Word of the day


Positionality – the social and political context that creates your identity in terms of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability status. Positionality also describes how your identity influences, and potentially biases, your understanding of and outlook on the world;  the stance or positioning of the researcher in relation to the social and political context of a study;  the notion that personal values, views, and location in time and space influence how one understands the world.

Sowell says


Black Heels & Tractor Wheels – Tia Potae


Today we are very lucky to speak to Tia Potae, the winner of the inaugural Primary Industries award at the 2021 Women of Influence New Zealand Awards. Tia is based in the sunny Coromandel, but hails from Milton at the bottom of the South Island 👏

The Potae name is extremely well known in shearing circles, with her grandfather’s brother George Potae winning the Golden Shears in 1969. Tia herself has been in the shearing industry all her life, representing New Zealand in woolhandling in 2005 and 2013.

Tia has a huge list of achievements and is truly a champion of rural communities ✨

Tia is a Whānau Ora navigator at Tokomairiro Waiora and won the award for supporting shearers and their families through the challenges of Covid-19. During the 2020 lockdown, she developed an online programme for wool, forestry and fishing industry workers who found it difficult to access services after hours. She also helped workers access the Wage Subsidy Scheme. 

Tia is also a rural navigator for Tokomairiro Waiora, a Kaupapa Māori Health Service providing Whānau Ora services in South Otago. Her rural navigator programme was a response to a Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu 2019 survey of wool harvesters which found they needed better access to health and social services.

And if you thought she couldn’t possibly do any more, she also has a small business, Taki Toru Woolshed Services, where she runs her own training programme. . . .

Winston Churchill’s wisdom


Saturday soapbox


Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Virtue is not merely a state in conformity with the right principle, but one that implies the right principle; and the right principle in moral conduct is prudence. – Aristotle

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