Takoha Puoro - The Gift of Music

“They see how they can be a part of music in the simplest of ways. Being part of something bigger than themselves in an atmosphere that brings energy and positivity allows them to experience success and what it feels like to be valued and appreciated by others.

The skills they learn build their confidence and they celebrate their successes together. For many, this is the only celebration and positive praise they receive in their lives and so the importance of this is in building their self-worth is priceless.”

The programme, Takoha Puoro, which means the ‘gift of music’, is a beautiful example of local business, school alumni and community combining their efforts and skills to help re-engage students back into education. It has seen the music facility of Fairfield College transformed into a professional and inspiring place where the students feel they belong and are valued.

The programme is facilitated by Jamey Ferguson, a well-known and respected industry expert. Known for his incredible musical talent, and as a member of the legendary reggae band Katchafire, Jamey has toured extensively around the world and performed at some of the biggest music festivals.

Meeting Daniel Ormsby

“The Red Shed is about art. The main one is Māori art because that's what I do but it's all art forms. It came about primarily from growth. It is a space where anyone, no matter who you are, can come and do art.’

Even the drive down to Waitomo felt somehow magical…Early evening light cascading off the fields, hills and trees releasing a million shades of spectacular colours and moods spreading a welcome calmness around and within us.


Daniel Ormsby and I first got to know each other through video call, that no longer new, and now weirdly comfortable post covid whakawhanaungatanga phenomena. I had previously shared the Lots of little Fires kaupapa with Daniel via email. To my relief and excitement, he was instantly curious and keen to get involved. With a shared sense of humour and a mutual recognition for each other's kōrero and mahi, it led to a natural trust and child-like excitement to meet in person. 

Poutama Rites of Passage

‘The fire is a living example… a subtle way of building a sense of collective responsibility and pride…’

Poutama Rites of Passage was born out of Whaingaroa in 2015. It is the vision of youth worker, Tiaki Coates (Ngāi Tahu), who felt called to explore what a community-led initiation for tama to transition into manhood would look like in a Te Ao Māori way.

Seven years later and with numerous rites of Passage successfully completed, the kaupapa is thriving and fluidly evolving to suit the needs of the communities it exists to serve.