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Putting cultural connections on a regional and national stage

Last Updated: February 2019

Media release 11 February 2019

Putting cultural connections on a regional and national stage

The richness of indigenous language – its connection with kai, kaumātua, craft and care for the environment will be front and centre at Womad 2019, taking place in New Plymouth March 15-17

Tui Ora, a long-time partner of Womad 2019, is a pivotal part of the Te Paepae area (in Brooklands Park) with staff geared up to teach workshops, help festival goers weave a korowai, run Māori games and demonstrate te reo in action.

Hayden Wano, CEO of the health and social services provider, says Womad 2019 is important for Tui Ora as it brings in people from Taranaki, Aotearoa and overseas.

This year’s UN International Year of Indigenous Language puts a spotlight on Te Reo, relevant in the context of national developments such as the Whānau Ora review and the Government’s Wellbeing Budget 2019.

“We’ve long recognised the role of cultural knowledge and competence - it’s a given for our staff - but nationally there’s greater urgency around the use of Te Reo.

“Whānau Ora, for example is a term that’s been part of the national conversation for a decade but could benefit from greater understanding. It puts people and whānau (family) at the heart of services. It understands that many things are linked to health and wellbeing, that whānau are interdependent and it empowers them to make their own plans and decisions – with Tui Ora staff alongside.”

John Tamihere, the high profile former MP and CEO of Whānau Ora commissioning agency, Te Pou Matakana, is among those speaking at Womad on Saturday with whānau ora likely to drive his presentation

Ngamata Skipper, Economic Development Relationship Manager at Tui Ora, draws strong parallels between Womad and Whānau Ora.

“Well whānau belong to communities that are active, have purpose and are involved in creating their future which may be through growing and distributing food and supporting and protecting their environment.

“Womad gives us a public platform to talk about those things and show links to arts and culture in all its forms and vibrancy.”

Kumara growing workshops take place throughout the weekend, as do pare kore – sessions on zero waste targeted at marae – and there is an opportunity to weave a korowai using paper feathers.

Tui Ora kaumātua Rukutai Watene will touch on commonly used Te Reo terms and their connection to health, wellbeing and cultural competence in the workplace.

All this activity happens in the Manaaki Lounge, a space for anyone to relax, sit down and watch and listen to action on the Te Paepae stage.  See the full Womad schedule here.

For further details contact:

Hayden Wano, Tui Ora CEO,

Ngamata Skipper, Tui Ora Economic Development Relationship Manager,

Sarah Foy, Tui Ora Senior Communications Advisor,, 027 351 6803

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