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15 December 2022

WFF Newsletter for December 2022

WFF Newsletter for December 2022
From the desk of Chloe Wright

Kia ora, Talofa, Kia Orana, Greetings to all,

As we approach the end of another year (according to the Christian calendar) we give thanks for the many blessings afforded so many by the hard work of so few. We look forward to possibilities of a new year where people are put first, where government agencies, communities, and we as individuals, hold the care of the voiceless, the marginalised, our families and neighbours close.

I have just come out of the bush of the pristine West Coast forests. How I wish the Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ could be shared with all our people. The deep breathing, scents of the forest, bird calls, to feel small in the wonder of nature should be for all.  

Town planning should encourage bio-diversity, discovery of nature, the feel of grass underfoot, the bumble bee pollinators, the honey bee pollinators, birds, grubs, bugs, dirt. Ruud Kleinpaste MNZM has given us a great gift, he has excited the curious mind. A child with a curious mind will become educated, will look to the horizon and chase their dreams. The child with the curious mind will answer the call for a cleaner, greener world.  The cruellest thing we may unwittingly do, is squash a child’s curiosity.

Where are the green spaces? Some of us are old enough to remember Joni Mitchell’s song Big Yellow Taxi (they paved Paradise and put up a parking lot). It has become a reality.  How do you teach our young generation to care for the planet when their world is wall to wall concrete. I have a Bumble Bee hive in my garden. When I feel overwhelmed by the daily stresses, I stand by their hive and I watch them come and go, working tirelessly in unison. The rhythm of the life of a Bumble is a ‘miraculous’ thing. For our people to take care of the wonder of the planet they must ‘feel’ the rhythm of it. They must stand in awe in spaces where they feel small. We have been blessed with brains that know no limit. I stand in awe of the possibilities.

A professor once enlightened me about ‘my rush to tomorrow’. “Be present in the moment, the purpose of life is to find joy” she said. We must plan for the future, to find success for ourselves and others while we breathe in the moment.  I never lose sight of human life being unique, irreplaceable and full of the potential for joy. As each new year comes, I navigate the hard times with a mantra. Some of them:

“It will be alright in the end, if not, it is not yet the end”.
“The bird is never afraid of the branch breaking, she has more faith in her own wings than the branch”.
“The day will come and the day will end, I can only give my best”. This one was for this year when it was time to ‘dig in’.

‘Digging in’ brought about a collaboration of dedicated people who have created a transformational change to how we support our most vulnerable babies to transition from intensive care to being ready to go home. Now they need not undergo the trauma that follows them and their parent throughout life by breaking the bonds of attachment. I am both proud and humbled to have been at the spear point of what should be the gold standard for our most vulnerable. Government, are you listening?

Are we thinking of the hungry stomachs at this time of the year, the children who do not receive a gift, the children who live in fear of the collateral damage of no money, too much alcohol, domestic violence. Data does not tell the truth. Data is manipulated, bureaucrats’ hide behind it, skew the numbers. Children’s voices are stilled by fear of losing what affection a parent under stress can give them. The voices of many who live with domestic violence are stilled by the fragile shreds of security they are afraid to lose. Shame and cultural mores silence voices. I hear them, the people who walk alongside hear them.  It is up to the people, the community, the village. I think of the amazing Stacey Shortall and her organization Who Did You Help Today. What a blessing to reach the end of everyday, and to know there is someone you helped make their day better .

“The greatest gift we can give our children is roots and wings”

My hope for this time is that peace will fall upon the homes of the vulnerable, the homeless will find comfort in the care of the community, those of us who are surrounded with love, hope, joy, will reach out to others now, and all life through.

La manuia, Arohanui,


Founder/Chief Executive – Wright Family Foundation

My wish for all at this time is to “be present, breathe, find joy”   


 Kids' Lit Quiz New Zealand

A thoroughly enjoyable and successful Kids' Lit finals event was held at the National Library of NZ Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa in Wellington on November 12.  After an exciting evening of competition, the winning team was Belmont Intermediate School (pictured) followed by Tawa Intermediate in second place and Karoro School coming in third.

