New initiatives helping to grow Māori Social Enterprise in Te Tai Tokerau and Tairāwhiti

The community of Kaitaia has hosted a gathering of aspiring and current social entrepreneurs as a follow on from Ākina’s Thrive programme and Far North District Council’s Resilient Communities Conferences in 2014 and 2015.

Far North Thrive Event Coordinator coordinator Jamie Emery was inspired to host the programme within her community to help “ignite and inspire locals to explore Social Enterprise as a viable way to create opportunities for young people, jobs for locals and new income streams for groups and organisations who are doing social and environmental good for the community”.

Friday’s event included speakers currently running successful social enterprise initiatives across Northland including; Patu Aotearoa an urban marae fitness programme with a particular focus on whānau centred training; Ākau – an indigenous design company working with youth in Kaitaia; Tokotoko Solutions who provide youth programmes, mentoring and work ready training for young people in and around Whangarei; iMOKO an innovative virtual medical support programme for children; and Kaitaia based initiative Open the Curtains who provide direct support to whānau in need, one household at a time.

Patu Aotearoa’s Levi Armstrong says “now we are in a position, with the support of researchers, to really measure the impact we are having. Not just on fitness but the whole whānau and their wellbeing, especially with our tool the meke meter that will be developed into an app by Ākina enterprise Helptank”.

Ākina and Māori Women’s Development Inc. also took the opportunity to launch their pilot programme, Te Hiringa Hinonga, a kaupapa Māori centered approach to social enterprise to take place in Northland and on the East Coast. This will comprise of workshops and an intensive wrap around accelerator programme to help create opportunities for social enterprise to flourish within Māori communities.

Programme Manager at Ākina, Eva Riddell says “Social Enterprise for Māori isn’t a new thing, in fact, we have been doing social enterprise for generations… we just haven’t named it as such”.

CEO for Māori Women’s Development Inc. Teresa Tepania-Ashton believes that the partnership between Ākina and Māori Women’s Development Inc. will help “expand our people’s understanding of the potential of social enterprise and also enable more whānau to learn about the range of products and services we offer to support wahine Māori and their whānau to be successful in business.  We are also very grateful to Te Puni Kōkiri – Ministry for Māori Development for supporting this innovative approach to building local knowledge and capability.

For more information about Te Hiringa Hinonga please contact:

Kaye-Maree
Project Manager, MWDI
021 029 24328

Eva Riddell
Programme Manager, Ākina
eva.riddell@akina.org.nz
04 384 9676

Or for more on our programmes please visit www.Akina.org.nz and www.mwdi.co.nz

Make sure also take a look at Patu Aotearoa’s recent interview with Radio New Zealand here.