Wharekauri (Chatham Islands) located roughly 680 kilometres southeast of New Zealand, consists of about ten islands within a 40-kilometre radius, the largest of which are Chatham Island and Pitt Island.
This close-knit community of just over 600 people has it’s fair share of challenges. Other then only having one weekly flight in and out of the Islands it has to deal with the challenges that isolation brings to small communities.
To support whānau in the area, recently Paora Te Hurihanganui, General Manager of Te Papa Tākaro, along with Kataraina Pipi, expert PATH Planning Trainer and Facilitator visited the Islands for an intensive 4 day PATH focused visioning exercise.
They worked with both organisations and individual whānau saying it was a “truely unique space to work within”. Plans within the area are diverse and have incorporated education, diving and developing sustainable ways of living, housing and collective knowledge growth. Around 20 plans were completed during this time.
Their goal, “to use aspirational dreaming to move whānau to a strength-based place”.
One particularly inspiring story from the area comes from Cancer survivor, Joe Tapara (68) who worked on his PATH plan with Paora. In 2009 he initiated a successful Prostate Cancer awareness programme for men in the Chathams after creating the Ha O Te Ora O Wharekauri Trust earlier in 2003.
Project “Go Joe” was the beginning of his 2,290 kilometre journey which saw him cycle the length of Aotearoa New Zealand, starting in the Chathams and ending at Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga) taking 27 days straight to complete. His goal, to raise awareness of Prostate Cancer and how early detection can save lives. Ka mau te wehi!