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Turia Speech: National Certificate Launch Rotorua


Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party Speech to Launch the National Certificate in Hauora Tipu Ora Charitable Trust, Rotorua

Houmaitawhiti Marae; 16 March 2005

E nga mana, e nga reo, e nga karangaranga maha,

He mihi whanui ki a koutou ki runga ki te paepaepoto a Houmaitawhiti. No reira Te Arawa waka, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa.

It gives me great pleasure to be with you all here today, to celebrate the evolution – and revolution - of the National Certificate in Hauora.

The emergence of the National Certificate is a dream that has been evolving right back to 1931, as we think of the inspiration left to us all through the establishment here in Rotorua, of Te Roopu o Te Ora, the Women’s Health League.

It was a dream given its early life through leaders such as Rangitiaria Dennan, known to the world as Guide Rangi.

And in celebrating with you today the launching of this exciting new programme, I want to just think again about some of the treasures she left behind for us.

Rangitiaria was a foundation member of Te Ropu o te Ora, Women's Health League, an organisation which fostered communities energies, in the pursuit of excellent care and health for mothers and children.

Born at Ngapuna in 1897, Rangitiaria was nurtured by her elders in the ancient traditions and matauranga which would sustain her throughout her life.

Enrolled at Whakarewarewa Native School she clung to her mother tongue, incurring the punishments that came with it.

Throughout her life she always spoke i roto i te reo rangatira, and told her whanau that although they had to live in the Pakeha world, they did not have to be absorbed or overwhelmed by it.

In a career that spanned over forty years Rangitiaria escorted many famous people, including sports teams, heads of state and visiting dignitaries including Eleanor Roosevelt and the young Queen Elizabeth in her 1953 tour.

In fact accounts of her actions in giving a supportive arm to the Queen as she negotiated a particularly tricky section of track at Whakarewarewa attracted an official censure, for being ‘too familiar’.

Rangitiaria was unconcerned, maintaining that it would have been far worse if the Queen had unceremoniously slipped.

In recalling some of these experiences I think about the influence and the challenge we inherit from our tupuna, as given life by our kaupapa and our tikanga.

Leadership in retaining the essence of who we are; is critical to the pathway forward.

And it is that leadership that Tipu Ora has become renown for, ever since your establishment in 1991 – sixty years after the birth of Te Roopu o te Ora.

Tipu Ora has delivered kaupapa Maori health services to whanau in ways which exemplify the best of community and cultural knowledge.

You have been there, liaising with our whanau, giving them a supportive arm along a path to wellness.

You have helped our whanau to negotiate a way forward alongside the challenges that may come from various health professionals, treatment regimes, or even our own families.

And in doing so you have actually changed the nature of service provision throughout this land.

I want to commend you particularly, for the role you have played in putting up a national programme which has seriously challenged another of our national icons, Plunket.

The quality and calibre of Tipu Ora initiatives has forced Plunket to review its service provision, and to create a more culturally safe service for tangata whenua.

In my day, Plunket was often seen as a service for pakeha mums and babies. Many Maori turned instead to the public health nurse – who was already in the homes, visiting families on a whole range of issues over and above birthing and child-rearing.

In many ways Tipu Ora has built on the strengths of an integrated public health presence, with the distinctive qualities and commitments that come with kaupapa Maori.

I think this is what Rangitiaria meant by saying that although you can respect and appreciate - one does not have to be absorbed or overwhelmed by another system of knowledge.

Your commitment to excellence means you have done the mahi to register as a private training establishment, to gain accreditation, and to work in partnership with institutes like Wintec, without ever losing sight of the intrinsic value of whanau, of kaupapa, of tikanga.

Because you are of whanau, you have been trusted by our whanau.

Answering to aunty is a far bigger responsibility than reporting in at the local GP clinic. Aunty can make sure that if you really need a smoke you are escorted out to the shed to do so – rather than polluting out the lounge!

And just on that note – I want to commend Houmaitawhiti marae for being auahi kore – what a wonderful gift you have given to your families!

The commitment to excellence demonstrated by Tipu Ora is also where I want to move to now, from the evolution to the revolution.

You may be aware of the track called ‘Revolution’ by one of our premier hip-hop groups, Dam Native, on their CD, Kaupapa Driven Rhymes Uplifted. I can’t say I’m an expert on hiphop, but I did like this explanation I read on one of the websites: “Rapping is like a form of karakia - it's said fast, with all sorts of different rhythms running through it, woven in like a flax kete.

Rapping tells a story a kid on the street can recognise and it builds the spirit ”.

The Revolution – whether it be through rapping or at wananga - is in restoring and reviving our ways of being that have sustained us mai ra ano. It is about building the spirit, in ways that we can all recognize.

The revolution is in those ‘kaupapa driven rhymes’ which uplift us, which ground us, which remind us of the essence of who we are.

And for Tipu Ora, the revolution is in the kaupapa of your programme, the indigenous framework based on whare kahu, the context for a place of learning and nurturing for the whole whanau.

I was so excited to look over your framework.

To see the foundation of your programme based in whakapapa – mana hau o raa.

To know the impact of the mana associated with tupuna, atua, whenua, tangata, wahine, tane, whanau, mokopuna. To live and breath mana motuhake.

To have workers that will be fully qualified in the breadth of knowledge of Te Ao Maori – in an accredited training programme - will mean you are truly living in a world as was anticipated by our tupuna.

The programme celebrates and endorses the pre-existing rights which were confirmed by Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Our rights which should have been actively protected as taonga under Article 2 of Te Tiriti – our korero, reo, matauranga, te kauwae runga, te kauwae raro.

It is a programme which reflects te ihi me te wehi.

A couple of weeks ago at the Hui Taumata, our leading economists were saying much the same thing – that to be an excellent Maori business it was the strength and conviction of your tikanga and your kaupapa that made the absolute difference.

Just as Guide Rangi continued to express manaakitanga – to continue to put out a supportive arm– with this Certificate you are demonstrating the very best of practice in both worlds.

And I want to congratulate also, the Clinical Training Agency for recognizing the quality of your programme, and moving the resource to community health.

I am really pleased that CTA has supported Maori community health workers for such significant work, the work that makes the difference among our own.

And it is our own people that will make the difference.

The Maori Party are saying to our people: don’t ask what we can do for YOU; tell me what we can do for one another.

We need to build our spirits, to tell stories our kids on the streets can recognise; stories our young Mums can share with their pepe, stories our nannies and koroua can inspire their mokopuna with.

Building our spirits, is about restoring to ourselves, a sense of wonder and faith that we can make the difference.

And it is in replicating those kaupapa that this programme expresses, that we will find our greatest hope.

The Maori Party is absolutely committed to living and breathing kaupapa, to practice mana enhancing behaviour, to express manaakitanga, to act in ways which will achieve kotahitanga.

Our kaupapa are not just a list of values at the front of our mission statement.

Our kaupapa are much more than a glossy poster adorning our walls.

Our kaupapa guide us in caring for ourselves, caring for each other, and caring for our world.

The kaupapa that drive the national certificate in hauora (Maori) will have a life, long after the assessments are completed and the certificates awarded.

The thirty students that have enrolled in this programme will become leaders in whanau – leaders who will restore health and wellbeing to our whanau for the rest of their lives.

It is indeed an evolution – and a revolution – of our dreams and aspirations given life.

We can all be extremely proud, as I invite you all to now officially launch the National Certificate in Hauora (Maori).

Mauri Ora!

Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa.


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