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Aspirations For Whānau To Be Active As Māori As New Kaupapa Māori Investment Package Announced

National Māori health agency, Toi Tangata, welcomes the announcement from Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa yesterday of the $7m investment package as part of their COVID-19 Kaupapa Māori Response Plan.

“Toi Tangata has long been an advocate for increased resourcing to address the inequities in funding that national Māori sporting organisations face,” says Megan Tunks, Toi Tangata CEO.

Currently many Māori sporting organisations survive on the hard work and dedication of voluntary support while their mainstream funded counterparts have people paid to do similar activities.

“Whānau provide a huge amount of voluntary hours in order to support their codes through administration activities, fundraising, and tournament organisation that non-Māori codes have been able to support with their back office in-house resource.”

“This investment can be viewed as both recognition and reinforcement of the important role Māori organisations play and is more reflective of the huge contributions they provide in delivering culturally responsive pathways for Māori to participate and succeed as Māori. It will be an opportunity to realise some long time aspirations,” says Tunks.

Tunks identifies national Māori sporting tournaments such as Māori Netball, Rugby League, Basketball, Hockey and Touch - which may sometimes be the first exposure to Te Ao Māori that some participants have - as well as dedicated funding to grow the codes unique to us as Māori such as Kī-o-Rahi.

With whakapapa and Māori values at the core, Māori organisations offer unique cultural pathways to enable Māori to succeed as Māori through physical activity, whether it be play, active recreation or sport. Te Ihi Fund will provide opportunities for Māori organisations and Iwi providers to participate as a large majority of community funding is historically captured by regional sports trusts.

“This funding will address some of the current inequities, allow Māori organisations to put more of the focus on what really matters and support them to continue their contributions to empower Māori communities to improve their wellbeing through Te Ao Māori and Mātauranga Māori approaches.”

“Increasing the funding of He Oranga Poutama will also mean more opportunities for employment and the roll out of more activities and initiatives to engage Māori. It will increase participation and engagement amongst tamariki, rangatahi and whanau and, importantly, enable opportunities to promote te reo which supports connectedness, identity and essentially a more holistic approach to wellbeing,” Tunks says.

Toi Tangata also supports the development of MaraeFit Aotearoa- which aims to tackle the challenges of participation and connectedness by using digital technology as an enabler- and looks forward to seeing the detail and allocation of funds.

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