Puna Pakihi - Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Puna Pakihi

Puna Pakihi
Supporting Ngāi Tahu in Business

Puna Pakihi is an initiative set up to support Ngāi Tahu whānau in business or who have an idea for a business they wish to set up. From providing mentors to financial assistance, the team works alongside you every step of the way. We are here to back you up on your pakihi journey, whānau.

A snapshot of some of the services we can offer

  • Support in start-up and growth planning through business mentors
  • $5,000 grants for kickstarting, staying up, and growing your business (limited numbers each year)
  • Referrals to other organisations and specialist support services
  • Free listing on the Ngāi Tahu whānau pakihi directory
  • Access to promotion through Ngāi Tahu communications channels (with your permission)
  • Access to exclusively Ngāi Tahu Whānau Business Owners Facebook group to connect with others

Do you have a new business idea?

Tau kē! Here is a tool to help you flesh out that idea a bit more – Lean Canvas

Have you considered the following:

  • Registering the business, is there another business with your intended name?
  • Your target audience, who they are and where are they?
  • Who are your competitors, and how do you differ to their product
  • Have you defined your product offering
  • Will you need to develop any partnerships with suppliers/customers
  • What might your price point need to look like

If you have considered the above, are you now looking for support to develop a robust business plan and financial forecast?

Please complete this contact form to get in touch with our Puna Pakihi advisors.

Are you looking to apply for a Puna Pakihi grant?

We have 4 grants available, each valued at $5,000. These fall within the following categories:

  • Kickstart: New business or within first 12 months of registration as a company
  • Stay-up 1: Over 12 months registered as a company, revenue under $60,000 and not GST-registered
  • Stay-up 2: Over 12 months registered as a company, revenue between $60,000 – $120,000 and GST registered
  • Growth: Over 12 months of trading, revenue more than $120,000, GST registered and funding will support a step-change in growth for the business

Application Process

To be able apply for the grants you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Application Form (download and complete)
  • Robust Business / Growth Plan
  • Supporting market validation evidence (e.g. forward orders, evidence of market size & demand, etc.)
  • Previous 12 months cashflow (if already trading) AND 12 months forecasted cashflow
  • Proof of minimum 50% ownership by applicant or other registered whānau
  • Proof of GST registration (if relevant)
  • Proof of Bank account in the form of a verified letter from your bank or a copy of your bank statement
  • Photo ID

Completed applications process:

  • We have reached capacity for grants for FY2022-23. From 20 Feb 2023, our grants are closed.
  • Mentoring support is still available. Please get in touch with our team if you need this support.

NB. Whānau are only eligible for 1 grant payment each financial year, being year ending 30 June. With a 12month stand-down between successful applications.

Useful Templates (download)

Supporting Ngāi Tahu Businesses

We encourage you to #supportTahu by spending with other Ngāi Tahu owned businesses where possible.

To facilitate this, we have an online directory – www.tahu.biz.

If you would like to support a Ngāi Tahu owned business, please consider shopping with a business listed on www.tahu.biz. #supportTahu.

Become a Mentor

If you have a commercial business background and would like to support whānau on their business journey, please contact the Puna Pakihi team to sign up to become a mentor. Please include a 1-page biography of your background.

We are particularly interested in mentors with the following specialist skillsets:

  • Financial acumen
  • Digital & online marketing
  • Tech industry background
  • Health & Wellbeing sector experience

Whānau Business Stories


Ko wai koe? My name is Vicki Keast. I’m a wife, a mother, a grandmother and businesswoman. Sometimes I feel a bit whakamā about my connection to my heritage. I’m…

Read More

Gre3n Superfood & Juice Bar

Hi I’m Julienne Petherbridge (Julz). My connection to Ngāi Tahu is through Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke at Rāpaki – I am from the Couch whānau. My mum, who is…

Read More

Maui Studios

We are continuing to grow the kumara vine to promote our whānau businesses. Bouncing the dollar forward is our mission to encourage as many whānau to register their business on our directory.

Read More
View All Whānau Business Stories