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No one really knew the damage Debbie would cause and for most people it brought tragedy to their everyday lives and their homes.  But for one person, this was an opportunity for having the biggest natural makeover in one night.

Cyclone Debbie came with its mighty winds and rain then powered its way through Te Urewera.  The winds too powerful for our trees were found on the ground lifeless.  Our rivers and streams flowed viciously with a deafening roar causing the earth beneath to become soft and frail creating slips and damage to structures. 

Te Urewera was evacuated the very next day and signs went up to close the Great Walk.  And for the first time in many years, Te Urewera was alone. 

The day after the storm I was travelling home after work and couldn’t help but stop to look at the view.  The mist was hovering above and coming down ever so slowly as if to blanket Te Urewera.  The mountain ranges in the distant showing different shades of blue with the tip of some ranges lightly covered by the mist. Waikaremoana was still and calm and among all this there was silence.  Seeing Te Urewera this way gave me the feeling she was having a long overdue rest she so deserves. 

Te Urewera has played host to millions who come from far and near to free their minds from the pressures of living in the so-called concrete jungles.  Can you imagine hosting that many people in a year?  I would definitely be drained and tired and planning a retreat away.  Te Urewera plays a vital role in people’s lives, for some she’s a counsellor, for others she’s a friend.  For whatever reason we visit this ancient being, she has the experience to host and offer a remedy we seek for the heart, soul and mind.  For us humans, we have places to go to re-energise ourselves.  But Te Urewera doesn’t have that luxury of going on a retreat.  If she cannot go anywhere then something or someone has to come to her.  Like a person, Te Urewera needs a break from all this.  To me, Cyclone Debbie was the retreat that Te Urewera has waited and yearned for.     

I believe Cyclone Debbie brought goodness to this spectacular being.  Debbie simply came and gave Te Urewera a total makeover.  Old trees were pulled from their roots to give way to the next generation of trees.  New waterways crafted providing sustenance to more of the land and its species and landslides formed a new layout to the land.  Not only did Debbie change the shape and form of Te Urewera but it also freed her from human contact. 

So next time you’re in Te Urewera and you are here to find yourself or rejuvenate yourself remember you are not alone.  Te Urewera is right there sharing the same reasons for your visit but she is also tending to your inner needs. If she can do that, then we should also contribute to returning the favour.

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Te Urewera at rest

18 April 2017
 - Posted by Herehere Titoko to Arts

No one really knew the damage Debbie would cause and for most people it brought tragedy to their everyday lives and their homes.  But for one person, this was an opportunity for having the biggest natural makeover in one night. Cyclone Debbie came with its mighty winds and rain then powered its way through Te Urewera.  The winds too...

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Jo Tuhoro (Hamua) grew up in a 2 bedroom whare built by her Koro Charlie. Nurtured by her nanny and koro, and surrounded by her many aunties, uncles and cousins, Jo remembers how Tūhoe values and beliefs were instilled in her from a young age.
 
“Our grandparents taught us that family should always be your focal point and it is here in this home that I learnt about Tūhoetana.”
 
Now married with three tamariki, she instills values of whānaungatanga into her own family.
 
“My family’s holistic wellbeing comes first, and as a Wife & Mother, my role is and will always be to support, love, teach and encourage those around me.  At times it is a challenging role, but one that will continue to help me grow with my Whanau.”
 
Grit and whānau are also the core values that influence her mahi.
 
jo tuhoro jpeg
 
“The same concepts apply with my mahi by putting people’s wellbeing first and truly understanding what it is that they need, and how I can help them achieve that…it is one of the most rewarding and priceless roles that I could have. Investing into the future of our tamariki and our community is what drives me.” 
 
Just over two years ago, Jo began studying real estate and took a position as a receptionist for Real Deal Real Estate in Whakatane. With a lot of determination and the support of her whānau, Jo was able to fulfil her ambition of becoming a licensed Real Estate agent. 
 
 “My first house that I sold was in a rural town and at the time the dwelling would require a large amount of renovation. Coming from 11 years in the healthcare industry, and having never been in sales before, selling this dwelling was not only a confidence booster but also gave me a sense of achievement and excitement all at once”.
 
Jo says she is keen to contribute back to her iwi by providing sales support and guidance to those who are looking to sell or purchase property. She says she enjoys meeting people from all walks of life, learning what is important for them and their whānau, and helping them to achieve their goals.
 
“Know what you want in a home, the features, the size, the location. Take your time, look around and don’t rush into buying or selling any property. Talk to a financial advisor or your Financial Institution to find out how much you could borrow. Check all options available to you and ask the necessary questions. If you feel you need to ask the question, ask it!”
 
Jo also looks forward to the future of real estate in Tūhoe - Te Urewera.
 
“I believe that with the correct policies, procedures, initiatives and support mechanisms in place, the future of real estate in Tūhoe Te Urewera would not only be promising, but successful. By implementing these initiatives, Tūhoe will be able to preserve, maintain the land and build sustainable living for future generations whether it be on Whanau land or through the concept of Papakainga. It would be amazing to see an increase in development of homes for whanau by whanau to reinvigorate our Rohe and get back to our grassroots.”
 
Jo describes her own dream home as a sustainable, eco-friendly dwelling on a medium sized block of land. 
 
“A house is a building with walls, but a home is made when it is filled with love and whānau.”
 
If you are looking to sell or purchase property call in and see Jo at Real Deal Real Estate, 44 Domain Road, Whakatane.
 
 
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Jo Tuhoro (Hamua) grew up in a 2 bedroom whare built by her Koro Charlie. Nurtured by her nanny and koro, and surrounded by her many aunties, uncles and cousins, Jo remembers how Tūhoe values and beliefs were instilled in her from a young age.   “Our grandparents taught us that family should always be your focal point and it...

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