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Te Pūtahitanga O Te Waipounamu Celebrates Success Of Kiwi Kai And Twin Harmony

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is thrilled to congratulate Kiwi Kai and Twin Harmony for their well-deserved achievements over the past weekend. The Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency is proud to have supported both initiatives and Pouārahi Ivy Harper says their success is a testament to the power that whānau have to create their own future.

On Friday night, Reni Wereta-Gargiulo of Kiwi Kai was announced the Premier Winner at the Māori Women’s Development awards in Tāmaki Makaurau. Based in Nelson, Kiwi Kai is a business that celebrates Māori kai while promoting a healthy eating for better wellbeing.

“Kiwi Kai is motivated by the simple goal of filling your puku with goodness,” says Ms Harper. “They offer a range of products and services, all with a kaupapa Māori influence, and their menu has earned a reputation within the Nelson community and further afield, with everything from kina pies and creamed pāua, to chilli lime ceviche.”

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been proud to spearhead investment into the development of Kiwi Kai’s range of drinks, Atutahi. “Reni has an entrepreneurial flair and a passion for kaupapa-infused products that reflects her whakapapa,” says Ms Harper. “She has been an outstanding role model and mentor for whānau enterprise, and indeed for the Whānau Ora approach.”

Kiwi Kai was nominated in four categories at last week’s awards: marketing and sales, business collaboration, innovation and the regional award for Te Waipounamu. We also congratulate Cazna Luke of Mokowhiti who was a finalist in the regional awards for Te Waipounamu.

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On Saturday night, 16-year-old twins Tanemahuta and Teakaraupo Pakeha-Heke received the Local Impact Award at the Festival for the Future 2022 in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. This award celebrates remarkable young New Zealanders making a difference for our future, and Tane and Aka were recognised for their commitment to ending whānau violence through their work with Tū Pono Mana Tangata in Ōtautahi.

“We couldn’t be prouder of these young men, who have turned their experience into an opportunity to create real change,” says Ms Harper. “They have travelled throughout Te Waipounamu speaking out against whānau violence, and through Twin Harmony have written waiata acknowledging the personal impact it has had through the tragic loss of their mother.”

With the support of their grandmother Piwi Beard, Tane and Aka are making a difference for whānau, offering support, inspiration and hope to those trying to make a change in their lives.

“Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been so proud to see these two boys grow into young men over the past few years,” says Ms Harper. “It is absolutely wonderful to see their strength and commitment acknowledged.”

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