AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2020 UPDATE FROM THE BOARD

Tena koutou te whanau
Greetings to the PWI Family
Ko Rangitoto tōku maunga
Rangitoto is my mountain.
Ko Waitematā tōku moana
Waitemata is my ocean.
Ko Te Rimu Tahi tōku marae
Ponsonby is my home.
Nō Luca Bree ahau
I am Luca Bree.
Kia ora tātou
Thank you all.

During the recent Te wiki o te Reo Māori more than a million Kiwis read, spoke, listened and sang Te Reo at midday on Mane/Monday. My older Pākeha tongue and brain hesitated and tripped as I recorded my pepeha in our garden. A week earlier my lovely young housemates had given me a gift on Father’s Day as Matua of our whare (house father).

The increasing use of Te Reo Māori and acknowledgement of the significance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi has become a rich part of life in Aotearoa New Zealand. Healthcare providers and Educational organisations have often led the way in working biculturally in partnership with Tangata Whenua. Therefore it was with embarrassment and a sense of whakama I searched in vain for mention of Te Tiriti in our Board member’s manual.

Discussion of our Constitution, Code of Ethics and Policies make it clear that Positive Women Inc operates within the Principles of Te Tiriti. We offer support to all wahine and whanau living with or affected by HIV in Aotearoa. We have worked alongside INA, a Kaupapa Māori HIV support provider. Kuia and Kaumātua have joined us for our seminars and retreats to welcome and contribute. Māori participation has been sought throughout The Stigma Index project.

As a first step in redressing omissions the Operations team and those Board members able to travel planned to attend a Raranga workshop. Unfortunately, this was postponed but we have begun our discussion with a survey of our baseline knowledge. Identifying the gaps will help us focus our learning and prioritise actions.

Our challenges for the future include; reaching out to wahine Māori living with HIV and their whanau to join us as members, identifying barriers to wahine Māori living with HIV to become Board members, and seeking IWI consultation on Board Policy. Further steps will become clear as we continue our discussion at our upcoming Board meeting and the workshop.

Kia kaha, Kia maia, Kia manawanui.
Arohanui, Luca Bree on behalf of the Board