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#NUKU100 movement elevates and celebrates wāhine, for wāhine and by wāhine

16 June 2021   /   News & reports

Foundation North recently approved $25,000 to support NUKU, a social impact initiative to amplify 100 Indigenous female change-makers and leaders through audio podcasts, photography, videography, books, art and live events.

Since 2019, NUKU has set out to profile 100 extraordinary wāhine toa with the intention to grow a social movement of change that elevates, celebrates and supports Indigenous women, using storytelling across multiple mediums as the vehicle.

“We want to draw attention to change-makers - that is, Indigenous wāhine as agents of change. Derived from Papatūānuku, the word NUKU represents the ultimate female essence,” said NUKU Founder and Creator Qiane Matata-Sipu.

“The concept draws inspiration from pūrakau (cultural narratives) of Hine-te-iwaiwa - a brave, innovative, change-maker who supported and celebrated wāhine. We want to open up a wide horizon of possibilities for how Indigenous wāhine can help lead and change their worlds/the world.”

The recent funding will assist with profiling eight wāhine from Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Tai Tokerau for inclusion in the #NUKU100 movement.

Each profile delivers a range of educational resources. An in-depth interview (45-60-minute podcast) is accompanied by a creative high-quality portrait shoot, and both are published on the NUKU website.

Among those profiled include Māori marine biologist Kura Paul-Burke, Pacific educational equity advocate Linda Aumua, psychiatrist Dr Diana Kopua, Green Party co leader Marama Davidson and disabled community advocate Dr Huhana Hickey.

“This project will benefit Indigenous girls and young wāhine. NUKU stories expose them to diverse role models, with lived experiences like theirs, including some who are just a few years older. NUKU role models will motivate young wāhine to pursue their dreams and show them how.”

Qiane says NUKU will also benefit whānau, communities and society. “Indigenous wāhine are driving and equipping the next generation, unlock the wave of potential and you will have a multiplying, generational legacy. NUKU focuses on wāhine because investing in wāhine is also a powerful investment in building a better future.”