About us

Kia ora to the Kia Ora Tai Chi  team

We teach the flow arts of tai chi for well-being, qigong 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
    • 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 over 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) 

Professional membership: Jocelyn is a group exercise (with own choreography) contractor/member of the New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).

Jocelyn’s qualifications and instructor certificates:

  • Approved Community Group Strength & Balance Programme exercise provider
  • Qualified Qigong Foundation Practices instructor
  • Qualified Enter the Flow Qigong instructor
  • Certified SpinPoi for Older Adults instructor
  • Qualified Reiki Practitioner, Shoden Level 1
  • 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 and mindful journaling 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 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 on the changes they can make.

Jocelyn has organised and taught several tai chi, qigong and restorative journaling workshops and retreats in New Zealand from 2017 to 2022 and offers an international tai chi and qigong retreat in Vanuatu in May 2023.

She was the tour organiser/leader for two tai chi overseas trips from New Zealand to Vietnam and China. This included arranging tai chi training at the sacred Wudangshan (Wudang Mountain), which is the tūrangawaewae of tai chi chuan. (Tūrangawaewae is a Te Reo Maori 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 twice weekly evening classes in Manurewa, Jocelyn teaches tai chi and qigong at the Acacia Cove Retirement Village and also 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 and professional memberships:

  • Approved Community Group Strength & Balance Programme exercise provider
  • Certified Tai Chi for Arthritis instructor
  • Certified Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis instructor
  • Certified Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention instructor
  • Certificate of Achievement: Combined 42-step form (Yang style)
  • MediTrain First Aid Certificate, including CPR and use of a defibrillator
  • Member: Tai Chi for Health Community NZ Inc
  • Board certified instructor for the Tai Chi for Health Institute.
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 and professional memberships:

  • Approved Community Group Strength & Balance Programme exercise provider
  • Current First Aid Certificate of Training, including CPR and use of a defibrillator
  • Certified Qigong for Health instructor
  • Certified Tai Chi for Arthritis instructor
  • Certified Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis instructor
  • Certified Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention instructor
  • Certified Tai Chi for Memory Instructor
  • Certified Tai Chi for Heart Conditions Instructor
  • Member: Tai Chi for Health Community NZ Inc
  • Board certified instructor for the Tai Chi for Health Institute.

 

 

Man in red shirt doing a tai chi pose next to a big chart

Grant with the tai chi principles chart.

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

 

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:

  • Certified Tai Chi for Arthritis (Stages 1 & 2)
  • Certified Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention
  • Certified Tai Chi for Memory
  • Certified Tai Chi for Heart Conditions
  • Associate member of the Tai Chi for Health Community NZ Inc

 

Associate instructor with Kia Ora Tai  Chi

Head and shoulder photo of a smiling woman wearing a red shirt

Aria Tauroa

Aria Tauroa

Aria is a long-term instructor of Tai Chi for Health programmes. She collaborates with Kia Ora Tai Chi on various tai chi projects and is 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
  • Member: Tai Chi for Health Community NZ Inc

Photo Gallery

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, February: summer tai chi in Cornwall Park. Led by Jocelyn (In red shirt by tree trunk)

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).