Our story

The Ākina Foundation is growing social enterprise across New Zealand.

Our mission is to grow the emerging New Zealand social enterprise sector by:

  • Activating talent, raising awareness and building capability for social enterprise
  • Supporting social enterprises to grow and increase their impact, and
  • Developing new market and investment opportunities for social enterprise.

Our vision is for a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive world.

Our name, Ākina, is a Māori word meaning a call for bold action. It also conveys a spirit of watchful and active encouragement, helping others to identify pathways through their challenges.

We believe social entrepreneurs and social enterprise represents a powerful opportunity to build a new economy that regenerates the environment and creates social foundations for people to thrive.

The people who work for Ākina are in service to those who strive to realise a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive world.

In support of social enterprise, we call for bold action, lead by example, and commit to our values: being honest, ambitious, determined, ingenious, collaborative, and humble.

Our history

In 2008, the Todd and Tindall Foundations established the Hikurangi Foundation to support practical action on climate change and the environment. We funded and supported a wide range of grassroots and community-led innovation across New Zealand.

Over time, we started to see that social enterprise could provide a powerful and proven vehicle for driving transformation and change. Hikurangi’s mission evolved to focus on five impact areas (transport; housing; consumption & waste; land and ecosystems; energy), and we built an incubation model that supported a range of social enterprises and social entrepreneurs throughout the country.

In early 2014, the Government announced funding to expand our incubation and development services for high potential social enterprise across New Zealand, and set out a position statement on social enterprise for the country.

In May 2014, we broadened our mission and adopted a new name for our foundation, Ākina, to help us describe the next chapter in our story.