Oranga Pāmu is our rural community development initiative which focuses on growing the influence of Ngāi Tahu values on the culture and practices of the land- based industries and their communities. Oranga Pāmu is about:
Due to the recent Ngāi Tahu Farming developments and the conversion from forestry to pastoral farming, we have seen a new Te Whenua Hou (previously Eyrewell forest) community emerging. Te Whenua Hou is currently located in the Waimakariri, on the northern border of the Waimakariri river, 40 kms inland from the nearest main township of Kaiapoi and 20km from Oxford.
The community is made up of number of ethnic groups including Māori, non-Māori and international peoples from Argentina and the Philippines. The demographic makeup of the wider community includes, Ngāi Tahu Farming employees and their whānau and tamariki, students from the Whenua Kura, Lincoln University tutors and research staff, and local neighbouring farms and community members.
There are currently around 100 people living in the community and with the continued growth and development of Ngāi Tahu farms at Te Whenua Hou it is estimated that the community will grow up to around 250- 300.
A steering group, Te Whenua Hou Community Committee, was established to oversee the initiative. The committee is made up of a number of representatives from within the partners and community to oversee the activities that are being implemented in Te Whenua Hou community. This has been developed through consultation and design within the partners including advice and guidance from manawhenua to ensure the design, needs and options for the community design, responds to the long-term Iwi and community aspirations.
Rā Dallas, the whānau community champion for Te Whenua Hou sees himself as the conduit between a large farming community in North Canterbury and the wider region, and he is excited about the potential his role has for building on Whanau Ora values.
“We have a community of close to one hundred people now, spread across seven operational dairy farms and five grazing farms and that’s expected to grow. As in any new community, there are people living just 60 metres apart, who don’t even know each other – that’s where I come in,” says Rā.
The new Te Whenua Hou Community Committee is working hard to create an environment where Ngāi Tahu Farming employees and their families feel more socially connected to each other and to their wider communities.
The group, which had its first meeting in March, aims to be the voice of the Te Whenua Hou community, and a number of mothers from the farms have joined forces with other community members to initiate a series of activities and events to grow camaraderie and connections.