About us

Kia ora to the Kia Ora Tai Chi team

We teach the flow arts of tai chi for well-being, qigong (pronounced chee-gong) and SpinPoi, as well as traditional taiji (tai chi) to help you to:

    • improve your health and well-being
    • reduce stress and anxiety
    • improve your balance and to help prevent falls
    • get fitter without puffing
    • boost your immunity, and
    • live stronger for longer.
Woman in red shirt smiling

Jocelyn Watkin

 

 

Jocelyn Watkin is the founder, director and lead instructor of Kia Ora Tai Chi. She has trained in martial arts for more than 25 years and has focused solely taiji, tai chi and qigong since 2003 (Yang and Sun-styles of tai chi).

She is also a certified SpinPoi for Older Adults instructor and a Reiki Practitioner.

Testimonial: “I really enjoyed your style, Jocelyn. Friendly, caring, informative and non-judgemental. You made me feel relaxed and welcome. Thank you.” (Participant in theCreate your own calm & centred universe” tai chi retreat at Auckland’s Stardome, March 2022) 

 

Round-shaped 2024 REPS membership badge in yellow and blackProfessional membership: Jocelyn is a registered group exercise contractor/member (with own choreography) of the New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).

 

Jocelyn’s instructor qualifications and awards:

  • Approved/awarded as a Community Group Strength & Balance Programme exercise provider for ACC and Age Concern
  • Qualified Qigong Foundation Practices instructor
  • Qualified Enter the Flow Qigong instructor
  • Certified SpinPoi for Older Adults instructor
  • Qualified Reiki Practitioner, Shoden Level 1
  • Holder of a current First Aid Certificate of Training, including CPR and use of a defibrillator

Jocelyn has also been awarded instructor certificates in:

  • Qigong for Health
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis (Stages 1 & 2)
  • Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention
  • Tai Chi for Rehabilitation
  • Tai Chi for Energy
  • Enhancing Yang 24 Forms

Tertiary qualifications:

  • Diploma of Teaching
  • New Zealand Trained Teacher Certificate
  • Master of Business Administration (with Distinction)
  • Certificate in Freelance Journalism

Jocelyn also teaches restorative, nature journaling and mindfulness-based art therapy to help people manage and relieve stress. When combined with calming, meditative breathing (qigong and reiki) and the mind/body connection of tai chi, journaling and creativity becomes even more restorative. The tai chi and qigong releases tension in both mind and body enabling people to focus more easily and more clearly during the journaling and creative process.

Jocelyn has organised and taught several tai chi, qigong, journaling and mindfulness-based art workshops and retreats, in person and also online, from 2017 to 2024, including an international retreat in Vanuatu in May 2023.

She was the tour organiser/leader for two other tai chi overseas trips from New Zealand – to Vietnam (in 2012) and China (in 2015). This included arranging tai chi training at the sacred Wudangshan (Wudang Mountain in China), which is the tūrangawaewae of tai chi chuan. (Tūrangawaewae is a Te Reo Māori word meaning spiritual home or a place to stand where you feel especially connected).

Jocelyn has specialist skills in teaching tai chi to adults and young people who are blind or have low-vision, including at the Homai campus of Blind, Low Vision Education Network NZ (BLENNZ) and James Cook High School in Manurewa.

In addition to her evening classes in Manurewa, Jocelyn teaches tai chi and qigong at the Acacia Cove Retirement Village, in Wattle Downs, and in Auckland’s Cornwall Park over the summer months of January to March. She has also taught tai chi to patients at Turuki Health Care in Mangere,

All of Jocelyn’s tai chi and qigong classes are approved with the BIG TICK for the Accident Compensation Commission’s programme: Community Group Strength and Balance Programme.

Jocelyn grew up in New Plymouth, Taranaki, and has lived in Wattle Downs, Manurewa, Auckland since 1990.

