This week we were thrilled to able to announce an extension to Te Kīwai, a fund designed to support tamariki and rangatahi facing financial hardship to gear up and get active.

Delivered in partnership with Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa, Te Kīwai was first established as a two-year pilot project in 2021.

This latest extension by Sport NZ, which allows one further funding round, will make a difference for hundreds of whānau in Te Waipounamu, Rakiura and Rēkohu/Wharekauri. We know this because that is what whānau tell us, and also because last year demand far outstripped available funding.

This year is no different and in less than 24 hours of launching we had already received hundreds of applications.

We hear so much about the rising costs of petrol, kai, power, everything really.

New boots, gymnastic gear, fees, the cost of getting to kapa haka wānanga, all of these costs have risen too. The need is real and has not changed, and when budgets are tight, food comes before children’s activities. The wellbeing of our tamariki and rangatahi cannot be a casualty of inflation.

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, 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.

Anything we can do to ease the pressure on whānau who are facing financial hardship, whether big or small, will help. We welcome and encourage whānau Māori to apply.

Let Te Kīwai be the stepping stone to help your tamariki and rangatahi thrive in sport, taonga tākaro, kapa haka, or their sport of choice.

Ahikā Kai Wairewa

Even in the rain, a visit to Wairewa Marae in the Ōkana Valley, Banks Peninsula, makes the heart sing. Kaiarahi Anastasia Hapuku and Whānau Ora Champion for Kōanga Kai, Gina-Lee Duncan, were there last week to meet maara kai champions Te Rongopai from Te Rūnanga o Wairewa and Wairewa Marae General Manager Kelly Barry. The kaupapa, Ahikā Kai Wairewa, is an impressive marae project which encompasses a food forest and a tunnel house for propagation. It is always humbling to stand back, see, hear, and feel the bounty whānau bring to the table in their respective communities. Ka rawe te whānau o Wairewa!

Te toto o te tangata, he kai, Te oranga o te tangata, he whenua. Food supplies the blood of the people; our health is drawn from the land.

Tā te Manawa

Makaira Waugh (Te Ātiawa) established Tā te Manawa in early 2022 with the aim of creating a space for Māori leaders to come together and be nurtured in mind, body and spirit through connection to the taiao and the taonga within their cultural heritage.

“A lot of our people work hard supporting others; they’re often stretched. This is my way of supporting them.” Wave funding was the boost he needed. “It was an opportunity for me to clarify my thoughts and learn about the practicalities of running a business. Tā te Manawa is not just a business, it is my calling in life. But to make it happen, I needed to learn how to manage it successfully.” Read more about the journey of Makaira and Tā te Manawa here.

Government Data Summit 2023

Not everyone’s cup of tea, perhaps, but data is something that all of us need to think about. This week I attended the government’s Data Summit 2023 in Wellington, along with our Senior Data Analyst, Sam Selwyn and Outcomes Specialist, Nathan McCluskey. With 30 speakers, there was a lot of information shared.

We heard about challenges impacting the government’s efforts as it works to transform – and improve the way data is collected, shared, and used. We also heard a lot about the importance of an effective data strategy that aligns with the goals and aspirations of whānau, which was good to see.

The summit provided a great opportunity to connect, build knowledge and share experiences in the data and information space and reinforced the importance of having good data practices.

One international presentation reminded us all that it was not just about the need to protect the data, but it was also about protecting the people behind the data.

We will keep an eye on how the Government will consider and implement a whānau-centric approach to collecting, managing, storing, protecting, and sharing data across government.

We also want to let you know that Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is committed to enabling whānau to have greater control over their data and implementing effective data governance to respect the principles of rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga that will drive transparency, and better opportunities, and positive impacts for whānau.

It was Sam’s birthday while we were away, and he thought the Data Summit was an awesome present. If you know Sam, you will know he was in his element.