People are our greatest taonga (treasure) – it is through our people that the tribal legacy lives.
Te Rūnanga has a holistic understanding of wellbeing: health, wealth, education, cultural pride, spirituality and community help determine the quality of life of our people. While it is not our role to do the job of government it is our role to develop strategic initiatives that support the needs of our people. We actively work with government agencies to help them do their job better.
Te Rūnanga pioneered a now renowned tribal savings programme, Whai Rawa; and has implemented a cascading suite of leadership development programmes and was practicing Whānau Ora before it became a government policy.
Our leadership development programmes are designed to grow culturally competent leaders, well connected to their Ngāi Tahu community and outstanding performers in their chosen field. Different programmes support personal development and cultural learning, such as the testing Aoraki Bound programme, developed in partnership with Outward Bound. Other programmes forge international relationships, such as our exchange programme with Stanford University, international work experience in Russia and the Antarctic programme.
‘Whanau Ora’ is a New Zealand government approach to placing whanau (families) at the centre of health, education and social service delivery. In early 2014, Ngāi Tahu successfully partnered with the iwi of Te Waipounamu (tribes of the South Island) to secure the contract to be the South Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency with the aim of investing in initiatives to build whānau capability. Being involved in the agency, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, is yet another way that Ngāi Tahu exercises its responsibility to look after people within its tribal territory.