Dame Cindy and Dr Davies headed to South Canterbury for a regional visit to Timaru. Their Excellencies first engagement was a powhiri at Arowhenua Marae, which lies between the junction of the Temuka and Opihi Rivers. In her korero at the marae, Dame Cindy spoke of the extraordinary success Ngāi Tahu has had in protecting and enhancing its taonga, and creating opportunities for tamariki and whānau. Dame Cindy and Dr Davies visited Arowhenua Māori School, where the young students performed a kapa haka.
Dame Cindy visited Arowhenua Whānau Services – a Māori Health Provider providing a marae-based health clinic, mental health services and Tamariki Ora. To sum up the significant work they do for their community, it can be described in the whakatauki they in their clinic – “Me mahi tahi tātou mō te oranga o te katoa. We should work together for the wellbeing of everyone”.
That evening, Their Excellencies host a reception for community leaders in the Timaru area, including some recent recipients of New Zealand Royal Honours.
After seeing the rock art, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies met with Presbyterian Support South Canterbury and some of the former refugee families making Timaru their home. PSSC Refugee Settlement Service provides settlement support to the refugees, linking them with community support and services, so that after a year, those families will have the knowledge and confidence to independently access and use mainstream services. PSSC, with its dedicated team of staff and volunteers, will be resettling up to 110 Syrian refugees per year over the next two and a half years.
The final engagement took Dame Cindy and Dr Davies to Maungati, just inland from Timaru, to see the newly unveiled Windhausen Land Girl Monument on the Rongomaraeroa Peace Walk. The monument commemorates the Women’s Land Service members, also known as ‘land girls’, who kept the country’s farms going while men fought overseas during World War II.