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Giving effect to Te Titiri o Waitangi through Mana Whenua representation highlighted in GIFT year 4 Annual Report

27 January 2021   /   News & reports

A report released today by GIFT, the Foundation North initiative, has learnings for how communities and agencies can approach healing the Hauraki Gulf.

After 4 years of the initiative, which seeks to support entrepreneurs and innovators to test, scale and create new systems to restore the mauri of Tīkapa Moana/Te Moana-nui-ā-Toi (the Hauraki Gulf), findings will be of interest to Gulf stakeholders including:

  • A growing desire to give effect to Te Titiri o Waitangi through Mana Whenua representation, engagement and co-governance, which is a significant system change.
  • Many factors affect the type and level of participation of Māori in their role as Kaitiaki, which prevent Kaitiaki from having meaningful, timely and equitable input into systems and processes that impact Māori, often reducing their effectiveness and value. Factors include poor consultation and engagement processes, limited participation and representation, inequitable decision-making rights, overstretched capability and capacity, and under- resourcing of hapū/iwi to effectively participate (e.g. pre-Treaty settlement requirements create capacity issues for Māori by overloading them with Crown-imposed tasks and deadlines).

Having mauri, which in a Te Ao Māori view, is an energy which binds and animates all things in the physical world, at the centre of GIFT’s work is bringing diversity of thought and approach, to regenerating and upholding the wellness of Tikapa Moana Te Moananui-a-Toi.

The Report also outlines GIFT funding and impact granteee stories, futher highlighting GIFT’s strategic decision to move its investment to a more holistic approach that integrates mātauranga Māori.

“This year GIFT shared learning and insights around system change in the Hauraki Gulf. GIFT grantees reported running into systemic barriers harming the mauri of moana, whenua and people,” said Peter Tynan, Foundation North Chief Executive.

“Foundation North may have been the catalyst for the G.I.F.T concept, but you will see in this report the efforts and mahi of many, many people – tangata whenua, corporates, friends and whānau, universities, scientists, entrepreneurs – and of course, our own team who have weaved each piece together in order to bring about change in the Hauraki Gulf. It is a body of work we are very proud of,

and our hope is the mauri of the Gulf will be the ultimate benefactor together with the generations to come.”

In May 2020, GIFT hosted two online systems change conversations with grantees to consider potential, needs and strengths for system change in the Hauraki Gulf. Grantees were invited to a kanohi ki te kanohi session to share learning and ideas around system change.

GIFT initiated a communications stakeholder group to explore more collaborative ways of amplifying

the voice of Tīkapa Moana Te Moananui-ā-Toi.

The initiative began in 2016 as a $5m fund, with additional funding of $2m (2019) and $2m (2020) approved by the Foundation North Board. It has since received 107 applications and has granted

$7,208,019 over a three-level funding model.

In 2021, GIFT will continue to support whānau/hapū/Iwi to fulfil their role as kaitiaki, support bicultural ways of working to restore mauri, and advocate for ecosystem approaches that give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

To view the year 4 digital Annual Report, go to