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December 2020

Rongo Pānui
We held a professional photoshoot for our mātua taiohi and their pēpē in November. Tino Ataahua!

Nau mai, haere mai ki te Rongo Pānui o te E Tipu E Rea Whānau. We are starting a new regular pānui with updates on our mahi with mātua taiohi, community events, policy and advocacy work , and current trends impacting on young whānau. Our unique position working alongside mātua taiohi allows us to gather insights into what greater policy changes we need to call for to strengthen whānau wellbeing, remove discrimination and enact rangatiratanga.  E tipu E Rea want to share these insights with you so you can help us create the change that is needed.
 
On a team basis we've had lots of changes this year, including learning to work remotely while we wait for our new office space, as well as welcoming four new staff members, including our new Chief Executive Officer, Zoe Hawke. We now have a full team and are so excited by the direction E Tipu E Rea Whānau Services is taking.
 
We would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Hāpai Te Hauora Maori public health  for allowing us to share some office space on Mondays, and also to all the work that previous CEO’s Cinnamon Whitlock and Te Miria James-Hohaia undertook for our organisation. He purapura i ruia mai i Rangiātea e kore e ngaro.

Tūtaki ki te tīma
From left: Zoe Hawke, Natalie Claireaux, Te Miria James-Hohaia, Alina Clark, Laifaiga Filivaa, Tahlea Hohaia, Lauren Bartley
Front: Lisa Noble, Jo Maireroa
At the helm is Zoe Hawke (Ngāti Hako, Ngāti Paoa) who joined us in November. With her training  in social work, community development,  and public health, as well as her experience working with iwi, hapū,  Māori communities, Local Councils, Central Government, Problem Gambling Foundation, Hāpai te Hauora Māori Public Health,  and the Mental Health Foundation managing both the Policy and Advocacy team and the Community Engagement team, E Tipu E Rea Whānau Services is in very good hands.

Alina Clark is one of our social workers who started with us in March. Alina has worked extensively in early childhood, particularly with Plunket, and so she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Her intuition about the needs, dreams and goals of mātua taiohi and her ability to build strong relationships with them is a massive benefit to the work we undertake.

Our other social worker Lauren Bartley joined us in September, and has experience as a social worker in schools, as well as in maternity at Auckland Hospital. Lauren has an interest and passion for policy and advocacy work, she is a strong advocate for both mātua taiohi and their individual needs and changing the systems around mātua taiohi that cause barriers to equitable outcomes.  

Laifaiga Filivaa heads up the support for our young dads. Laifaiga has worked in schools with young people, and has huge passion for supporting young men to be the best dads they can be. Laifaiga uses his lived experience of being a young father within his mahi. Laifaiga studied to be teacher and has a degree in English, we are all thrilled to have Laifaiga with us at E Tipu E Rea.

Natalie Claireaux is the head of projects, as well as covering the admin role for much of the year. Natalie is working on several projects, including a mentoring programme, suicide prevention project, as well as systemic housing advocacy and working towards obtaining our own emergency housing accommodation.

Tahlea Hohaia (Te Arawa, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) is our new Office Manager, and comes to us from retail management. Tahlea has incredible skills in organisation and time management and we are so lucky to have her keeping us all on track.  Tahlea brings with her the lived experience of having been a teenage māmā, and her voice within the team helps to inform our strategic direction.   

Te Miria James Hohaia is the chair of the board, and stepped up to cover the CEO role during the recruitment phase. Te Miria has huge experience, including 10 years in the Ministry of Health as the Strategic Advisor for Māori. We are so grateful for her leadership over the last few months.

Lisa Noble and Jo Maireroa are our two youth mentors. Lisa and Jo have run some awesome events for our mātua taiohi, and bring huge passion and experience to their roles.
Mana Wāhine
E Tipu E Rea launched a new programme this year - Mana Wāhine. Mana Wāhine  seeks to connect, engage, embrace and uplift wāhine taiohi, teenage māmā who are often a silent and disempowered collective within our community. Our kaimahi have worked tirelessly with teen māmā with a focus on building their resiliency, enhancing and upholding their mana to be strong wāhine and amazing māmā. Working with our three youth mentors, Josephine Maiora, Lisa Noble and Tahlea Hohaia, we co-designed workshops and activities to help them build pride, connectedness to their culture and a strong sense identity and self-belief. The programme helped to break their isolation after Covid-19 lockdown and as we work together to build on their strengths and achieve their aspirations. Some of these activities included a photoshoot, a pamper and relaxation day, music workshop, and whakapakiri/self-love workshop. Special thanks to the Ministry of Women for the Covid19 community funding.
Mō Ngā Mātua
 
Anxiety and depression can be difficult to talk about. When you are a new father, a lot of pressure is placed on your shoulders and mental health can take a back seat. Be sure to look after your mental health so you can look after your family. E Tipu E Rea Whanau supports mental health and new fathers.  
Policy and Advocacy Work that Supports Mātua Taiohi

A look into child poverty
Image Credit: Action Station
Child poverty? When did child poverty get separated from whānau poverty? Why are we putting out fires in the rooms of children when the whole house is on fire? Read a 2017 blog assignment from our very own E Tipu E Rea social worker Lauren Bartley here: Social Work: Putting out fires for those who "deserve" it
The Child Poverty Action Group recently released a report detailing how the government has not achieved a large proportion of recommendations from the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden disagrees, saying her government has increased benefits by $25, implemented the winter energy and best start payments, and increased Family Tax Credit. She stated that a sole mother would likely have an extra $100 per week.

With all due respect to the prime minister, we are finding that the mātua taiohi we work with are not any better off than in previous years. MSD are now charging 25% of income for emergency accommodation, and some community housing providers are charging a portion of Family Tax Credit on top of this. Housing unaffordability and exorbitant rent means that many of our whānau are struggling to meet the needs of their tamariki on a daily basis. Transformational change to the welfare system is needed before the Minister for Child Poverty's work is done. 
Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Beacroft is calling for the government to treat child poverty as an emergency, and suggested three steps that can be implemented immediately that would make real change:
  1. Raise benefit levels in accordance with the Welfare Expert Advisory Group 47%
  2. Increase accommodation supplement, as well as dramatically increasing housing stocks and implementing rent controls
  3. Roll out a national food-in-schools programme to ensure that all children receive a nutritious meal each day.
Find out more herehere and here
E Tipu E Rea are proud to be joining 70 other organisations calling for the lifting of whānau out of poverty through the urgent increase of income support. We are optimistic with the Labour government mandate to make change possible, and are watching this closely. E Tipu E Rea would like to encourage other groups to tautoko the call too - sign the open letter here:
Open Letter: Income support must go up before Christmas | ActionStation
 
Good to know!
Image Credit: Healthy Babies Healthy Futures
Healthy Babies Healthy Futures support to whānau by providing information on pregnancy, parenting and child development. They also send out weekly support messages and information via text.
 
Find out more here!
Upcoming events
  • End of Year Beach Party - All whānau please join us for an end of year celebration at the beach! Point Chevelier Beach, 17 December at 11.30am, kai and transport available on request
  • AGM - All welcome to join us for our AGM on 20 December, 1:30pm at Te Atatu Peninsular Community Centre
Wishing all our mātua taiohi and their whānau a safe and happy Christmas
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