Regional | Leadership

Building leaders for the future

A youth fund is helping Māori support youth leadership and cultural development.

RUIA is an annual fund set up in 2019 by the Whānau Ora collective, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, the Rātā Foundation and the Ministry of Youth Development, for ideas or initiatives that serve 12-24 year olds in the South Island, Stewart Island and Chatham Islands.

Hundreds of rangatahi have benefited from the fund said Pouārahi, Ivy Harper.

Funded activities included sports events, noho marae and wānanga, where Harper believed future leaders could grow their skills.

“It's an opportunity to lead amongst their own, but also in front of pakeke who can see those leadership qualities in them, and have given them that opportunity,” she said.

Rangatahi also decide who receives funding.

“So the final recommendations come to me as the Pouārahi. That is a real game changer, RUIA is by rangatahi, for rangatahi. That is really about giving a voice to rangatahi,” said Harper.

Applications for RUIA close at midday on June 16.