Frequently Asked Questions

What is Te Pūtahitanga?


Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu was launched in July 2014 as the South Island Commissioning Agency for Whānau Ora. Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is a limited partnership, supported by the nine iwi of Te Waipounamu through a Shareholders Council known as Te Taumata. Te Taumata has appointed an independent governance board which is responsible for the investment strategy.

Founding Vision of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu


The name, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, represents the convergence of the rivers of Te Waipounamu, bringing sustenance to the people, and reflecting the partnership’s founding principle of Whānaungatanga. The view from Nga Iwi o Te Waipounamu is that Te Pūtahitanga will develop innovative means for contributing to whānau oranga through whānau rangatiratanga (self-determination).

Who are the members of Te Taumata?


Te Pūtahitanga is a partnership between the nine iwi of Te Waipounamu:

-       Molly Luke (Ngāti Rarua) (Chair)

-       Toa Waaka (Ngāti Koata)

-       Taku Parai (Ngāti Toa)

-       Robert McKewen (Ngāti Tama)

-       Gena Moses-Te Kani (Ngāti Kuia)

-       Jo McLean (Ngāi Tahu)

-       Hinemoa Conner (Ngāti Apa)

-       Glenice Paine (Te Atiawa)

-       Tarina Macdonald (Rangitane)

Who are the members of the independent governance board? (GPL)


-       Norman Dewes (Chair)

-       Lisa Tumahai

-       Parekawhia McLean

-       Trevor Taylor

-       Donovan Clarke

What is whānau ora?


Whānau Ora is an inclusive approach to support whānau to work together as whānau, rather than separately with individual family members. The Taskforce on Whānau Centred Initiatives identified six goals that suggest that outcomes will be met when whānau are:

  • Self-managing;
  • Living healthy lifestyles;
  • Participating fully in society;
  • Confidently participating in Te Ao Māori;
  • Economically secure and successfully involved in wealth creation; and
  • Cohesive, resilient and nurturing.


Report of the Taskforce on Whānau-Centred Initiatives

What is a Commissioning Agency?


In July 2013, the Government announced it would broaden the scope of Whānau Ora to provide more direct support for whānau capacity building. This would be delivered through a commissioning model. Three Commissioning Agencies have been established: Te Pou Matakana (North Island); Pasifika Futures and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

How has Te Pūtahitanga applied Whānau Ora?


Te Pūtahitanga has chosen to invest in transformative change to build sustainable whānau capability. Te Pūtahitanga supports flax roots innovation and whānau writing their own futures. The commissioning model is primarily directed at growing whānau enterprises in Te Waipounamu to support the achievement of whānau self-determination.


  • Over 3000 Whānau attended six launch events in July 2014 at Whakatu, Wairau, Otautahi, Otakou, Te Tai Poutini and Murihuku.
  • On 1 August 2014 applications for funding opened. Over 330 people attended ten application workshops across the South Island. Applications closed 1 Sept 2014.
  • In September 2014, 201 applications were received. Twelve teams participated in a Hothouse / Dragons Den weekend on 12-13 September to accelerate their development. From that first round, eight initiatives were invested in.
  • Six Whānau Enterprise Coaches were appointed and commenced work in November 2014.
  • To date investment in Commissioning initiatives has extended to Te Tauihu (5); Tai Poutini (2); Otautahi (7); Murihiku (7); Wharekauri (1) and Te Waipounamu wide (7).

What are the broad range of criteria for funding proposals?

  1. Impact: that the initiative will contribute to thriving whānau;
  2. Viability: that the idea can be delivered;
  3. Local level solutions: does the initiative have credibility and confidence with local landscape and/or regional environment?  (ie is it Kainga focused)
  4. Inter-generational transmission: that the initiatives recognise the link and role of each generation both past present and future;
  5. Collective identity and ownership is the focus rather than individual needs;
  6. Holistic: Whānau-centred delivery requires an integrated approach (environment, economic, physical, cultural, social);   the expression of kotahitanga;
  7. Whānau-Centred: A commitment to whānau being at the centre of all decisions and in control of their own outcomes is the driving focus of Whānau Ora;
  8. Strengths-based: it starts from whānau aspirations as a foundation;
  9. Innovation: Initiatives that inspire transformation within whānau; Panohi hou;
  10. Kokiritanga: collaboration is critical to the success of commissioning.

In addition to these criteria, in our overall selection of initiatives, Te Putahitanga must reflect the geographic basis in covering the breadth and depth of Te Waipounamu.

What Happens to the unsuccessful applications?


An additional 120 applicants receive support from Whānau Ora Coaches to develop their proposals to prepare for the next funding round in late 2015 (date will be confirmed on Te Putahitanga website).

How can Te Pūtahitanga be confident that investments contribute to whānau ora?


All investees are asked to report on the basis of progress along the Opportunity Realisation and Aspirations (ORA) Index which outlines a spectrum for whānau transformation. The index reflects the ability of whānau to develop and/or realise opportunities for whānau transformation in a variety of areas. The ORA Index outlines nine factors that contribute to whānau wellbeing. Understanding these factors enable Te Pūtahitanga to commission activities that contribute to whānau wellbeing. The nine indicators were developed as contributors towards whānau wellbeing, with no single indicator being paramount to whānau wellbeing.

The ORA Index has been embedded into the contract management process for Te Pūtahitanga. All enterprises contracted by Te Pūtahitanga are required to complete an Index; this allows each enterprise to indicate how their initiatives contribute towards whānau wellbeing by selecting the indicators and areas that the enterprise impacts upon.