New initiative for young people launched in Blenheim

A new initiative designed to encourage young people to retain their interest in learning and further education is being launched in Blenheim today by the Minister for Whānau Ora, Hon Te Ururoa Flavell.


Developed by local Māori social service provider, Maata Waka ki te Tau Ihu,  Tiramarama Mai is designed to support rangatahi to reach their potential through staying in education with a key theme being to strengthen their connections. The project is one of number of initiatives funded by the South Island Whānau Ora Commissioning agency, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu to deliver whānau driven outcomes for Māori.


Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu Chair, Norm Dewes says, “Tiramarama Mai is a perfect model for addressing the specific language, culture and identity needs of young Māori. We know these are all critical factors in building the strength of whānau.  One interpretation of ‘tiramarama mai’ is shining brightly.  It is a message we would like all of our rangatahi to take to heart.   If we can engage rangatahi at this stage we are laying a strong foundation and growing the leadership that will empower future generations.”

Currently there are twelve youth enrolled on the programme.

Maata Waka ki te Tau Ihu has been providing social services to Māori living in the Marlborough region for the past 25 years. Set up to address an identified service gap for Māori living in the region, the Trust is firmly focused on offering support that will enhance the social and cultural wellbeing of whanau.

“Whānau Ora is a strengths based approach to enable whānau self-determination. Maata Waka ki te Tau Ihu has a team of highly skilled and experienced people with an understanding of whānau needs and an understanding of the importance of strong community relationships – and most importantly they deliver innovative and successful programmes. We are excited by the potential outcomes from this latest initiative,” says Mr Dewes.


Maata Waka ki Te Tau Ihu have a collaborative approach to their kaupapa, and have established good relationships with local schools: Marlborough Boys College, Marlborough Girls and Queen Charlotte College. 


Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is one of three Whānau Ora commissioning agencies set up in 2014 to deliver bold and innovative approaches to building sustainable whānau capability. The agency is a partnership between the nine iwi of Te Waipounamu: Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Apa ki te Ra To, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Koata, Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Rangitāne and Ngāti Rarua. 


For more information please contact Leanne Scott on 021 272 1170 or email

Read more on he article launch here.

Date: 17th August 2015

Time: 9.30am

Venue: Maata Waka, 56 Main St, Blenheim