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Whai Rawa
15 years on

KiwiSaver launched to much fanfare in 2007 with the promise of setting New Zealanders up for retirement or helping them get on the property ladder. But before KiwiSaver there was Whai Rawa, the investment scheme launched by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu the previous year. As the iwi investment scheme celebrates its 15th birthday, we look back at the journey that has seen the scheme grow to 30,000 members, with over $112 million invested.

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Strategic wetland returned to iwi ownership

Awarua rūnaka has turned the clock back on land lost to the Crown with the strategic purchase of a pivotal 404-hectare sheep and beef farm in the heart of the internationally-recognised Awarua/Waituna wetlands, widely regarded as one of the last remaining expanses of relatively unmodified wetlands left in Aotearoa.

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Missing Connections: how closed adoptions created generations of ‘ghosts’ within our whakapapa

Dr Erica Newman has been awarded the Marsden Fast Start Grant to further her research into transracial adoption in Aotearoa. Over the next three years she will gather accounts and experiences of Māori adoptees and their descendants and document their efforts to connect to their taha Māori. Crucial to her work is understanding how hapū and iwi currently support adoptees and their uri on their whakapapa journey, and in what ways her own experience as the daughter of a Māori adoptee might assist in the future shaping of those processes.

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A New Chapter

Officially opened by the Minister of Māori Development, Willie Jackson on May 12, the apartments are the realisation of a 10-year dream for Rehua whānau, and for Willie Jackson they act as an exemplar of what the government is trying to achieve in terms of new papakāinga housing developments.

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Indigenising psychotherapy

Verity Armstrong (kāi tahu, kāti māmoe – ōraka aparima) rolls up her sleeve. We are chatting through computer screens, but I lean in instinctively as she turns her arm to show me the detail and design of her tā moko. “Was it painful?” I ask. The irony of her response was not lost on the psychotherapist who makes a living encouraging people to talk: “The actual tattoo felt like it happened in a second. The hardest part was the talking.”

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Wairua – a labour of love

Ask Rua McCallum to describe how her retelling of the kāi tahu creation narrative came about and you quickly draw parallels between the birth of her immersive performance piece and the stories it weaves. To call Wairua a labour of love is to understate the obvious. Theatre practitioner Rua (Kāi Tahu – Kāti Hāteatea ki Moeraki) has chiselled away at the bicultural, multimedia work in one form or another for 13 years, although it is within the last five that the story really began to take shape. The result is a work that explores a distinctly Kāi Tahu viewpoint and the whakapapa that connects us all.

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GMO – A matter of rangatiratanga

“Back in the 90s you only had to mention gmo at hui-ā-tau and people would be on their feet because that was the passion that was around at the time,” says komiti chair Edward Ellison (Ngāi Tahu – Ōtākou). “Most of our people back then immediately saw the potential impact of genetically-modified organisms on our rangatiratanga, kaitiakitanga, on our taonga species and our whakapapa.”

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Te Ao o te Māori

Keri Whaitiri is reluctant to give the work she does a label, instead she has a collection of words that when combined, help to describe it: public realm design, seeding, facilitating, scoping, building of understanding, developing, interpreting and maintaining design strategies – lining things up! But whatever word or combination of she chooses, the results of her labour are clear to see throughout Christchurch city and further afield.

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