"It was an amazing day and to watch the passion for reading that these students demonstrated would gladden the hearts of all those who read for pleasure or those that doubt kids are still reading", says quizmaster Wayne Mills.

Thanks goes to all the participants and supporters of this amazing event with special mention going to Hon Jan Tinetti, the Associate Minister of Education, for taking the time out of her busy schedule to attend the regional finals in Tauranga.

We are so looking forward to the World Finals in July next year in Havelock North.

To learn more about the Kids' Lit Quiz click here.



 House of Science

Since its beginning in 2013, House of Science NZ has grown to 19 branches around New Zealand and currently has 631 schools regularly accessing a vast science resource kit library. That’s 30% of all primary and intermediates in the country. Each fortnight, approximately 500 kits are distributed and over 25,000 students take part in the exciting experiments.

Scientific literacy is one of the most important and useful skills that our future generations can have. It helps with our ability to develop critical thinking and teaches us ways to interpret and interact with the world around us.

Research has shown that at the age of 10 years old, most children have already made up their minds about what career paths they are not interested in. If they haven’t been exposed to science by this age, there goes our potential next generation of scientists.

Says Chris: “The Wright Family Foundation’s support plays a pivotal role in our organisation’s consistent growth. Schools are blown away by the comprehensive package we can provide at an affordable price.  As a result, we are seeing teachers embrace a subject that previously was out of their reach.”

Recently, House of Science NZ won an international award for their contribution to chemistry education. Pictured is CEO Chris Duggan (right) with House of Science Charitable Trust Resource Developer, Jane Hoggard who led the team of scientists from NZ who won the award. Congratulations! Keep up the awesome mahi!

You can read more about House of Science here.



Warriors Community Foundation

League in Libraries - Rīki i ngā Whare Pukapuka

League in Libraries 2022 winnersEstablished with the aim of improving literacy achievement in primary schools, League in Libraries encourages children to rediscover the enjoyment of reading and literacy as essential life skills through the support of engaging mentors and role models.

Drawing on the Warriors' celebrity status to persuade children that reading is not only an important life skill it's also cool. The programme incorporates a writing competition where students are invited to submit stories about their favourite Warriors for judging.  The best primary and intermediate age student has their work professionally illustrated and published.

To date, League in Libraries has published 15 young authors across 377 schools and created meaningful connections with thousands of children.

Congratulations to the Supreme 2022 winners of the League in Libraries (pictured).

Verity, a mum of one of the winners wanted to share these words. "Appreciative of the time taken to share kōrero with all of our tamariki and the impressive team who made it happen so smoothly. The ripple effect of this kaupapa is huuuuuge! Aspiring authors, ringatoi, kaiētita, kaitākaro rīki in the making, soaking up this awesomeness - tēnā, kaiako mā, whiua tēnei kaupapa ki te ao! Karawhiua tamariki mā!"

We can not wait for the beginning of next year when the 2023 competition kicks off.

To find out more about the Warriors Community Foundation click here.



 Virtuoso Strings

Special thanks goes out to the group of budding musicians from Virtuoso Strings who performed so beautifully at our joint partnership event with Te Whatu Ora, held at the Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre in Lower Hutt. Their gentle classical  tones set the perfect introduction to our celebratory atmosphere.

To learn more about Virtuoso Strings, click here



 Reading Warrior

David Riley (pictured) aka the Reading Warrior is passionate about raising literacy rates among young people in NZ. His commitment in encouraging young people to read positive and inspirational stories from NZ and the Pacific can be seen in the numerous books he has written featuring Pasifika Heroes and Superheroes, profiles on famous sportspeople and Pacific history. They are  all subjects of interest to the lives and aspirations of his young readers with text in short bits, simple language and lots of visual support. 

He also engages and supports young people to write their own stories, of which their published books can be bought on the Reading Warrior website. One of David's recent publications, made with students from Kedgley Intermediate School is aptly named "Believe, Become, Inspire" and features profiles of high achievers who started at the famous South Auckland school.

