Ka Puta Ka Ora Emerge Aotearoa

National health, housing and social service provider Emerge Aotearoa has today been gifted the new name ‘Ka Puta Ka Ora Emerge Aotearoa’ by eastern Waikato iwi, Ngāti Hauā.

The name gifting ceremony took place at Rukumoana Marae with Ngāti Hauā kaumātua, kuia, and other representatives; Te Tumuaki Hone Thompson; Emerge Aotearoa Chief Executive Barbara Disley; Emerge Aotearoa Boards, entities, and kaimahi in attendance.

‘Ka Puta Ka Ora Emerge Aotearoa’ was gifted by Ngāti Hauā Kaumātua Koro Rewi Rubal Rapana (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Hauā) with support from the iwi, and can be interpreted as a place that provides an uplifting haven that promotes individual and whānau wellbeing.

It is a name that embraces all New Zealanders and signifies the organisation’s strong ties to tangata whenua. The name supports Emerge Aotearoa’s journey to being a Tangata Tiriti organisation and advances its commitment to the health and wellbeing of the people it serves.

Emerge Aotearoa Group Chief Executive Dr Barbara Disley said it was an honour to receive the gifted name as an organisation walking a Tangata Tiriti pathway. “As a Tangata Tiriti organisation, we are committed to working in partnership with whānau, hapū and iwi,” she says. “We take our responsibilities to be a good Tiriti partner in these relationships seriously. The gifting is a sign of the esteem that we hold for each other.”

Emerge Aotearoa will transition to the new name over the next few months.

This taonga was first discussed in 2017, when Ngāti Hauā Kaumātua Koro Rubal learned that several people who accessed services provided by Emerge Aotearoa whakapapa to Ngāti Hauā. He presented this kōrero to the Ngāti Hauā kaumātua with the idea of gifting Emerge Aotearoa a Te Reo Māori name. Ka Puta Ka Ora was part of a proverb used by Kīngi Tāwhiao (1825-1894), the second Māori King, to uplift people during the Waikato Wars when many were left homeless, alienated, and dispossessed.

Emerge Aotearoa Mana Whakahaere Phyllis Tangitu and Pou Ārahi Edwin Wikatene have worked with Ngāti Hauā iwi to prepare for the celebrations. Te Tumuaki Hone Thompson has also played an integral part in the gifting. Hone and the kaumātua of Ngāti Hauā acknowledge that the name will be used nationally, and say they are proud to know that it originates from Ngāti Hauā.

Phyllis, who is also of Ngāti Hauā whakapapa, says, “This is a significant milestone for Emerge Aotearoa. As we continue our journey to become a Tangata Tiriti organisation, we are thankful and proud to be gifted ‘Ka Puta Ka Ora Emerge Aotearoa’. As bearers of the name, we need to be honourable and acknowledge it as a wonderful example of future relationships with iwi/mana whenua across Aotearoa.”

Emerge Aotearoa’s relationship with Ngāti Hauā and Ngāti Wairere has been significant, with Kaumātua Atutahi Riki and Piripi Matika providing leadership and support for many years.

Emerge Aotearoa would like to acknowledge the elders from Ngāti Hauā who have been part of this process but are no longer with us.