Wed, Jan 31, 2024 8:00 AM

Bright ideas needed for Wave funding across Top of South


William Woodworth

The next round of the pioneering Wave social investment fund for Māori businesses is looking for bright ideas from across Te Waipounamu.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island, has operated the Wave social innovation model for almost 10 years, supporting hundreds the South Island to deliver meaningful change for their whānau and communities.

And, their 18th round of funding is after applicants who want continue the mahi forward using the proven pathways that previous applicants have found success with – alongside the brand-new ‘Tai Neke, Tai Ora’ fund, aimed at promoting whānau hauora and creating connections to te ao Māori.

Pouārahi Ivy Harper said each investment round brought an inspiring array of ideas and initiatives and this year would be no different.

“It is always an exciting time, for us and for whānau. All our mahi is centred on the philosophy that whānau must be placed at the centre of service design and delivery, supporting them to realise their own solutions and so we are excited to see what fresh ideas and new growth WAVE 18 will bring”, says Ivy.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu Pouārahi Ivy Harper says recent research identified that whānau who participated in the Wave 16 funding round reported higher life satisfaction than the general Māori population. Photo: Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu

Megan Hadfield, who runs children’s ocean education programme ‘Ngā Tauira o Tangaroa', knows firsthand the benefits of the WAVE programme’s backing.

“I was brought up in the Kenepuru Sound fishing with my grandad Frank Godsiff, and popping bombs with my cousins, and my husband Morgan is a life-long fisherman so we’ve both had a love of the sea from a young age.

“We instilled that love in our kids, and now Ngā Tauira o Tangaroa aims to instil the same love in Marlborough’s rangatahi and fill a real need”.

Through her role as a navigator at Maataa Waka, Megan was inspired to combine her passions for water and education after seeing children in the youth justice system needing guidance.

“WAVE funding has given us an awesome foundation and the resources to harness our passions and skillsets for our pilot programme, and break barriers to whanau for travel, food, learning material, merchandise and the prizegiving.

“We have our dive and skipper’s licenses, so we can not only break down barriers for them to get out there fishing, diving and filleting but also Mātauranga Maori around sustainability and resourcefulness so our rangatahi can continue managing the environment so it continues providing for their rangatahi.

“For our first Sunday we went to the Pelorus for river kayaking, but also met Ngāti Kuia’s Lewis Ruihana Smith who spoke about the iwi, local legends, and the Pakohe stone – and we have so many other incredible teachers like Dr Peter Meihana already putting their hands up for future daytrips”.

Independent research found that direct commissioning approach of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu had seen whānau shift from state dependency and subsistence living towards independence and wealth creation.

The evaluation by Ihi Research found that 2022’s WAVE 16 investment round of $2.7 million spread across 83 whānau-led initiatives benefitted almost 5,000 Māori, with a net present benefit of up to $87,433 per person.

The economic value of increased life satisfaction combined was at least $7.2 million, but likely to be many times more – while whānau who participated in WAVE 16 reported higher life satisfaction than the general Māori population, researchers noted.

Ivy encourages any creative initiatives needing support can flourish with their assistance.

“We know our approach works and we encourage whānau to bring us their ideas for this latest round, no matter how big or small.

“We welcome applications from individuals, whānau, community groups and businesses in Te Waipounamu, Rēkohu Wharekauri and Rakiura who have an initiative or kaupapa that seeks to support them and their hapori to thrive”.

Apply at https://www.teputahitanga.orgbefore 12pm on Wednesday, February 14, 2024.

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