Te Pātaka - Digital Indigenous

The Innovation: Tītoko o te Ao: Leadership in Action in Whānau Ora

Tītoko o te Ao: Leadership in Action in Whānau Ora is a leadership programme, designed for emerging Māori leaders, with an emphasis on implementing the wholistic concept of Whānau Ora. Participants are exposed to key leaders of today, with cutting edged insights into leadership and tikanga Māori, as well as being provided with leadership tools.

This initiative builds on the existing Māori Leadership programmes already delivered by Digital Indigenous. It is delivered via noho-marae over four modules. As part of the course, participants also develop a project (with the aim to make a positive contribution to Māori and Whānau Ora).

Whānau Ora ki Poihākena Marae

[Denise Kingi, General Manager, Te Kohao Health] Our project was in 2011, and the health centre opened about 8 months after that.  And it’s running successfully at Poihakena Marae now with a GP and nurse.  We also have other services wrapped around that.  Our role was just to enable that to start off, and then to leave it in the hands of the whanau in the community to carry on their journey.

[Whirotangi Poutapu, Whanau worker, Kirikiriroa Family Services Trust] From the project we identified some major families and some major leaders within those families who were willing to commit their time and energy to lead their whanau through this whanau ora process.

[Manujon Pemerika, Regional Health Advisor at Ministry of Social Development] A lot of the whanau out there, they have a fair idea of the things they want and need.  But they weren’t sure who to talk to or how to access them.  So through this Whanau Ora project, we were able to help improve that access and help and empower them to know what the questions are that they need to ask; who they need to contact; how to articulate their needs.

[Kane Rangitonga, Social Worker, Ministry of Social Development] Just a quick example, a kuia that has to catch the bus from Raglan to Hamilton to go to see Social Welfare / WINZ.  A small incident happens on the bus.  She gets there late for her appointment.  Gotta come home, no appointment.  So it’s been a whole day wasted.  These were some the things that were real to them.  So I guess that’s where the seed was sown.  Rather than make Mohammed go to the mountain, let’s see if we can bring the mountain over to Mohammed.

[Denise Kingi] So kia kaha koutou.  It can be achieved.  You know what Te Puea says: “Mehemea, ka moemoe ahau, ko au anake.  Mehemea, ka moemoe a tatou, ka taea e tatou.”  Kia ora koutou.


Tītoko o te Ao

[Tania Hodges, Managing Director of Digital Indigenous.com Ltd] The Titoko o te Ao Leadership in Action in Whanau Ora programme originates from a series of leadership programmes for Maori that have been facilitated since 2002.

[Grant Berghan, Managing Director of Berghan Consulting Ltd] It’s a Maori leadership programme and it’s aimed at Maori leaders who are working in the public sector mainly, but also the private sector.  The aim of the programme is to enable people to reach their potential as leaders.

[Tania Hodges] They’re pushed physically, mentally and emotionally in a safe but challenging environment.

[Kataraina Pipi, Managing Director of FEM 2006] It’s a really good opportunity for participants to explore and learn about Whanau Ora, and learn about Whanau Ora from a personal level, professionally and culturally.  It’s not your average leadership training programme either.  It’s definitely a Maori leadership training programme.  It combines theory and practice.  So people get to learn the theory.  They get to learn to about the political environment.  But they also get to apply their learning.

[Tui Kaa, Marae Development Advisor at Waikato Tainui] I would definitely encourage people to do the Titoko o te Ao programme, yeah for sure.  Because I hadn’t had external leadership experience.  I was groomed in the government organisation for 18 years.  Most of our leadership programmes are actually run internally and this was the first time I’d actually had an external leadership programme opportunity.  I think the difference from Titoko o te Ao as opposed to our internal ones is that it was a very kaupapa Maori -driven programme.  It was based on a marae, so the setting was right for us as Maori.  We were comfortable with that.  We knew what to expect and what we needed to do while we were on there.

[Dawn Hill, Senior Advisor – Parent, Families and Whanau, Ministry of Education] It’s enabled us as a whanau to be able to do some planning together, sit down and look at some of the goals and our aspirations as a whanau, and how we can support each other to do that.

[Cadence Kaumoana, Senior Advisor – Parent, Families and Whanau, Ministry of Education] The skills that I’ve learned in this leadership course have equipped me to be able to not only lead in my work and in my communities, but within my whanau and within myself.

[Conrad Herewini, Senior Advisor – Parent, Families and Whanau, Ministry of Education] Yeah, enjoyed the whole programme in its whole entirety in terms of firstly, connecting with other like-minded people; secondly, getting to meet or be involved with other people – guest speakers that came into the programme – who helped switch or turn the light on for me.