Come along to her Kia Ora Tai Chi classes to discover how tai chi and qigong can be enjoyable exercise that also helps you to improve your over all health and fitness.

Kia ora to:

Smiling man in a red shirt

Barry Vodanovich

Barry Vodanovich 

Barry has trained in tai chi for 16 years (Yang and Sun-styles), including at the sacred Wudangshan (Wudang Mountain) in China, which is the spiritual home/tūrangawaewae of tai chi chuan. He has been with Kia Ora Tai Chi from the very first day and has the following qualifications:

  • Approved Community Group Strength & Balance Programme exercise provider.
  • Current MediTrain First Aid Certificate, including CPR and use of a defibrillator
  • Certificate of Achievement: Combined 42-step form (Yang style).
  • Barry has been awarded instructor certificates in
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis
  • Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention

 

Smiling man in red shirt

Ned Te Hira

 

Ned Te Hira

Ned has trained in tai chi for over six years (Sun and Yang-styles).

He is a foundation student of Kia Ora Tai Chi and became an instructor in 2017. He has the following qualifications:

  • Approved Community Group Strength & Balance Programme exercise provider.
  • Current First Aid Certificate of Training, including CPR and use of a defibrillator
  • Ned has been awarded instructor certificates in:
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis (Stages 1 & 2)
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention

 

Smiling man in red shirt holding a certificate

Jeff with his qualification as a Community Group Strength & Balance Programme exercise provider

Jeff Shepherd

Jeff has trained in tai chi for over six years (Sun and Yang-styles). He is a foundation student of Kia Ora Tai Chi and became an instructor in 2018. He has the following qualifications:

  • Approved Community Group Strength & Balance Programme exercise provider
  • Current First Aid Certificate of Training, including CPR and use of a defibrillator.
  • Jeff has been awarded instructor certificates in:
  • Qigong for Health
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis
  • Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention
  • Tai Chi for Memory
  • Tai Chi for Heart Conditions

 

 

Smiling man in red shirt holding a certificate

Grant with his qualification as a Community Group Strength & Balance Programme exercise provider.

Grant Williams

Grant has trained in tai chi for over six years (Sun and Yang-styles).

He is a foundation student of Kia Ora Tai Chi and became an instructor in 2020. He has the following qualifications:

  • Approved Community Group Strength & Balance Programme exercise provider.
  • Current First Aid Certificate of Training, including CPR and use of a defibrillator.
  • Grant has been awarded instructor certificates in:
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis (Stages 1 & 2)
  • Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention

 

Smiling woman in red shirt and wear a badge that says "instructor"

Pat James

 

Pat James (retired instructor)

Pat has trained in tai chi for several years (Sun and Yang-styles), including in the UK.

She is a foundation student of Kia Ora Tai Chi and became an instructor in 2017. She has now retired as a full instructor but still supports and assists Jocelyn and the other instructors when she can. Pat is an approved Community Group Strength & Balance Programme exercise provider and has been awarded instructor certificates in:

  • Tai Chi for Arthritis (Stages 1 & 2)
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention
  • Tai Chi for Memory
  • Tai Chi for Heart Conditions

Associate instructors with Kia Ora Tai  Chi

Smiling woman in red shirt with a red fan

Juliana demonstrating the tai chi fan form

Juliana Flaxman-Hendriks

Juliana, known as “J”, collaborates with Kia Ora Tai Chi on various tai chi, qigong and SpinPoi projects, including the summer tai chi sessions at Cornwall Park.

She has the following qualifications, instructor certifications and professional memberships:

  • REPs NZ Registered Exercise Provider
  • Approved Community Group Strength & Balance Programme exercise provider
  • First Aid Certificate, including CPR and use of a defibrillator
  • Certified SpinPoi for Older Adults instructor
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis (Stages 1 & 2)
  • Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention
  • Tai Chi for Heart Conditions
  • Tai Chi for Memory
Head and shoulder photo of a smiling woman wearing a red shirt

Aria Tauroa

 

Aria Tauroa

Aria has many years experience as a tai chi instructor. She collaborates with Kia Ora Tai Chi on various tai chi projects and has previously been a co-instructor with Jocelyn at Turuki Health Care.

