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The Banner

The banner story began with the request from the executive of the New Zealand Federation of Disability Information Centres. Each centre attending the annual training days, held in Palmerston North during June 1999, was invited to bring with them a banner or flag which expressed their Centre's uniqueness, excellence and positive reputation. 

The banner was created by staff and clients. It symbolises and places the organisation. 

The centre of the flower carries the logo of the organisation. This logo speaks of the growth of the client group, the four cornerstones of Maori health, and the awhi and support that is exchanged between staff and consumer clients.

Beginning at the petal, Extensions, which represents the vocational training programme of the same name. This shows some of the course content with abseiling, horticulture, Curriculum Vitae preparation, Huarahi Maori and the group dynamic. All this is placed against an image of a kauri tree, the largest NZ native tree, which speaks of courage and determination.

Moving anti-clockwise the next petal represents the accessible gymnasium, which has a range of equipment. For a small monthly fee people can use this facility, rather than the local professional gyms which have limited accessibility.

Next is the Needs Assessment and Service Coordination service, which provides the bridge between institutional and community services, as well as the networking and resourcing necessary to develop service packages to meet individual needs and allow for maximum independence.

Next is the petal representing Home Options, which aims to develop packages of care that will enable people with high levels of disability to remain living independently in their own homes, when the only other option would be residential care.

Lotza Flowers is a supported employment venture. A retail and wholesale florist outlet, which aims towards financial self-sustainability and provides volunteer, work experience and part-time work placements and vocational development opportunities.

Next is the petal representing the Disability Information and Advisory Service, which provides generic disability related information for all inquirers. This service relies heavily on information technology, hence the representation of the internet and the outward flow of information.

Next we come to the Movement Rehabilitation programme, a physiology based exercise programme designed to maintain and improve function and mobility for people with moderate to severe physical disabilities. Mat or box classes are held each session depending on ability and need.

The final petal at the top of the banner is our unwritten future, the promise of things to come.

The backdrop is a profile of Mount Manaia, Whangarei Heads, at the entrance to Whangarei Harbour. This is a dramatic and important landmark that is seen from many vantage points throughout the region and which places us in the physical environment. 

The magic and enthusiasm, the team building and the sense of ownership and pride that was generated with the creation of the banner was extraordinary. Every image and symbol that was placed on the banner has meaning. An example is the plaited flax (harakeke), that frames and joins each petal, which symbolises the joining and working together of cultures and facilitated the inclusion of many people in the making.

Nga Kete

Nga kete, or three baskets of knowledge, were made for Northland Disabilities Resource Centre in early 2000 by Joanne Samuel, Manager. 

The kete were made with the guidance and input of Troy Gardiner of Haumoana, Hawke's Bay, through his teaching of the art of raranga whakairo. These kete are a contemporary interpretation of the three baskets of knowledge. All three are made from harakeke, or flax. 

The top most kete uses the whakanihoniho, or tooth pattern and has pingao overlaid in the body of the basket; this kete speaks of the earth the mountains, of growing things and our physical lives. 

The second kete has shells collected from the Tutukaka coast, which make sound as the basket moves. The shells are attached with a plait of muka, the strong white fibre found in the flax leaf. This basket speaks of the ocean, te moana, the cleansing power of water and our emotional lives. 

The lowest kete uses a small weaving pattern designed to create a random mixing of the two colours. This basket talks of the air, our breath and our spirit, and the movement of experience and learning that is necessary in our lives.

Taonga Harakeke

This Taonga was designed and woven by Mrs. Polly Rau in 2003, after visiting Northland Disabilities Resource Centre to meet with the Tutors. Polly was moved by the input of the participants into the Huarahi Maori programme during their weaving session and wanted to acknowledge their creations in this way. 

The Taonga speaks of a person’s journey through life, beginning at the time of conception. The centre piece represents the foetus. The muka strands represent the fibres of your innermost being. As the person leaves the womb and makes their way forward through the birth canal they pass through the baskets of knowledge and hence the learning begins throughout life. The kete is for placing all records of growth and development for their entire life, never overflowing because it holds everything and more. The putiputi on the kete speaks of puawaitanga, blossoming and achieving. If stillborn, they journey back to the Moa, forever to remain in our hearts and memories. This taonga is to hang in the room to awhi the Tukutuku and the tangata Hauaa.

Matapuna Hauora Waiata

This waiata (song), was composed by Gloria Rihari, Maori Liaison, in late 1998, following the establishment of regular waiata practices as a component of staff professional development. It was written specifically for Northland Disabilities Resource Centre, Mãtãpuna Hauora, and has relevance to this organisation and its clients. 

The waiata is one way for us to introduce the organisation and its staff to others, and contributes to the building of relationships between services - relationships that are critical in order to facilitate effective work on behalf of people with disabilities. The song talks about the services that this organisation is providing to support people with disabilities, and the body of people, the staff, whose responsibility it is to be a vehicle for the kaupapa, or mission, of Northland Disabilities Resource Centre. 

This waiata belongs to, and will remain with, the organisation for the duration of the life of this service.

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