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Kawenata for our Nation’s Children

Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu Endorses Kawenata for our Nation’s Children

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu – the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island - is inspired by the outstanding iwi leadership demonstrated at Hopuhopu today, when over seventy iwi leaders united to make a pledge to the children of Aotearoa.

“In doing so, these leaders are reminding us all of the fundamental significance of the parenting role, raising our children to be “treasured, respected and to enjoy a good life full of opportunity” said Helen Leahy, Pouarahi / Chief Executive for Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

“We believe that Whānau Ora has driven a systems change, that Whānau Ora can assist whānau to develop a stronger understanding of their own strengths, and as such, we are seeking to support every whānau to take hold of this covenant and give it life in their own homes”.

“Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is proud to be iwi-led and whānau-centred. The nine iwi of Te Waipounamu have invested in a vision for whānau that we believe complements the ideals sought in He Ōati mō ngā Taitamariki ō tō tātou Whenua / A Covenant for Our Nation’s Children. Today iwi have led the way in implementing the change required. In stepping up to forge a strategic partnership for such an important goal, they have demonstrated their “unconditional duty” to be champions for our children, to protect them from all forms of violence, abuse and neglect. We applaud their proactive position on an issue of such fundamental importance to us all”.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Te Whare Hauora and Te Puna Oranga have just completed a six week road-show across Te Waipounamu, promoting the concept Tū Pono : Te Mana Kaha o Te Whānau”. The hui were called to find a way forward to strengthen the drive for positive change in addressing family harm through prevention of family violence.

“Everywhere we went, from Canvastown to Hokitika, from Morven to Murihiku, whānau told us that it is time to step up, to speak out, to become the ambassadors of hope that all our whānau need” said Ms Leahy.

“Today’s unanimous declaration from iwi leadership reinforces the call of whānau “that every child of our nation will be valued and have a sense of place, a place to stand and know their place”.

As the Kawenata / covenant concludes: “Ko te wā o te tamarikitanga he wā mō te hari mō te koa. Kia kaua kē e pokea e te mataku e te tūkino me te taratahi. Childhood should be a time of joy and light. It should be free from fear and neglect and isolation”.

“The biggest challenge now is for every whānau to claim this covenant as helping to shape the future we want all of our children to flourish in. To this end, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is proud to endorse the Covenant for our nation’s children. We look forward to sharing the kawenata with all of our Whānau Ora entities and whānau throughout Te Waipounamu”.


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