Tūranga Health empowers community through DIY

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

As the winter chill approaches, an iwi-based organisation, Tūranga Health on the East Coast, is teaching families in rural communities the DIY skills they need to improve and future-proof their own homes.

“There's a lot of learning here today and we've never been exposed to all of this before,” says Erena Nepe who attended one of the community workshops.

Arcadia Ngarewa Edmonds-Whale says, “My partner and I are both students currently studying to be kaiako so pūtea is not something that we can throw around at the moment. So, we have more time than pūtea, so DIY and doing things ourselves is a lot easier.” 

The many services range from hands-on know-how about plumbing to plastering, improving heating and insulation, to reducing electricity use.

CEO of Tūranga Health, Rewiti Ropiha says, “Unlocking specialist skill-sets, looking to simplify the concepts, hopefully so they can take some of the skills and put them back into the whare, give them confidence, our whānau, to really sort of do the things that they can do themselves.”

This is the first in a series of practical community workshops where many services have volunteered to support the cause, and families are already finding benefit.

“Today, we're learning how to do a bit of plumbing and fitting some taps, learning how to re-thread some joins and, yeah, koinā ngā mahi ā mātau i te marae o Manutuke i tēnei rā,” says Edmonds-Whale.

Raiha Moetara says, "I just think it's really awesome what's happening right around and I still haven't covered all of the areas so, yeah nah, it's good.”

The initiative is about enabling families to make themselves more comfortable as we head into winter and beyond.

Ropiha says, “At least putting the knowledge in front of whānau so whānau can proactively start to put things in place, future-proof their whare, if not for this generation, the next generation coming.”

In the next few weeks, the workshop will be taken to Waituhi, Muriwai, Te Karaka, Elgin and Kaiti.