Ko to matou korero: Te Waipuna Puawai
Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy
The korero (story) of Te Waipuna Puawai begins with the Sisters of Mercy. Mercy founder Catherine McAuley opened the first House of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland in 1827 and founded Sisters of Mercy in 1831.
Having experienced hardship herself Catherine felt called to offer practical assistance to those in need.
What was important to Catherine and remains a guiding force for Te Waipuna Puawai is the commitment to meeting the unmet needs of women, children and the community.
Working together to strengthen women, strengthen families and strengthen community
Te Waipuna Puawai grew out of the work of the Sisters of Mercy and from Mercy house based in Waddell Ave from 1990. In 1999, Te Waipuna Puawai opened its doors in Glen Innes to the Tamaki community, invited by the women of Glen Innes who were looking for support for personal and professional development, with a focus on childcare. Built on the values of respect, compassion, justice, hospitality and mutual enhancement, our vision was to create a space to serve the community, fostering well-being for whānau and restoration of the earth.
At the heart of Te Waipuna Puawai is a respect for the karanga call from the community. Beginning with the wahine Māori who issued the first karanga to the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland, and welcomed them to Aotearoa in 1850, Māori now play an important role in Te Waipuna Puawai, as educators, community leaders and in leadership roles. Over 20 years on and the people we serve remain at the heart of Te Waipuna Puawai. Our values are a guiding force, directing our initiatives, programmes and role in the Tamaki community.
Our Mercy oasis
Te Waipuna Puawai translates to “the mercy oasis” and that vision is an important part of what we do, while centered on our deep connection to Papatūānuku, the land.
Nestled in beautiful wetlands, our Ellerslie house was created as a safe space for women and children who had suffered hardships. Built on land chosen by the community, we have created a beautiful nurturing environment where people can learn, reflect and heal.
Our house in Waddell is a place where the door is always open. By having a community house in the heart of Tamaki, we are able to remain connected to the local community. It is a place for community gatherings, educational programmes, and where people are always welcomed.
Our programmes drive our mission and are set up to actively address the needs of families in the Tamaki community. Currently, these programmes include The HEART Movement; HIPPY; Counselling; Oranga Whenua and Oranga Tangata Initiatives; Whanau/Community Resilience; Financial Well-Being; and a variety of Community Education courses.
We are continually growing and developing our programmes to make sure that they are continuing to provide meaningful value, support and development to community members.