[Dawn Hill] Knowing who you are, believe in yourself and take some risks.  But put yourself out there too and as a result I’ve done that and I’m always looking for other opportunities that will benefit me, my whanau, my hapu and my iwi.

[Kataraina Pipi] Maori leadership, in order for it to grow and flourish, it needs to be constantly resourced.  Unlike other training programmes where you might be a passive participant, you have to be an active participant on Titoko o te Ao.  It’s about Maori leadership in action.

[Tania Hodges] During the leadership programme, participants had to commence and complete a project.  The project had to have a positive outcome for Maori, demonstrate their leadership, and also contribute towards Whanau Ora.  In the videos that you have available, we would profile three of those projects.  These are just a snapshot of some of the possibilities and some of the things that can happen when people come together and demonstrate leadership.


Healthy me, Healthy whānau

[Jodi Pryor, Managing Director of Rerehua Trust] Our Healthy me, Healthy Whanau programme is a teen parent programme for tauira that are aged between 14 and 18 years of age.  It’s a Maori-focused programme.  We have four different concepts that we cover in our programme but our main focus is to concentrate on hauora, which is around healthy kai, healthy living.

Okay, we are in the Urewera which is in the Tuhoe nation in Ruatoki.  We have the privilege of bringing our tamariki and our teen parents down here to learn about the river, the bush and about the land, which is also part of their heritage and part of their iwi.

As you can see behind me this is the entrance-way into the Urewera.  We have treks that go up there which take our teen parents up there also.  It gives them an opportunity to learn about alternative medicine and Maori medicine.  This is where we’ve piloted the programme for three months, which has been a success and hopefully we’ll be able to run it out of here for a longer period.

[Nippy Paea] What’s really good about this programme is that it gets us out there doing physical activity, because me and my baby plant in our garden, and we also go and pick our fruit off our trees when they’re ready and things like that. 

Because we live so far away from town, it’s easier for us to just grow our own kai.  It’s also just a good way to be healthy and make you live longer so you can enjoy time with your kids.

[Jodi Pryor] We’re at Waikiriri Marae, Ruatoki.  We’ve added te reo me ona nga tikanga component in our programme.  By doing this, this gives our families and their children a chance to go back to their whakapapa, their roots.  It also gives them a chance to learn their history within the area.


Toitū te Mātauranga Tūturu

[Nicki Spring, Waikato School Clinic Co-ordinator, Midlands Health Network] I’ve worked across a variety of roles but in 2010 I moved into health.  I work in health administration.  In 2011, I attended Tania Hodges’ (of Digital Indigenous) Maori Strategic Leadership in Public Health programme.  Part of that programme was we had to do a live project in our community.  My project was wanting to develop a kaupapa Maori sexual health resource.

[Marama Ruri, Social Worker, Ngaruawahia Community Care and Crisis Centre] Our vision really started off quite small for me.  It was basically to do with body health and hygiene and then it grew from there.  The more we spoke about our subject on healthy, vibrant tamariki the bigger the project got.

[Nicki Spring] Our tamariki’s literacy base is gonna come firstly from whanau, and then enhanced through kura.  (We found) that we actually needed to engage with the whanau.  We looked at the preliminary results of what the whanau were telling us were their health needs, and also what the whanau were telling us they thought a happy, vibrant Tainui mokopuna might look like.

[Marama Ruri] So you plot the groups, so it starts off here at kura as individual children.  And then the vision hopefully, will be that the families will take on board the small teachings of wellness within their children.  And then look at the avenues and the scopes that are out there with the providers of Whanau Ora, in which they can actually start broadening the wellbeing of their whole family cluster.

[Nicki Spring] There is a lot of funding out there aimed at our people and it doesn’t necessarily reach our people.  Mahia te mahi hei painga mo te iwi.  So do the work for the betterment of the people.


About Digital Indigenous.Com Ltd

Digital Indigenous.Com Ltd (‘Digital Indigenous’) provides cutting edge training, strategic advice, project management and consultancy services. It works closely with organisations that are interested in progressing the capacity and capability of people committed to advancing Māori and indigenous health, development and wellbeing.


Digital Indigenous.com Ltd
PO Box 13081
Hamilton 3251

Phone: (07) 858 4940
Website: www.digitalindigenous.com

Disclaimer: This page and the innovation it accompanies do not represent the views of the Ministry of Health. The views represented are those of Digital Indigenous.Com Limited and the innovation piloted.

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