Healthy Families Far North have hit the ground running this year, supporting and holding spaces in different kaupapa around the motu. Want to know more? Here’s a snapshot of some of the mahi we’ve been involved with so far this year. 

Oruaiti unveil new school bike park with blessing 

Earlier this year, Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa and the team from Healthy Families Far North were invited to the unveiling of the new bike park at Oruaiti School.

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Healthy Families Far North have been supporting Oruaiti to foster relationships and deeper connections with mana whenua, to incorporate pūrākau and story of place within the park. 

This has been important for the kura to ensure kōrero tuku iho is shared appropriately within the park whilst also strengthening their connection to the land. 

Principal of Oruaiti School, Rob Arrowsmith said he was grateful for the advice and guidance from Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa.

"This was a special day for Oruaiti School and we are grateful for the time and energy you all put in to making this event the success it was. Helping us with class visits, online zooms, event planning, preparation and delivery was carried out thoroughly and with expertise by all.”

 “In addition to this, your advice and guidance with the naming of the pou ingoa was a huge milestone for us and we thank you all for your enthusiasm and energy towards each stage of our bike park project.”

 The bike park is now open to the wider community outside of school hours with visitors travelling near and far to explore the track.

This collaboration derived from our search for opportunities to validate a sense of belonging within the broader system outcomes. We look forward to further exploring the system within Oruaiti School to support student-led inquiry within the education framework

Moerewa community ready to take lead in designing Simson Park

Rangatahi of the Moerewa community are ready to take the lead when it comes to designing their open space, Simson Park. 

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The Simson Park Reserve Management Plan process is a new kaupapa aimed to further test how we might support system shifts inside of the Far North District Council that will enable whānau to be closer to decision making by process and policy.

Healthy Families Far North have met with a group of rangatahi who are interested in driving the development of the reserve management plan, to take ownership of their open space and to collapse the distance between whānau and system.

We know that the opportunities that sit inside our open spaces are massive; especially in the kai, active movement, and identity pou. Our aspiration is that through our awhi, whānau will be supported to design in a way that enables their hauora whilst also further connecting them to their whenua.

Tuituia te Kahunuku seek to rediscover green spaces in Kaitaia

A new community group is on a mission to revitalise neglected green spaces around Kaitāia, through exploring, observing and engaging with te taiao. 

The newly formed group, Tuituia te Kahunuku, held their first hui earlier this month, where whānau and local community members had the opportunity to identify karaka trees, before harvesting berries and processing them together for eating as traditional Māori peanuts. 

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Māori Systems Innovator, Elizabeth Motu, who went along on the hikoi said they explored what it looks like when people are an active part of the natural world.

"It was as awesome opportunity to hear pūrākau and to discover that their is literally kai sitting right in front of us within our open green spaces - we just need to know what to look for or what to do with it," she said. 

"We are very lucky to have kaitiaki like Waikarere Gregory, who is helping to bring this roopu together to bring life back, whether it be sharing kōrero, kai, planting a tree, making art and craft,  or just showing up and noticing what’s happening in these spaces."

"I look forward to further exploring what it means to rejuvenate neglected green spaces around our rohe."

Want to get involved? For more info call/text Waikarere on 021 1628071 or email [email protected]

Toitū Te Tiriti o Waitangi

This Waitangi, Healthy Families Far North reflected on the history of Aotearoa, while also taking time to acknowledge our responsibility to upholding Te Tiriti and how it serves as an enabler in the mahi that we do.

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For us, Te Tiriti o Waitangi serves as a framework for guiding and informing systems change by working in partnership with our whānau, iwi, and hapū – for everyone in Aotearoa.

It means listening to our communities’ priorities and understanding the context and challenges they face. It means creating and testing solutions together in a united effort for better population health. It means improving the health of our people where we live, learn, work and play.

Our kaimahi were privileged to be part of the Waitangi celebrations, to hear the kōrero shared across the motu, and to see our whānau come together in solidarity of Te Tiriti.

Whether you joined in on the celebrations from Waitangi, or from home, we encourage our whānau and communities across Aotearoa to make time and space to reflect on what Te Tiriti o Waitangi means to you; both today, and in the 2040 you hope to see.

The Sowing Machine gets revamp using reusable materials 

The tīma from Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa have been busy painting and installing two new garden beds, using repurposed seating from the Kerikeri Christmas decorations for the Sowing Machine down at the Kāeo papa tākaro.

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Our tamariki have been getting into it, sowing so many seeds that we have plenty of seedlings growing and need more space to plant them when they're ready.

Me maumahara. This is a community project and we are all kaitiaki of the Sowing Machine. You can help our māra kai thrive by wiping down the tables, watering the garden, weeding or dropping off unused pots, soil and seeds.

E mihi ana ki a koutou to the Christmas Elves team of Our Kerikeri Community Charitable Trust for using sustainable, reusable materials in their kaupapa!

"Nāu te rourou, nāku to rourou, ka ora ai te iwi."