Changing lives  


hikoi-4-680Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has over eighty initiatives in varying stages of progress, covering a wide range of approaches focussed on achieving positive outcomes for whānau transformation.

As the South Island commissioning agency for Whānau Ora, Te Pūtahitanga has received funding applications from the Catlins to Motueka and the Chatham islands to Hokitika and chief executive Helen Leahy is excited about the diversity of ideas coming forward, aimed at making a sustainable difference to the wellbeing and stability of whānau.

“I like the fact that we have variety to our commissioning. That’s something we’ll continue to encourage,” she says.

“Initially we had a lot of business-orientated proposals, and fewer related to the so-called hard-edge issues that impact on the wellbeing of whānau, including the pervasive impact of family violence, addiction, young people at risk of harm.

“That’s why we targeted those areas in the most recent round (Wave Four), for Te Punanga Haumaru, initiatives associated with ‘sites of safety’.

Within the context of Te Punanga Haumaru,  Te Pūtahitanga has previously funded a youth leadership initiative in Waihōpai; a Waiora parenting programme located in kōhanga in Invercargill; a campaign to focus on safety in Kaikōura; and a kapa haka initiative for young people in Dunedin.

“Each of these pilots has shown us different ways of addressing the issue of keeping all our families free from harm,” says Helen.

“And our road trips around the South Island have shown us that people have got good ideas and that if you go out and meet them, they’re happy to discuss and progress those ideas.

“We wanted to  go out on the road as a commissioning agency – we wanted to go out and raise expectations and encourage people to think about constructive ways they can make a difference to their circumstances.

“We know there are always more whānau to be reached – that there are whānau is rural areas, others who might feel disconnected and other whānau just wanting to know they can get their lives back on the right track. Our aim is always to reach more of those people.”

“The wonderful gift of Whānau Ora is to know that everyone can have an idea about how to make a change in their lives, for whānau to be self-managing.   We encourage whānau to have a look at the stories on our website, talk amongst their whānau, and then put an application in for the new funding round, Wave Five, by 14th October.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu invests in initiatives that place whānau at the forefront and centre. We are seeking inspirational ideas which are whānau-driven, and will provide direct impact for whānau across Te Waipounamu, Whare Kauri and Stewart Island.