he tĀngata, he tĀngata, he tĀngata!


who we are


Te Pūtahitanga is a partnership between the nine Iwi of Te Waipounamu: Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Koata, Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Rangitāne and Ngāti Rarua. Over the next three years, we will invest up to $15 million in bold approaches to building sustainable whānau capability. We believe in flax roots innovation and whānau writing their own futures. We’ve got the backing if you’ve got the heart.


Te Taumata - Leading Representatives of the Nine South island Iwi


Trevor Taylor -
board chairman - Director

Helen Leahy
CEO for te pūtahitanga

Lisa Tumahai -

Glenice Paine - GPL.jpg


Donovan Clarke - 

Our Mission


Our mission is to invest in and support thriving whānau 

Our Kaupapa

All whānau are self determining to realise oranga whānau.

We invest in whānau, entrepreneurs, non-profits and businesses who harness the spirit of Maui Tikitiki-a-Taranga and dare to create change. Maui Tikitiki-a-Taranga caught the sun, fished up an island and reclaimed fire. He was the pōtiki who dared to live his dreams and change the world. We know that in every whānau, hapū, Iwi and rōpū there are ideas, solutions, aspirations and dreams. If you want to change the game, we want to back you to shine.

Our Role


We invest in transformative change to build sustainable whānau capability.

Chief Measure of Success


Whānau identify being on a pathway of change to greater self determination and choice. 

Kia rere, kia piātaata me he kuru auhika

That it may flow freely and shine like precious pounamu.

Our Philosophy


Panoni Hou - Innovation —Te Pūtahitanga will only invest in innovative approaches to whānau transformation. We believe that the status quo is not working, and will therefore only invest in opportunities that create change. We define innovation in broad terms to include ‘back to the future’ thinking that brings tradition based approaches into 21st century applicability as well as renewing successful initiatives.

Kainga Focused - Local Solutions— Te Pūtahitanga will invest in ground-up solutions, identified, developed and driven by people who live within the community and are passionate about creating solutions for and with whānau.

Kotahitanga - Integrated Solutions & Collaborative Delivery— Te Pūtahitanga will invest in cross-sectoral, cross-disciplinary solutions and prefer investment opportunities that have a team or partnership behind them.

Kōkiritanga - Partnerships and Government Alignment— we will place priority on investments that we can co-fund with partners.





The Commissioning approach is based on a Whānau Ora ecosystem, driven by a focus on the seven Whānau Ora outcomes.  The model places priority on whānau aspirations, rather than replicating a service delivery approach or referring to traditional providers.  All applications are expected to address, in some way, the aspirations encompassed within the following seven pou:

Pou Tahi - Whānau in Te Waipounamu are self-managing

Pou Rua - Whānau in Te Waipounamu living healthy lifestyles

Pou Toru - Whānau in Te Waipounamu are participating fully in society

Pou Whā - Whānau in Te Waipounamu are confidently participating in Te Ao Māori

Pou Rima - Whānau in Te Waipounamu are economically secure and successfully involved in wealth creation

Pou Ono - Whānau in Te Waipounamu are cohesive, resilient and nurturing

Pou Whitu - Whānau in Te Waipounamu are responsible stewards of their living and natural environment

How we are different


Te Pūtahitanga is unique as an iwi partnership amongst all nine iwi of the south island, giving us a united geographical reach that has never been achieved before. we are different from any other organisation because of what we invest in and how we invest.




More diverse—Whānau Ora has been focused on health and social services. We will invest more broadly across whānau business start ups, cultural strengthening, education, leadership, fitness and inspiring transformation within communities.

More innovative—we will invest in out of the box thinking. The status quo is already being funded. Our responsibility is to invest in the different and the bold.

Ground-up—we will invest in ideas generated by our whānau, community and providers.



Procurement processes that drive innovation—we will adapt known ways of increasing innovation, such as start-up weekends, dragons dens and design challenges;

Incubation and start-up support—we will help new and innovative investments to succeed through proven support mechanisms that have been adapted to our community, including an incubator for start-up initiatives and support from enterprise facilitators who will coach and champion our investees;

Co-investment partnerships—we will build partnerships with co-investors from the public, private and philanthropic sectors to grow the total pool of funding available; and

Pipeline generation—enterprise facilitators will work directly with whānau to generate a pipeline of investment ready whānau initiatives.