It’s difficult to believe that we’re almost at the end of February already. The beginning of this calendar year has been a whirlwind for Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, with the opening of Wave 18 and Tai Neke, Tai Ora and the chance for our teams to get on the road to promote these funds. Our annual roadshows are a highlight for our kaimahi, as an opportunity to visit the hapori where the Whānau Ora magic really happens. We always return on a high, buzzing from all the amazing connections we’ve made and the incredible ideas we’ve seen and heard from entrepreneurial whānau keen to make a change in their lives.

Back in the office, we watched the applications coming through before the funds closed last week and were delighted to receive 240 completed applications for Wave 18 and 44 for Tai Neke, Tai Ora. These will now go on to our Independent Assessment Panel for Wave 18 and the Tai Neke, Tai Ora Panel to review and make recommendations as to which applications will be successful. I’ve witnessed numerous funding rounds since joining Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu but it is still such a thrill, knowing that the successful applicants are about to embark on a journey to realise their aspirations and make a difference for their whānau and hapori.

Unfortunately, this year’s applications are tinged with disappointment and a sense of cognitive dissonance, as I try to understand how the current political landscape can be so anti-Māori in the face of the innovative, aspirational and future-focused whānau we work with on a daily basis. Although our Whānau Ora partners around the motu are still going about their mahi with the same passion and commitment as always, there is some inevitable uncertainty as we wonder what the future will look like for whānau.

The role of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is clear – to advocate on behalf of whānau and in doing so, support the collective Whānau Ora network. We need to demonstrate further what we already know – the immense success of the Whānau Ora approach and its continued potential to change lives. There are many ways to do this, and one of those is with positive storytelling. On that note, we recently launched our latest digital story, celebrating Tīmata Technologies. Scroll down to learn more about this exciting initiative.

Mauri ora,


Tīmata Technologies

We are proud to share the story of Tīmata Technologies, a new app inspired by the work of one of our longest standing Wave initiatives, Koha Kai. Founder, Janice Lee says that Tīmata Technologies is a way to ensure that everyone has acess to affordable kai, support and healthcare. “Tīmata was developed to essentially support anyone who is vulnerable or in a lower socio-economic part of the community,” she says. With free shipping, Tīmata is delivering delicious, fresh meals to customers across Te Waipounamu. Watch the  recently released digital story below, and click here to read more.

Haerenga to Tai Poutini

Tai Poutini, the home of Poutini, the guardian taniwha who cruises the waters as kaitiaki, the guardian spirit of the land and of the mighty greenstone. 

Gina-Lee, Tania and Crystelle outside the new premises for Te Hono o Ngā Waka

Last week our kaimahi Tania Batley and Gina-Lee Duncan took to the road, filled with the desire to connect and support whānau of Tai Poutini. Their first stop was Hokitika, and they were quickly out of the car and escorted to the wonderful new building of Te Hono o Ngā Waka by their wonderful guide, Crystelle Mason. Te Hono o Ngā Waka is a kaupapa Māori service with whakapapa to WestREAP now based at 47 Revell Street in Hokitika. Te Hono o Ngā Waka hold a Mokopuna Ora contract, supporting whānau with mokopuna under the age of five.

Their Mokopuna Ora Connector has nearly completed her diploma in nutrition and will be folding this kaupapa into her mahi with whānau to support overall wellbeing. Mokopuna Ora is a kaupapa focussed on positive parenting, and the hauora of all whānau.

That evening a walk into the Hokitika Gorge and the sight of the magical, enchanted sunset heightened the respect and awe for all that is Tai Poutini.

The whānau, the people, he tāngata…WOW!!

The next day it was an early morning coffee, and Poutini Waiora staff celebrating Valentine’s Day with breakfast before a packed day of engagements. This included meeting Wharerimu Iraia for a quick coffee and best home-made slice in Hokitika (not made by him) and straight to a West Coast sector hui at the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) offices in Greymouth.

Penny Kirk (MSD), Vicki Roper (Takiwā Poutini), and Dyan Hansen were present and are pictured here, with a view to working collectively to achieve a cross-agency approach to increased wellbeing throughout Tai Poutini.

While in Greymouth Tania and Gina-Lee also called into a full whare at Whare Manaaki and absorbed the vibrancy of maara kai and Te Atarangi kōrero and waiata.

Tupu Toa Summit and Gala Dinner

Last week we attend the TupuToa summit and Gala Dinner in Tāmaki Makaurau, which was an opportunity to tautoko the mahi of this organisation as well as the graduates that we have been delighted to host here at Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu. TupuToa supports Māori and Pasifika students to find internships and thanks to their efforts we have had two interns work with us – Julia Maxwell, who is now employed at PWC following her graduation, and this past summer, Maia Keepa (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Mahuta), who has now returned to her studies.

Both young wāhine were a pleasure to have in the office and a credit to the work of TupuToa. Additionally, it was an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Tupu Toa who have been instrumental in supporting us with a new record management system. The sharing of their journey and connections for their own record management system allowed us to save on the system (time and pūtea invested) and also introduced us to Laszlo Csite and his amazing team at 360tuned whose manaaki as we trave this space has been second to none. It really is about relationships.

Strengthening connections with Spark NZ

While in Tāmaki Makaurau we also visited Spark NZ, which was a beautiful chance to share kōrero, katakata and kai with our host Riki Hollings. Riki is the Māori Development Lead at Spark NZ who supported our Uruora programme, as we seek to bridge the digital divide and empower whānau to take advantage of the many telehealth opportunities that can increase access to healthcare. We enjoyed meeting with the team in person and taking the time to strengthen this relationship and explore opportunities for further investment.