With thirteen peka (branches) across the rohe, Te Waipounamu Māori Womens Welfare League recently united under the wonderful manaaki of Ōmaka marae for their regional hui, before the national conference, complete with an AGM, hākari and a glamourous fashion show. Bringing together wāhine Māori for a common cause within the Māori Women’s Welfare League’s supportive network produces an impact that is truly remarkable. Te Pūtahitanga is honoured to contribute to this meaningful legacy, supporting generations of wāhine Māori throughout Te Waipounamu. 

“I have many favourite parts, seeing the Aunties get down and boogie at the hākari is always a favourite for me. I love seeing them let their hair down” says Carleen Heemi (Ōmaka MWWL). 

Founded in the 1950s, the Māori Women’s Welfare League was built upon the strong vision of wāhine Māori leadership with the intention of sowing seeds of hope for all Māori women and their whānau across Aotearoa, forging a path towards a brighter future for all.  

“The Māori Women’s Welfare League is important because they’re innovative, they grow leaders, they are focused on housing, education, health. They’re spearheads, they’re inspiring and strong women that I really look up to as role models” Carleen explains. 

The league is made up of nannies, māmā, sisters, daughters, old and young from all walks of life.

“It's all about the essence of wāhine, and to help support and uplift the mana of our kaumātua and forebearers before us,” explains Hutika Crofts (Ōtautahi MWWL).  

Take a moment to enjoy this video, offering a look into the recent conference held at the beautiful Ōmaka marae in Blenheim.