools and that it wasn’t about finger pointing.

“We’ve had concerned parents contact us and I’ve rung the school to talk and they’ve blown me up over the phone. A lot of schools think that we are stepping on their toes but we’re just wanting to help, the parents are coming to us because they’ve had no success through the schools.”

Mr Tumarae is hoping this year Bully Free Bro can concentrate on continuing to engage with young people and push its message that bullying isn’t to be tolerated.

Te Waiariki Purea helps in the fight against legal highs

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Over 300 community members have had enough and recently took to the streets to voice their frustration and dismay at the pain and suffering caused by synthetic cannabis.

The march, coordinated by Maraea Pomana, Free Parking Coordinator, began at Te Waiariki Purea Trust and ended at City Centre where both young and old voiced their opposition to this legal high.

National MP Todd McClay and Rotorua City Council members Charles Sturt and Tania Tapsell were also there to support the kaupapa and share their concerns at the devastating effects synthetic cannabis is having on our community and amongst our rangatahi.

Warren Tumarae, Te Waiariki Purea Trust youth worker who took part in the march along said, “before the protest march we had a hui and one of our men shared that his son was killed by a person whose key defense was that he was high on synthetic weed. We are also seeing the negative effects of this drug on rangatahi and whānau in our day to day mahi, one story that was shared was a 14 year old boy who has been using the drug for sometime and has started to physically abuse his nan for money to buy it.”

Tania Tapsell, Rotorua’s youngest District Councillor also shared her concerns and what the council was going to do about the issue, saying, ”Our community has made it very clear that synthetics are not welcome here. And our Council has heard them loud and clear.

“We developed a draft ‘Local Approved Products Policy (LAPP) 2014 Harmful Psychoactive Substances’ on which we have sought the views of the community. And we have specifically included the word harmful because it has, and will continue to cause harm.

“Marching with our locals against synthetics, it was obvious the damage these products have caused many of our families. While our Government and Council battle against these products, it’s those selling it that I truly look down upon. I have a very strong view that these products need to be eliminated, this is not the future we want for our children.”

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BROvember is here

BrovemberThe Waiariki Purea initiative, Bully Free Bro continues to innovate and develop exciting strategies which help get the message out to young people that bullying is NOT on.

November 1st saw the launch of their White Ribbon awareness initiative against bullying and family violence.

Throughout the month simple video messages of support from everyday people in the community will be shared (please click play below to listen to Manu Witeri talk about why he thinks the White Ribbon initiative is so important.

The Bully Free Bro team will also look at important issues in the community that impact on whānau and some of the services that are out there to help.

Bully Free Bro invited to Steamers Training Day

BullyFreeBroWaiariki Purea’s Bully Free Bro initiative is gaining momentum. BFB was invited by Sport BOP as one of the 6 teams, giving 20 minute presentations to groups over the day at the Bay Steamers Open Training Day at the Rotorua’s International Stadium.

More than 600 primary school children had the opportunity to listen to what it means to be a a Bully Free Bro.

The Steamers stood alongside Te Waiariki Purea Trust and helped to answer students’ questions while sharing their own personal experiences.

BFB co-ordinator, Warren Tumarae told the Rotorua Daily Post that it was important role models such as the Steamers were on board. The students were divided into groups of about 100 and were shown through the locker rooms, corporate areas and on to the field.

“They [Steamers] play a big part to help open the door and get the message out,” Mr Tumarae said.

“We’ve been working within the schools but this is the first session we’ve done with the Steamers.”

The ‘Bully Free Bro’ mascot also took part and handed out players cards, rugby balls, drink bottles and beanies.

Mr Tumarae said the antibullying programme had been in Rotorua district schools for three months and already there were signs that it was making a difference.

“The children have started recognising us as the Bully Free Bro and once they understand what the brand is we can start to cement a way forward and build strategies so there is a community push at the grassroots level.”

Te Waiariki Purea working with Rangatahi to build self-esteem and strengthen cultural awareness

waiarikipureaIn 1987, a group of people created an organisation that focused on getting Rotorua’s youth into outdoor recreation and education.

25 years later, Te Waiariki Purea Trust is stronger than ever and working with youth and whānau across a wide range of programmes.

They offer Youth Support Services for 14-19 year olds helping them into ongoing education or work.  Te Arawa Journey is incredibly popular with rangatahi and enhances knowledge of the people and land within the Te Arawa rohe while emphasising self-respect and humility. While E Kare another youth development course teaches life skills.

In addition they offer Outdoor Services which has a focus on outdoor activities and waka paddling which is available to schools around the country.  Strengthening Families is another service they offer which supports whānau who are needing to engage with multiple government agencies. Over the coming months we will see to highlight many of these.

