Ngā Hau e Whā
From the Editor

As we go to print, the world continues to reel from the incomprehensible impacts of COVID-19, which as we have seen is not selective. Therefore, unsurprisingly much of the content in this issue of TE KARAKA has a COVID focus. Life in the USA – A Grim Reality (page 36) is a poignant piece written by Ngāi Tahu wahine Ila Couch who is currently in lockdown in America. Her honest and sobering account is yet another reminder of how fortunate we are to be living in Aotearoa at this time. Closer to home our cover story, Against the COVID tide, offers a positive story of restaurant owner Sahni Bennett, who is rising above the challenges presented by lockdown to keep the doors of her successful Lyttelton café open.

When we first planned this issue of TE KARAKA, before COVID overtook us, we had agreed it would include a special focus on the commitment Ngāi Tahu has made to ensuring the care, protection and empowerment of tamariki and their whānau – a journey that began 18 months ago with the signing of a strategic partnership with Oranga Tamariki. Not wanting to lose sight of this amidst the flurry of all things pandemic, we include two powerful articles written by deputy editor Anna Brankin. In Realising a better future (page 10) we share the views of several Ngāi Tahu working within Oranga Tamariki and gain insight into the transformative changes resulting from the partnership agreement, not least the establishment of Tiaki Taoka, an innovative model that is soon to become operational in Ōtākou. The second article, Restoring the mana of our most vulnerable (page 15), delves deep into the long overdue Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care, and the genuine desire to ‘get it right’ in restoring the mana of all those who have suffered abuse in state care.

Stay safe and warm.

Nā Adrienne Anderson Waaka

Editorial Team

Adrienne Anderson Waaka

Anna Brankin
Assistant Editor

Diana Leufkens
Sub Editor

Michael Deacon
Sub Editor

Belinda Leslie
Web Editor


Tremane Barr
Arihia Bennett
Maui Brennan
Helen Brown
Pirimia Burger
Allanah Burgess
Ila Couch
Michael Deacon
Rangi Faith
Teoti Jardine
Ward Kamo
Arielle Kauaeroa
Dean Nathan
Paula Rigby
Michael Stevens
Eruera Tarena
Kahu Te Whaiti
Lisa Tumahai
Phil Tumataroa
Kaia Waaka
Maika Waaka
Laken Wairau
Fern Whitau

La Fábrica Design Studio

Spectrum Print – Blue Star Business

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
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Fax 03 365 4424

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Opinions expressed in TE KARAKA are those of the writers and are not necessarily endorsed by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Issue 86 published June 2020
© Ngāi Tahu Publications Limited
ISSN N0. 1173/6011

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has used Blue Star Group, which is an FSC® certified print supplier. The paper used for this publication is FSC® certified, promoting responsible forest management through independent third party forest certification.

Front Cover
Lyttelton restauranteur and māmā of seven, Sahni Bennett riding the waves of COVID-19 to keep her business afloat.
Photograph: nā Joseph O’Sullivan