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New fund encourages tamariki and rangatahi Maori to participate in physical activity

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Today tamariki and rangatahi from kura throughout Ōtautahi gathered to celebrate the launch of Te Kīwai, a new fund that provides direct financial support to help children and young people stay active.

The fund was launched by the Hon Willie Jackson, Minister for Māori Development, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu Pouārahi Helen Leahy, and Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa CEO Raelene Castle. After a pōwhiri and brief formalities, the launch was celebrated with a series of workshops including basketball, boxing, golf frisbee, kī-o-rahi and netball.

Te KÄ«wai is a partnership between Te PÅ«tahitanga o Te Waipounamu and Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa, and targets tamariki and rangatahi Māori who might be missing out on physical activity opportunities due to financial hardship. The fund is part of the Government’s $265 million Sport Recovery Package.

Ms Leahy says she is thrilled to add Te KÄ«wai to the suite of funds and supports offered by Te PÅ«tahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

"Te Kīwai is our response to the call from whānau who have been seeking support for their tamariki and mokopuna to engage in sports and recreation, fitness and kapa haka," says Ms Leahy. "This is the first time in our funding history that we have been able to invest so directly in the aspirations and ambitions of individual whānau members around tinana, hauora and toi ora."

"We are very proud to work alongside Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa to support whānau in such a significant way," says Ms Leahy. "Our partnership is represented in the name Te Kīwai, which comes from the whakataukī ko koe ki tēnā, ko au ki tēnei kīwai o te kete. We are each carrying a handle of the basket and caring for its contents - our precious tamariki and rangatahi."

Te Kīwai will support tamariki and rangatahi Māori in Te Waipounamu with an investment of $850,000 over the next three years. Funding of up to $300 per person is available each year to help with costs that are a barrier to participating in physical activity, including new shoes, uniforms, equipment, registration or class fees and transport.

Te Kīwai is a two-year pilot and will be evaluated to assess whether it can be extended in future years. It will also help inform future policy on how to further reduce participation barriers for tamariki and rangatahi Māori.

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