Regional | Māori

Sports wellbeing fund for tamariki and rangatahi Māori in Te Waipounamu to continue

Screenshot: Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa / Te Kīwai Fund video


A project to help remove financial barriers for tamariki and rangatahi Māori to access sporting opportunities in the South Island has been extended.

Te Kīwai was launched in 2021 to support Māori between five and 18 years old who were missing out on activities due to financial hardship.

Hundreds of children and teens have benefited from the one-off $300 payment to help cover annual subs, club uniforms, new boots, gear, or transport.

Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa and the Whānau Commissioning Agency for the South Island, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, have agreed to continue the grassroots Te Kīwai fund for another year.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu pouārahi Ivy Harper said the extension of the programme would make a difference for hundreds of whānau.

"The need has not changed and when budgets are tight, food comes before children's activities, so we are really pleased that this partnership has been able to continue.

"Enabling tamariki and rangatahi to be able to take part not just in sports, but in whatever recreational or cultural pursuit works for them, is not just about now, or the next season or the next tournament, but it extends to encouraging healthy habits for life and so it is important that tamariki and rangatahi are not locked out of physical activity simply because of financial barriers."

Sport NZ acting group manager - Kāhui Rautaki Māori Tanya Wilson said Te Kīwai was another great opportunity for the organisations to continue to work together to invest directly into wellbeing outcomes for tamariki and rangatahi.

She said it was particularly significant that Te Kīwai included investment in traditional Māori activities like taonga tākaro and kapa haka.

"These activities encourage tamariki and rangatahi to stay active, while also expressing their culture and heritage and contributing to taha tinana and taha wairua.

"Research shows that the most enduring habits are built in childhood and being active as tamariki is key to staying active as an adult."