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Te Pūtahitanga O Te Waipounamu Celebrates The Opening Of New Premises In Central Christchurch

This morning Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu celebrated the opening of Te Whenua Taurikura, their new premises at 518 Colombo Street, Ōtautahi. The event was attended by mana whenua Ngāi Tuāhuriri, the Hon Peeni Henare and Rino Tirikatene (MP for Te Tai Tonga), as well as iwi and community leaders from throughout the South Island.

The Hon Peeni Henare, Minister for Whānau Ora, opened the formalities with a speech acknowledging the foresight behind the commissioning agency’s decision to move to a more central location. “I’m excited to be here, I’m excited to see your new premises, I’m excited to feel the energy from all of the kaimahi here who now have a place that serves their people,” said Minister Henare. “Whānau are at the heart of Whānau Ora, and this particular whare is now at the centre of your whānau.”

In his kōrero, the Minister addressed his colleagues at Parliament to remind them of the importance of Whānau Ora, saying: “It isn’t a coincidence that at the recent State Opening of Parliament, the Governor-General talked about Whānau Ora. That has never been heard of before. Tirohia mai ki te kaupapa nei – look to this kaupapa. Whānau Ora is the framework that best serves our people, and the people who do that mahi are sitting in this room today.”

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu Pouārahi Helen Leahy explained that the decision to relocate from their former premises at 10 Show Place was driven both by the growth of their team and their desire to be more accessible to whānau.

“We moved here deliberately to be close to main arterial routes, the bus exchange, and educational institutions here in the CBD,” Ms Leahy said. “This place will be our sanctuary, where we can restore and revitalise, regroup and grow. It will also be a site to host wānanga and workshops, nurturing creativity, imagination and innovation. It will be our space – Te Whenua Taurikura.”

Ms Leahy thanked everyone who made this morning’s event such a success: “We are so grateful to all of you who have travelled to be here today. We are thrilled to have Minister Henare here to distinguish this opening with his presence, and indebted to Ngāi Tūāhuriri for their leadership and generosity in opening the way for this new space.”

Te Whenua Taurikura will be occupied by Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Māui Studios, Ariki Creative, Ihi Research, Kaha Education, NAIA and He Toki ki te Mahi.

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