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Rangatahi Funds Open To New Ideas

Rangatahi Māori living in Te Waipounamu, Rakiura and Rēkohu/Wharekauri are being empowered to steer their generation’s growth and development, with two contestable youth funds open for applications.

RUIA and Tama Ora are initiatives of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island. Now it’s its fifth year, RUIA is a partnership with Rātā Foundation, while Tama Ora is delivered in partnership with Ihi Aotearoa | Sport New Zealand.

Pouārahi Ivy Harper said each fund had a clear purpose.

“RUIA is focused on initiatives that support rangatahi wellbeing, intergenerational leadership, succession planning and cultural development and, importantly, are rangatahi led. Tama Ora is about getting active, encouraging our tamariki and rangatahi to build healthy habits and learn new skills.”

Harper said RUIA and Tama Ora were uniquely tailored partnerships with other organisations, designed to support tamariki and rangatahi Māori in achieving their own aspirations and solutions, fit for what they were seeing in their own communities.

“That’s a critical factor in the Whānau Ora approach; it recognises that every community has its own identity, its own knowledge, so they also have their own solutions. Our role is simply supporting whānau and their communities to realise what’s best for them.

“We know, for example, that initiatives for rangatahi designed in an office in Wellington are not always what rangatahi want. It’s not where the change happens. If we are talking about the future growth and development of rangatahi Māori, then rangatahi Māori need to be, not just at the table, but in control of what that looks like. We can’t tell rangatahi what to do, but we can nurture them, provide opportunities, and wrap them with support.”

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Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, which this year celebrates 10 years of Whānau Ora commissioning in the South Island, had supported dozens of RUIA and Tama Ora initiatives in recent years, from the top of the south to the deep south. Activities have included wānanga, exhibitions, noho marae, field trips, gym and boxing sessions, kapa haka festivals, waka ama events and more.

While RUIA is open to initiatives aimed at rangatahi aged 12 to 24 years, Tama Ora also takes in activities for younger children and is aimed at tamariki and rangatahi aged 5 to 25 years.

Applications for RUIA and Tama Ora close at noon on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

For further information and to apply, see the Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu website.

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