New funding to keep tamariki and rangatahi Māori active

Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson today helped launch a new fund to provide direct financial support for tamariki and rangatahi Māori throughout the South Island who is experiencing financial hardship and missing out on physical activity opportunities.

“Through Te Kīwai Fund, we can offer more opportunities for Māori to be involved in active recreation, sport and community activities – particularly for those who are missing out and who live in high deprivation areas,” Willie Jackson says.

The fund is being disbursed by Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, the South Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency, in partnership with Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa. It will assist around 2,500 tamariki and rangatahi Māori through an investment of $850,000 over the next two years.

The Minister was joined by Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu Chief Executive Helen Leahy and Sport NZ’s Chief Executive Raelene Castle at Te Pā o Rākaihautū in Ōtautahi, Christchurch to launch the fund.

Funding is available to help pay for new equipment, registration fees, shoes or uniforms, and other costs that could be a barrier to being physically active.

The partnership between Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu will help strengthen each organisation’s understanding of Māori participation in play, active recreation and sport and how to reduce barriers for our tamariki and rangatahi Māori. As such, the fund will be based on Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu knowledge, experience and understanding of whānau needs and aspirations, Willie Jackson says.

The fund is a two-year pilot and will be evaluated by Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu to assess the viability of the initiative and whether it can be extended in future years. It will also help inform future policy on how to further reduce participation barriers for tamariki and rangatahi Māori.