Whanau Ora: Dave Johnston

The 2019 Whānau Ora Symposium, held by Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu, showcased the collective strength and capability of whānau to achieve better outcomes in areas such as health, education, housing, employment and income levels. As a proud sponsor of the symposium, Rātā Foundation spoke to some of the organisers and speakers during the three-day event.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is a limited partnership entrusted by the Crown and owned by the nine iwi of Te Waipounamu through a Participants Council known as Te Taumata.

Dave Johnston of Ngāti Kuia attended the symposium and reflected on the journey that Te Putahitanga and iwi have been on.

“For me, part of being here is to share our journey, Ngāti Kuia iwi, in terms of sustainability,” he said.

“One thing  we are doing to try and promote and encourage whānau is around what we call the tribal economy – that’s where, in tandem, we help support the growing of mana, whānau ora and iwi.”

He said watching the speakers and exploring other aspects of the symposium has inspired him.

 “It‘s great for whānau to see what others are doing around collaboration and the sharing of ideas.”

“One thing  I got out of just preparing for this symposium is having the time to think about where you’ve come from… when I look at where we’ve come from, where we are now, and where we’re going, the potential is absolutely limitless.”