A pilot project to help remove financial barriers to participation in sport and recreation for tamariki and rangatahi Māori in the South Island has been extended.

Te Kīwai was launched in 2021 to support tamariki and rangatahi Māori aged 5 – 18 years who were missing out on activities due to financial hardship. Hundreds of children and teens have benefited from the one-off $300 payment to help cover items like annual subs, club uniforms, new boots, gear, or transport.

Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa and the Whānau Commissioning Agency for the South Island, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, have now agreed to continue the grassroots Te Kīwai fund for the coming year.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu Pouārahi, Ivy Harper, said the decision by Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa to extend the Te Kīwai partnership would make a difference for hundreds of whānau.

“The need has not changed and when budgets are tight, food comes before children’s activities, so we are really pleased that this partnership has been able to continue,” said Harper.

“Enabling tamariki and rangatahi to be able to take part not just in sports, but in whatever recreational or cultural pursuit works for them, is not just about now, or the next season or the next tournament, but it extends to encouraging healthy habits for life and so it is important that tamariki and rangatahi are not locked out of physical activity simply because of financial barriers.”

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is one of 12 organisations that Sport NZ currently invests in through He Oranga Poutama, an initiative created to develop, promote and implement physical activity that is culturally appropriate to Māori.

Sport NZ Acting Group Manager – Kāhui Rautaki Māori, Tanya Wilson, says Te Kīwai is another great opportunity for Sport NZ and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu to continue to work together to invest directly into wellbeing outcomes for tamariki and rangatahi.

“It is particularly significant that Te Kiwai includes investment into traditional Māori activities like taonga tākaro and kapa haka.

“These activities encourage tamariki and rangatahi to stay active, while also expressing their culture and heritage and contributing to taha tinana and taha wairua.

“Research shows that the most enduring habits are built in childhood and being active as tamariki is key to staying active as an adult.”

Harper said Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu was excited to be able to continue to help whānau ensure their young ones are staying active.

“We are thrilled to be able to respond to the call from whānau to support their tamariki and mokopuna to be able to engage in getting active, and we welcome and encourage whānau Māori to apply.”




Nicola Coburn

M: 021 2595 166

E: nicola@naia.co.nz



  1. Te Kīwai comes from the whakataukī, “Ko koe ki tēnā, ko au ki tēnei kīwai o te kete,” which translates as, “You carry your handle and I’ll carry my handle, of our kete,” meaning that, together, we are each carrying the handle of the basket and caring for its contents – our precious tamariki and rangatahi.  
  1. To apply for Te Kīwai funding, visit https://www.teputahitanga.org/what-we-do/funding/te-kiwai/