What is this Tipu Ake thing
about and how did it arise?
The Tipu Ake team is a group
of volunteers from the school and community of Te Whaiti
Nui-a-Toi*, who with help from staff volunteers and
student project teams from the Auckland University of
Technology (AUT) and enthusiastic supporters from New
Zealand and around the world, have put together and
share a new organic leadership model.
Te Whaiti School - deep in the Whirinaki Rainforest
here for a map to see where this is in NZ - return from
our Kaitiakitanga site using your back button)
Corrie Cook from AUT on taking a group of Indonesian
Managers on a weekend marae stay at Te Whaiti in 1999,
discovers that school board members Earl Rewi, Chris
Eketone and the community have a story or two to tell.
Peter Goldsbury (an ex pupil of the school) is reminded
by Chris Eketone, Andy Kohiti and Rusty Rangi that this
community has a richness to share, and after many discussions
with community people, a leadership model encapsulating
their way of thinking begins to emerge. The give it
the name Tipu Ake ki te Ora - growing from within ever
upwards towards wellness
sitting their final exams in 2001, AUT Journalism graduate
Ruth Wynyard and PR graduate Karen Laugesen, with David
Somerfield a young photographer, volunteered to help
launch the Tipu Ake Lifecycle on the marae at Te Whaiti
(one hour inland from Rotorua). It is inspired by their
school’s success. The stories and images they
captured have been widely published. They really helped
start something different! See the video Clip of the school opening
Karen and Ruth interview School Principal Genevieve
In 2002, AUT student teams made another major contribution
to the project. Multimedia graduate Matt Roland produce
the intitial website then hosted by AUT.
The whole team on the AUT Software Project Management
course (Sarah Bennet, David Bishop, Sam Fraser, Firas
Hurmes, Jonathon Lee, Darshan Scetty, Nama Shokri, Amyn
Tharani, Trevena Young, Henry Yu) designed the new custom
website, then Andrew Davies and Leanne Bjargesen prototyped
it as their final year project under supervisor Tony
Evetts, Te Rahui August, John Cochrane and Joseph McAlpine
(with help from cameraman Boswell Haiosi and photographer
David Somerfield) under AUT multimedia tutor Peter Mansfield
produced an interactive DVD and captured some great
See their video
interviews of School personnel. ( 29 Mb .wmv)
Robyn Johnston and Cherie Bray-Taylor ran a Public
Relations project to launch Tipu Ake nationally a project
done as part of Joseph Peart's Public Relations course.
In Dec 03 Truing Li an AUT IT Student voluntreer to help us by prototyping drop down menus and templates for the Forest Website.
In Jan 2004, AUT Multimedia tutor Ross Brannigan found
2003 graduates Saurav Pukayastha and Theresa Liu who
volunteered with Madeleine Mauger ( Sustainability UK)
and Maraea Davies ( South Seas Film and TV School) to
form a team with pupils from Te Whaiti school to capture
interviews at Raglan for a Tipu Ake / Kaitiakitanga
In Semester 1 2004, AUT IT students Yvonne Chen, Alvin
Naidu, Dale Siljeur, Tim Mansell under tutor Rory Foggerty
got our new site operational complete with the first
stage of the organisational self assessment benchmarking
In Semester 2 2004 Rau Hoskins and Carin Wilson brought a team of Architecture students fom UNITEC to carry out a full Semester Community concept plan for Minginui Village extending Tipu Ake thinking and this partnerhip partnership from the school further into the wider community.
In Semester 1 2005 AUT IT Diploma students Hong Hai
Pham, Feng Guo and Richard Bote under Tutor Doug McKenzie
did some great work rationalising and integrating the
templates, menus and navigation for the Tipu Ake and
other Whirinaki sites ( www.whirinaki.org.nz)
Peter Goldsbury who at the time ran Project
Management Workshops at AUT, works with many of
New Zealand's most innovative organisations. He recognised
that the radical way they turned round their failing
school against all the odds could be an inspiration
for many other organisations and communities. For him
the resultant active research project to help them capture
the secrets of their success in a form that could be
shared has been a roller coaster learning journey. He
observers are pretty skeptical at first – How
could a tiny school and a largely unemployed Maori community
deep in the Urewera bush ever offer anything that international
academic institutions and sophisticated organisations
in today’s fast paced cities and global economy
don’t already know?” …..
