Anihana Daly

Whakataka te hau ki te uru                Let the cold winds from the west

Whakataka te hau ki te tonga           and from the South, that assail

Kia mākinakina ki uta                        the lands and seas, desist.

Kia mātaratara ki tai                         Let the red-tipped dawn come

Kia hi ake ana te atākura                  with a touch of frost, a sharpened

He tio, he huka, he hauhunga           air, the promise of a glorious day.


Tihei Mauri Ora!                                 Behold, we live!

Anihana Daly passed away in April 2009 after a prolonged and courageous battle with cancer.  We were all deeply saddened to lose such a strong, vibrant, soulful Māori woman, taken from us at the height of her own power and authority, at the pinnacle of her life’s work when she may have expected to enjoy more fully, the fruits of all her labours, reflected back to her on behalf of the greater good she sought and usually found, in all of us.

Anihana was of both Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Kahungungu and embodied the strength and authority of her female ancestors as well as the spiritual depths of her people’s mana whenua – encompassing the entire east coast of Te Ika a Maui.  We got to know her quiet but fierce authority and we’ll never forget her spine-tingling karanga.

In 1991, Anihana was a student of the first psychotherapy training programme offered in the Hawke’s Bay, called Women in Therapy and taught by Marilyn Morgan.  They maintained a close collegial relationship and for some years Anihana provided marae-based partnership training opportunities to those studying in Hakomi therapy as well as leading many of the Noho Marae experiences for students at the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) psychotherapy and counselling training programmes.  Anihana was also involved with the Women’s Refuge and was part of the group who founded Tangata Piringa, the Māori Women’s Refuge, bringing new perspectives of decolonization and feminism together.

Anihana was the founder and guiding light behind Awhina Whānau Services, a Kaupapa Māori, whānau-based psychotherapy and counselling service in Hastings which has long been a waka of learning and understanding in the greater Heretaunga region for practitioners and students, particularly those from the EIT and Hakomi training programmes.  Awhina Whānau Services continues to be guided by Anihana’s vision, and has prevailed as a community based treatment center, with a Māori focus but inclusive of all those who seek relief from psychic, social, emotional and psychological distress.

Our first encounter with Anihana was in November 2006 at Whaiora Marae, where her humble contributions belied the esteem with which she was held in her own community. At the NZAP 2007 Napier Conference, Awhina Whānau Services historically co-hosted a wonderfully full and memorable event.  This conference was a watershed and with a large enough presence of Māori practitioners to form our own caucus, we were given conference time and space to whakawhanaungatanga. A few months later, under the guidance of Haare Williams, Waka Oranga was born.  In April 2008 Anihana and her senior clinical staff from Awhina Whānau Services, and members of the Hawke’s Bay NZAP Branch, were invited to whakamana the NZAP Waitangi Conference – breaking new ground in tangata whenua relationships at yet another historically hosted conference between tangata whenua of Te Tii Marae in the Bay of Islands and the Northern Branch of NZAP.

While we acknowledge the special gift of Anihana’s bicultural contribution to counselling and psychotherapy, we will not forget the woman that she was – a daughter, a sister, an auntie, and a mother, a beloved nani, a warrior woman who loved life, who understood her role in life and who walked her talk. Anihana was unafraid to face challenges. She embraced adventure. She stood up for women and children’s rights and had a strong political analysis that she brought so powerfully to multiple Māori struggles. Anihana was a woman who would stand no nonsense but could also have kind words, a woman who knew how to nurture, who carried the pain of women in their struggle for freedom from male dominated violence and oppression, a woman who could stitch lives back together, a woman who ultimately could bear the most terrible pain with strength and with great dignity.

This was Anihana, a woman who could stand fully in her own Goddess self.

We are deeply grateful for her brief and brilliant time amongst us and we humbly honour her memory and the great legacy of her life.