“Pukekauri dam holds historical significance and was valued and used dearly by our ancestors. However, once access was restricted, our hapū connection to this space was severed,” says Thomas.
“In order to create an effective management agreement and to update our Hapū Environmental Management Plan, I recognise that a holistic understanding of hapū aspirations is key. This means that we must bring in rangatira, kaimahi, and rangatahi voices into our steps forward.
“I plan to facilitate a rangatahi wānanga, supported by the Patuharakeke Trust, to engage with our youth about their visions and values of Pukekauri dam. This will include a site visit, tree planting, swimming, and interactive activities to better understand how they would like the area to be restored, protected and sustained for the future.”
Previous recipients of the Pou Herenga Fund and Tonganui Scholarship have included Kaea Tibble who is re-indigenising maps using mātauranga Māori Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping software, and Deane Gage who facilitated a three-day kaimoana wānanga to help connect people to the moana and whenua.
As an entity of Te Ohu Kaimoana, Te Pūtea Whakatupu has a long history of supporting impactful Māori initiatives through both funding and investment, and recently celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the Fisheries Deed of Settlement.
“Reflecting on our past and the legacy we have inherited has reiterated the importance of our Trust’s purpose, the sustenance of Māori identity. These grants are an opportunity for our emerging leaders to pursue their passions – whether community or the oceans – in a tikanga-led, unapologetically Māori way” says Te Pūoho Kātene, Kaihautū of Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust.
In addition to receiving the funding, successful recipients of Te Pūtea Whakatupu’s Tukuoha funding round are officially recognised as members of Ngā Auahitūroa, the Trust’s growing alumni network of over 300 passionate and diverse funding recipients.
To read more about the successful grant applicants of Pou Herenga Tangata Award and the Tonganui Scholarship for 2022, click here.