On Monday March 9, the Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated staff held our annual retreat at the Department of Conservation Cape Kidnappers House.

It was amazing to say the least!

A time to reflect, review, refocus and refresh our efforts and remind ourselves 'why' we work for our iwi, rather than focus on 'what' we do.

The exercises we did were a lot of fun but each had instruction, meaning, purpose, a team-building experience and a lesson for each of us to look after ourselves, be more realistic and communicate better with ourselves and with our iwi members.

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For whānau who live on our beautiful coastline, you will appreciate the beauty of living by the ocean and the spectacular views of our whenua and the almighty Tangaroa.

While we were there, staff took advantage of a walk down to the beach.

Iwi Environment leaders Ngaio Tiuka and Shade Smith had been to this exact place a few weeks earlier and showed staff how much of the whenua had already washed away.

We ended our trip with a drive up to the lighthouse to further enjoy seeing the gannets.
For some of us who have lived in Heretaunga all our lives (50-66 years), it was the first time we had been anywhere near Cape Kidnappers. It was a fulfilling day.
Our staff are a friendly whānau-oriented bunch.

We all have strengths and weaknesses because we are normal everyday people with families, bills, pets and so forth. Something we all have in common is that we love working for our iwi.

This time we had together was precious and timely. We returned to work on Tuesday to find ourselves preparing for a serious Covid-19 pandemic.

Enjoy life and perhaps use this time to reflect, review, refocus and refresh your efforts and remind yourselves about your 'whys'.