  • She is an Approved Community Group Strength & Balance Programme exercise provider
  • She holds a current First Aid Certificate of Training, including CPR and use of a defibrillator.
  • Aria has been awarded the following instructor qualifications:
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis (Stages 1 & 2)
  • Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention
  • Tai Chi for Rehabilitation
  • Tai Chi for Energy
  • Tai Chi for Osteoporosis
  • Tai Chi for Diabetes

Photo Gallery

Group of people doing tai chi on the grass under a big tree

2024, February, summer tai chi in Cornwall Park

Group of people doing tai chi in an outdoor area at night, with outdoor lighting

2023, September: Jocelyn (centre) doing tai chi with a group in Honghu City, Hubei Province, China.

Group of people in a half-circle, swinging poi (ball on a string)

2023, June: Jocelyn upgraded her SpinPoi instructor’s qualification

Group of people raising their arms in celebration with the sunset in the background.

2023, May, tai chi and qigong retreat in Vanuatu

Group of people in a park, stretching their arms in front of their head like deer antlers

Summer 2023: tai chi and qigong in Cornwall Park. The group is performing the ‘run like a deer’ qigong movement

Group of people opening fans and stepping forward

2022, August: Kia Ora Tai Chi annual weekend in Raglan, Barry taught the tai chi fan form

Three people doing a tai chi pose against a big banner that reads in Chinese and English letters: "TIger Bonsai Day 2022)

2022, July: Grant and Jocelyn (with a participant wearing a mask) taught a tai chi session at the Tiger Bonsai Day.

Woman in red shirt whirling two poi

2022, April: Jocelyn awarded her Certified SpinPoi qualification

Group of people doing tai chi poses

2022 (March): Jocelyn (centre in the red shirt) with participants at the Create your own calm & centred universe” tai chi retreat at Auckland’s Stardome

Group of people doing tai chi on the outdoor deck of a hall

2022, February: Summer tai chi class outdoors on the deck. Led by Jocelyn (in front) and Barry

Group of people doing tai chi outdoors under a big tree

2021, Jan – March: summer tai chi in Cornwall Park. Led by Jocelyn (In red shirt by tree trunk)

Two women in red. One wearing trousers with hears and the other in a traditional Cheongsam (Chinese dress)

14 Feb 2021: Jocelyn and “J” celebrate a combo of St Valentine’s Day and the Chinese New Year at summer tai chi in Cornwall Park

2020: Learning the fan form at the Kia Ora Tai Chi annual weekend at Raglan. In the front row from left to right: Grant, Barry and Ned

Group of people wearing jackets doing tai chi outside in cold weather

2020: Aria and Jocelyn leading a Maori Tai Chi session for Matariki at the Otara Kai Village

Group of people doing tai hci

2019: Jeff (in red shirt near the front) and Jocelyn (in red shirt at the back) teaching tai chi to students at Blind, Low Vision NZ (formerly known as the NZ Foundation for the Blind)

Group of people in a hall doing tai chi poses

2019: Annual Kia Ora Tai Chi weekend in Raglan

Three people wearing red shirts, all smiling and holding up their certificates

2018: (From left to Right): Ned, Pat and Jeff awarded their Community Group Strength and Balance Programme exercise provider certificates

Four people using walking sticks as weapons

2018: Annual Kia Ora Tai Chi weekend in Raglan. Barry (far right) teaching the cane form to (from left to right) Grant, Pat and Jeff

Group of four people walking up towards two Chinese temples

2015: Barry (blue jacket) and Jocelyn (next to Barry) about to enter the tai chi training ground at Wudangshan (Wudang Mountain in China), which is the spiritual home/tūrangawaewae of tai chi chuan).