New anti-bullying initiative launched – Bully Free Bro

BFB2An exciting new locally developed initiative was launched recently to combat bullying in Rotorua.

Bully Free Bro or “BFB” was created to give Rotorua youth a place to feel safe and be free to talk about the issue of “bullying”. The message this passionate group wants to send is that “this generation of youth need to  rise up and make a stand against bullying for good.”

901238_284474581688518_835203970_oPunanga Haumaru, under which BFB sits, is a year-long, Ministry of Youth Development funded project. Both Te Waiariki Purea Trust and Rotorua Youth Centre collaborate on the project.

The aim of this project is to provide a safe environment for the local community, by taking care of the most vulnerable and precious members of society, our tamariki, our rangatahi.

Bully Free Bro was developed by a Te Waiariki Purea Trust staff after research into bullying and the need for positive messaging was identified as a key area of focus.

The project was launched six weeks ago and now has over 300 likes on their Facebook page. A dance crew is currently prepping to visit local schools, the number of BFB ambassadors are starting to grow and the project’s first major initiative called “Bully Free Businesses” has just begun.

Bully Free Schools are back!

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Waiariki Purea is excited to announce that the BFB team will be visiting Rotorua schools with some exciting new initiatives. If you would like to see the Bully Free Bro team at your school contact Warren Tumarae.

Bully Free Bro or “BFB” was created to give youth a place to feel safe and be free to talk about the issue of “Bullying”. The BFB team are looking for this generation of youth to rise up and make a stand against bullying for good.

The BFB goal is to provide a safer community, by taking care of the most vulnerable and precious members of society, our tamariki and our rangatahi.

About the Initiative | Punanga Haumaru is a Ministry of Youth Development funding project for one year. Te Waiariki Purea Trust and Rotorua Youth Centre collaborate on this initiative. Bully Free Bro was developed by Te Waiariki Purea Trust staff after research into bullying and the need for positive messaging was identified as a key area of focus.

(Photo: BFB rangatahi leaders Kenu, Hone & Barb. Credit: Warren Tumarae)

Rotorua Launch for the Te Arawa Whānau Ora Collective

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A whānau-friendly support service that helps families transform their lives is being officially launched in Rotorua this week (beginning 4 March 2013).

Te Arawa Whānau Ora Collective – located at the Korowai Aroha Health Centre on Hinemoa Street – has been working for more than a year to build a system that meets the needs of whānau by supporting them to dream, plan and achieve their goals.

An interactive, responsive and graphic-rich website filled with whānau-friendly tools and resources as well as a Facebook page will also be unveiled.

The collective comprises nine Rotorua-based health and social service providers: Aroha Mai Cancer Support; Korowai Health Services; Te Rōpu a Iwi o Te Arawa Charitable Trust; Te Kahui Hauora Trust; Te Papa Takaro o Te Arawa; Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Pikiao; Te Utuhina Manaakitanga Trust; Te Waiariki Purea Trust; and Tipu Ora Charitable Trust.

According to project manager Mala (Ngaroma) Grant, Te Arawa Whānau Ora is about reminding whānau that they have the right to dream.

“We begin working together with them to create a plan that recognises family strengths while giving them the support they need to transform their dreams to a reality,” Ms Grant explains.

“Trained paearahi navigators work with whānau to find the strengths within each family and then use those strengths to create positive change. For some, it may be about learning to budget and use their money more wisely; for others, it might be about tackling issues such as family and domestic violence.

Most importantly, the change comes from within each whānau, helping to ensure long-term whānau wellbeing.”

Empowering Whānau

Kuia Betty Rodgers was part of a whānau gathering that dealt with the wellbeing of her whānau.

“This journey has brought us closer together as a whānau – it has made us more peaceful and calm by reminding us to practice better values.

“We’ve walked away more positive and are passing on what we’ve learned to others we love.”

Ms Grant says the key to Whānau Ora lies in supporting families to realise the power they have within themselves to change the future.

“It is about bringing people together and reconnecting them to their greatest support base: their own whānau.

“Each whānau path is different yet all are built on the idea that supporting one another – from the very young to the very old – is critical to family wellbeing.”

 Developing Whānau-Friendly Resources Online

Ms Grant says the website offers information that is relevant to each generation from tamariki (children) through to kaumatua (elders). Visitors are able to create CVs, get useful tips on how to budget and save money for their tamariki.

As well as links to free gardening courses, education and on-the-job training opportunities, the website showcases the range of support services offered by providers within the collective.

“Over time, the website will evolve with more resources being added every week. We hope to provide a place for whānau to both begin and continue their journey through Whānau Ora.”

To connect with Te Arawa Whānau Ora Collective:

For more information including images and interviews, contact Hellen Messenger on phone +64 7 213 1995 or email comms@tearawawhanauora.org.nz