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Growing Strong and Healthy Families/Whanau

"When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change."

Thich Nhat Hanh

family whanau team.jpg (Left-Right: Brad Rapira, Anne-Marie Osborne, Rachel Oliver and Pania Tayler. (Absent:  Moana Everton)

Meet the team: http://www.tearohanoa.org.nz/meet-the-team.html

Family/Whânau Development is about working alongside families/whãnau as they create change in their lives. Our first mihi (greeting) is to the whanau we work alongside. The work of change in families is a huge task and we acknowledge the steps they have taken on this journey. They continue to be an inspiration to us and others. Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui! (Be strong, be brave, be big hearted!) We love this mahi and are aware that we are privileged to be able to walk with whãnau as they journey along this path.

Our Kaupapa

Here at Te Aroha Noa we aim to work in a truly strengths-based way - working with people's strengths and enhancing them further. We are not deficit-focused or problem-saturated so we can allow whãnau to see a way forward to a brighter future for themselves.

We practice ways of working that are relational and transparent; while always looking for more in families. Families and team members work collaboratively together and we all learn and teach along the way, this is the concept of ako which makes our practice adaptive and fluid in design.


All my life I kept my dreams

Tucked somewhere deep inside;

Till one by one you pulled them out

With nothing left to hide.

You pointed to my deepest dreams

You told me I should try

Then gently told me I had wings

And showed me how to fly.

Then somehow you reached in my heart

Made words flow like a stream

With loving inspiration

You became part of the dream

I never would have dreamed my dreams

They never would have come true

Those dreams would not be realised

If God had not sent you

This poem was presented to thank us for the mahi undertaken with a family and while the poet acknowledges the impact we had on her life she is now flying solo.

E koekoe te tui, e ketekete te kaka e kutu te kereru

The Tui Sings, The Kaka chatters, the Pigeon coos


It takes all sorts of people to carry out work within communities. With diversity comes a wide range of skill sets. This whakatuki reminds us that the families we work with are diverse and have many different strengths and skills to contribute.