Today, we went and watched a movie called Water Whisperers here in New Plymouth. It was about the importance of looking after our water not only for now but for future generations. It also talked about water as being the blood lines of Papatuanuku – our earth mother and if we stop that flow of life by damming or polluting our waterways, then we affect the health of our earth and ultimately ourselves. So we need to look after our planet and ourselves as well!
koru hand painted rocks
Manaaki is a word for me that is about respect and honour. Honouring the mana of another and so when we talk about manaaki whenua, we look after our land and honour our land as sustenance and life giving, something that is living and breathing just as we do. The same with manaaki tangata – honouring the mana of another person, honouring the person as a whole as being sacred and important.
Today I paint this rock for my good friend in Arizona whose birthday it is today! I remember when I travelled to Arizona nearly four years ago, I was treated with the utmost respect by all these beautiful people there who have become my dear friends. They honoured me by looking after me every step of my journey…
I am so grateful for that experience and for the opportunity to travel to such a beautiful spiritual land. I appreciate being able to exhibit my work in downtown Phoenix, spending time on Dine’ land with Eric, on Salt River Pima land with Vanessa and whanau, and all those who looked after me. Linda and friends, Wendy, Rachel, Bob, Roger and whanau, Salina and of course Cheryl whose birthday it is today!! I experienced manaaki tangata at its best on this journey…thank-you!
And thank-you Cheryl for being you and forever a strong support for me. Ra whanau ki a koe and sending you lots of aroha on your special day!
Jo x
PS – the colours of this rock remind me of the deep oranges, reds and browns in Arizona that add depth to the landscape. I was in awe when driving up North to Eric’s land, amazed at the rock formations that dominated the landscape and of course the canyons that were breath-taking! I hope to return one day soon…
PSST – and as Linda puts it 1/12 is done 11/12ths to go!! But whose counting – haha – me!


  1. Hi Jo, I’m extremely jealous you have time to paint a rock a day! They’re beautiful.Must catch up with you guys soon. Come and have look at our new home. We’re busy beekeeping at the mo, but will give you a yell when things settle down again.

    1. Kiaora Jo,

      Great to hear from you! I made a commitment at the beginning of the year to paint a rock a day and I told everyone too so I’m committed now haha! Yes be lovely to catch up! Hope the bees are going well, and we must get you guys over to our place one night too.
      Jo 🙂

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