“Its only after you go there, have the elders
explain the dynamics and interconnectedness of the natural
world they live in, talk with them and see what their
children are achieving, that you can really believe
that their organic model of leadership, teamwork and
organisations could maybe work for you too.
The AUT volunteers and student teams found the courage
to do that and by contributing their energy and unique
skills have helped incubate and share Tipu Ake; growing
themselves and their university in the process.”
The children and people of the place Te Whaiti Nui-a-Toi
are the kaitiaki who will guard the Tipu Ake Lifecycle
for all time. They share it with you for the benefit
of all the world’s future childrens. Tipu Ake
ki te Ora - the full name they gave to the model means
“Growing from within ever upwards towards wellbeing”.
They hope you find the courage to do this too. Visit
our new site www.tipuake.org.nz
A close game of marbles
We thank Andree Mathieu a sustainability writer from
Quebec who was inspired to translate the Tipu Ake model
then to visit us to find out more about it and write
about the Maori concept of Kaitiakitanga
(guardianship of our world).
We now have Jussi
Luukonen, a Multimedia designer from Finland offering
to translate Tipu Ake into Finnish. Richard
Payne a courseware designer in Los Angeles is putting
together a Tipu Ake Leadership module for use by US
and other Universities.
Our volunteer team network is quickly
growing as other people from all around the world pick
up and start applying Tipu Ake. We welcome them to retreats
in Te Whaiti. We have run introductory workshops
and seminars in many locations.
In Semester 1 2006 we had another group
of IT students at AUT doing more work on our Whirinaki
websites. They were Lei Quin, Teraarua Schmidt, Bo Su
and Zhan Yong from Graham Bidois' class. They were supported
by AUT multimmedia design student Jacqui Foo who gave them guidance in designing the look and feel of
the site. Now all the Whirinaki Rainforest Community Web Portal sites www.whirinaki.org.nz look integrated and compatible thanks to them.
In Semester 2 2006 another IT student team at AUT, Jay Sing, Vincent and Clariza Rodriguez are working on an integrated event calendar that will keep track of all the events that are going on in the community and appropriate external ones too. They will also be integrating the users registration system and membership Database / opt-in newsletter facility for the Tipu Ake site.
In Semester 1 2007 another IT student team at AUT, including Christopher Milroy, Meeraj Shah, Avan Mohammad, Vandana Taneja and Irin Buranayotkul build the Whirinaki Forest wall calendar, the Tipu ake mail lists and update pages within the existing websites.
In Semester 1 2008 AUT IT Degree students Sumit Arora and Priya Chand working with their lecturer Shoba Tegginmath started an ongoing project to enhance the assessment / benchmarking tool and other user interactivity on the Tipu Ake site. This was continued in Semester 2 by Priya working with Laurence Wang and Edward Yuan. They upgrade the whole site to PHP, including much more user friendly assessment funtionality and a database to store assessment results for (future) international benchmarking and time based trend recording.
In Semester 2 2008 another team of IT Diploma students Obaid Khan, Lockesh Dayaram, Cary Liu and Jing Chen working under lecturer Robert Wellington upgraded all other Whirinaki sites and installed software to take information from the school weatherstation and publish local weather conditions on the Whirinaki Forest website.
We are not a commercial or legal organisation. Instead
we rely on our networks to establish win-win partnerships
where people offer their time and other resources to
help us all grow. We do not even have a bank account
- any koha (income that we get in return for the benefits
of using of Tipu Ake) goes to a dedicated trust account
at our school (Te Kura Toitu o Te Whaiti Nui-a-Toi)
to provide scholarships and other special learning experiences
for our children, teachers and the community.