The South Island’s Whānau Ora commissioning body is about to announce $3.1 million in funding directed toward locally driven initiatives designed to support Maori innovation and achievement in the region.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is excited about the high calibre of proposals that were put forward for funding and is currently working with 10 applicants through the final stages of the process.

Te Pūtahitanga Chair Norman Dewes says the current proposals are focused on a range of enterprises from assisting individuals with mental health difficulties to finding employment solutions, to programmes that help whanau in the earliest and later stages of life.

Mr Dewes says this new approach is innovative because it aims to create transformation for whanau.

“This is not ambulance at the bottom of the cliff stuff, this is forward focussed investment so that our whanau have the opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge to realise their aspirations,” he says.

“The issues for Maori have largely been around lack of opportunities because Maori have generally been locked into an environment that focusses on issues and needs.”

Te Pūtahitanga aims to transform this thinking by working with whanau, hapu, Iwi government and non-government sector to generate opportunities for Maori to reach their full potential.

Ten applicants will receive full support in the first funding round and an additional 120 applicants will receive support from the organisation’s Whānau Enterprise Coaches to assist them further develop their initiatives.


Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu would like to congratulate the following 10 applicants on progressing through to the contractual discussion process:

  • 1000 Days Trust (Southland)
  • Te Kaika, Low cost GP practice (Otago)
  • Te Hurihanga ki Te Wai Pounamu (Otago)
  • Koukourarata Wananga Taiao Incorporated Society (Canterbury)
  • Whenua Kura (Canterbury)
  • Native Bakers (Canterbury)
  • He Toki ki te Mahi Charitable Trust (Canterbury)
  • Sisters 3 (Canterbury)
  • Kakano Café/Cookery School (Canterbury)
  • Poipoia (Canterbury)

Mr Dewes says this is a significant commitment because whanau development is critical in order to lift Maori achievement and what better place to start than at a regional level.

“This is about local people providing locally based solutions, and it’s important that small enterprises get the opportunity to step up and drive community growth,” says Norman Dewes.

Comment