Our Stories


Ka hao te Rakatahi
Youth custody Index

A few people have been asking me questions because of my last column. Chiefly, what is the “Youth Custody Index” (YCI), and what is it all about?
The YCI is a St Thomas of Canterbury College project run by a group of senior students and is a collation of information regarding the state of youth in custody in New Zealand – both good and bad. The point of the index is to spark debate and raise awareness of any discrepancies and issues.

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Te Rangitaki a Te Ranui
Eat noodles, find husband…

After learning thousands of characters, attending hundreds of classes, making dozens of friends from all over the world, travelling to several new places, sitting four exams, and completing two semesters, my time in China is coming to an end.
I remember when I first arrived, thinking about how much I took the small pleasures of home for granted. Things like a clear blue sky, fresh air, the green landscape, being able to see the horizon, the stars at night, how fresh our food generally is, how you can get from one side of town to the other without any hassles, and so on. Now, I find myself thinking similarly about China.

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Walking the talk

Tā Mark Solomon is not the kind of man who speaks at length about himself. He values his privacy and he’s prone to under-playing any suggestion that he’s made a significant contribution to Māoridom, to Ngāi Tahu.
The fact that he was knighted in 2013 in recognition of the work he has done for Ngāi Tahu and for Māoridom is a case in point. His initial reaction was to baulk at the honour, but there were those who told him to “pull his head in,” that it wasn’t just for him, it was for the tribe. He relates how he was told firmly to “get up there to Wellington and receive the honour on behalf of the tribe.”

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From the pā to the battlefields of the Great War

He Rau Mahara, a project being undertaken by the Whakapapa Unit of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, seeks to do the same for those Ngāi Tahu men who served in the Great War of 1914–1918. They fought on battlefields far from home, with some of them never to return to the country they were fighting for. “Their names are not often celebrated in our tribal history, but the struggles and sacrifices they went through deserve our recognition,” says Whakapapa Unit Manager Arapata Reuben. “He Rau Mahara is about creating a taonga that recognises the contribution they made.”

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Te Whaka a Te Wera

Covering more than 89 square kilometres, Te Whaka a Te Wera is the largest mātaitai in the country by a considerable margin. It encompasses 8000 hectares of sheltered waters within the inlet, excluding about 25% covered by the Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara Marine Reserve, and a marine farming area within Big Glory Bay.

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Moving on from Gloriavale

“There’s a saying I love,” says Leah Menage. “‘Life is for living, so get a straw and suck it dry.’ To me that means seize every opportunity that you can and never give up.”
This message is particularly poignant for Leah, who grew up believing that she was not entitled to many of the opportunities that most of us take for granted – simple things like holding a driver’s licence, opening a bank account, and choosing who to marry. She spent her childhood in the community that we now know as Gloriavale Christian Community.

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Making the Connection

“Making the connection” – this carefully formulated phrase signifies a shift in focus for Ngāi Tahu Tourism as they redefine their purpose to embrace the relationship between kaimahi, manuhiri, and iwi. This change of perspective, although in its early stages, has already resulted in Ngāi Tahu Tourism winning the He Kai Kei Aku Ringa award for Māori Excellence in Export at the New Zealand International Business Awards, awarded by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

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Mother Tongue

Jeanine Tamati-Elliffe (Kāi Te Ruahikihiki, Kāi Te Pahi, Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Mutunga) wanted te reo for her kids. So she had to learn it one step ahead of them.

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Tūrangawaewae
Where do we stand?

In February the board of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu met at Te Kōawa Tūroa o Tākitimu in Jericho Valley, near Te Anau. This culturally significant site is in the heart of the takiwā of Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka, and the hosts took the opportunity to present to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (Te Rūnanga) about their land-based aspirations. For Ōraka Aparima, and many others, land is considered to be sacrosanct, valued for its intrinsic worth to the iwi as mana whenua, independent of its economic success.

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Te Ao o te Māori

Rex Anglem loves getting out of bed and going to work.
“I don’t know what I’ll do when I retire. To be honest I’ll retire when I’ve got a wooden suit on me,” he says with a chuckle.

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