David also holds workshops in schools for both teachers and students emphasising what it takes to raise student engagement, efficacy and achievement. 

Having recently finished teaching at Tangaroa College in Otara, South Auckland after more than 23 years, David now has the opportunity to give all of these projects his full-time attention. The Wright Family Foundation is pleased to be able to offer support to the Reading Warrior in inspiring more tamariki to read, engage and imagine! 

Check out his website to learn more about Reading Warrior


Mangawhai Rotary Learn to Sail Project


We had the privilege of having the magical Mangawhai rotary learn to sail club name their boats after members of our team. Here we have the "three Chloes" (above) and the new Claire (below). We love the names and hope they prove their worth on the water.

To learn more about Mangawhai learn to sail project, click here



Graeme Dingle Foundation Western BOP


Congratulations to all the winners at the annual Regional Excellence Awards. We love that we can support Project K in helping young people to reach their potential.

To learn more about Graeme Dingle Foundation, click here


 Arohanui Strings Sistema Hutt Valley


We are really excited to be able to supply additional support to the students of Arohanui Strings Sistema in Hutt Valley, to allow for the provision of extra transport. We hope it will make it easier to get to and from events like this one, for the Wellington airport regional community awards.

To learn more about Arohanui Strings, click here




 One Mother to Another

Wow, One Mother to Another have had an incredible year.  They have expanded into new hospital wards to now support 40% more mothers and caregivers every year (including branching out into new cities), increased their volunteer base and also won a bunch of awards, including being winners of the Minister of Health 2022 "Community or NGO Team of the Year".

"I wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU to you all at the Wright Foundation for being such a major part of One Mother to Another's story this year. I honestly mean it when I say that your support was a huge catalyst for this.  Thank you for believing in our mahi and the value it has." says Joy Reid.

We love that we can support organisations like these in continuing their care for parents and whanau with sick babies and children.
Visit their website to found out more of what One Mother to Another does.

Joy Reid, the co-founder and chief executive of One Mother to Another
recently awarded the Kiwibank 2023 Local Hero medal.



 Mothers Matter - 'Who holds our Mothers'

Raise the Red FlagWe have been busy behind the scenes with exciting plans to build on the foundation blocks of Mothers Matter. We expect to share this development in the new year but in the meantime, we have also been working on new TV ads to highlight "what it means to be a Father" . They will start coming to your screens on Boxing day.

We also wanted to call attention to the recent evidence brief published by Koi Tu: The Centre for Informed Futures on perinatal mental distress. It conveys how maternal mental health is critically important but under-recognised in NZ and needs greater priority within our public policy framework.

It suggests the prevalence of and detrimental consequences from maternal mental distress during and soon after pregnancy warrant the introduction of an early universal screening programme specifically for Aotearoa New Zealand mothers.
Caught in advance, high rates of mental distress in new mothers and consequent inter-generational effects in children stemming from perinatal mental difficulties could be reduced. At least 15% of New Zealand women are affected by mental distress during the perinatal period from conception and pregnancy to a year after birth. Among women of Māori, Asian and Pacific ethnicity, the rate can reach one in three.

Yet, current screening tools and practices may not be able to adequately identify these women. We therefore need to consider developing a screening tool customised to New Zealand’s diverse ethnic makeup, encompassing a wide range of cultural world views and concepts of wellbeing.

With the recent headlines about giving birth on the side of the road in Auckland and other nightmare birth experiences, it brings to the fore how important it is for us to continue to raise our voice for a maternal health system that will put mothers and their whanau first, a system where mothers can access care that meets their choices and needs.
Finally, we would like to leave you with these words recently published by the Government “Across the women’s health portfolio our approach is to give women more control of their care and improving services so that they better meet all people’s needs"....Our response to this, PROVE IT!!!

Raise your voice with us. Mamas, Dads, and whanau, we are all in this together.

To keep informed and to connect with us - follow @mothersmatternz on Facebook or Instagram.
To connect with us directly, pop us an email here.