Te Ao Māori

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Nau mai, haere mai ki Te Puna Atawhaitanga.

Ngā Ratonga Kaupapa Atawhai (Charities Services) acknowledges and embraces the unique and vital mahi that is undertaken by charities with a kaupapa Māori focus across their whānau, hapū, iwi and communities in Aotearoa.

Iti noa ana, he pito mata - With care, a small kumara will produce a harvest.

The information and resources on these pages are to give guidance for new and existing charities with a kaupapa Māori focus. Whether you are a marae, a charity whose main beneficiaries are Māori, or a charity with a Te Ao Māori focus, we want to support you to carry out your important mahi. We will continue to add to these pages, so if you have any specific resources you would like to be developed, please send us an email.

Nāku te rourou nāu te rourou ka ora ai te iwi - With your basket and my basket the people will live.

Charities often have paid staff, but can rely heavily on volunteers. In Te Ao Māori, being charitable and participating in voluntary activity is about working within the collective (whānau, hapū, and iwi) for the overall wellbeing of the group. The western notion of volunteering does not always reflect a Māori worldview. Rather, the concept ‘mahi aroha’ - work performed out of love, sympathy or caring through a sense of duty hold more significance and cultural relevance. Mahi aroha is part of a wider view of ‘He Tohu Aroha’, an expression or manifestation of aroha (love), sympathy or caring. At the heart of mahi aroha is tikanga and the role it plays in ensuring Māori cultural identity is nurtured, treasured and kept alive.

Mahi Aroha - Māori Perspectives on Volunteering and Cultural Obligations.(external link)

Titiro whakamuri kia mōhio ai koe te huarahi - You do not know your future until you know your past.

Māori value whanaungatanga (kinship), hapori (community), koha and hau (the action of reciprocity). Māori have important cultural practices that are centred in mutual trust, obligation and solidarity.

The expression ‘Ko te hau tēnā o tō taonga’, refers to the spirit power and the vital essence embodied in a person that is transmitted with their gift, taonga or something considered valuable. The exchanging of gifts and reciprocity are core to the value system of Māori and shape the way Māori work in charities today.

The Māori understanding of philanthropy is one of giving and receiving, and the relationships created by these acts are what matter. 

Mānuka Hēnare wrote more on this topic in 2015. Not simply an act of charity: Māori gift exchange.(external link)

Mā tini mā mano ka rapa te whai - By many, by thousands the work will be accomplished.

We have been consulting and working closely with Pou Ārahi and Te Atamira Taiwhenua in developing these pages.

Pou Ārahi is a unit within Kāwai ki te Iwi (Service, Delivery and Operations) of Te Tari Taiwhenua (the Department of Internal Affairs), dedicated to improving service delivery to whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori organisations, particularly by strengthening Āheitanga (capability), Whakaari (visibility) and Tatai Hono (relationship).

Te Atamira Taiwhenua is a key external advisory group of kaumatua. They are nominated to represent whānau, hapū, iwi, and Māori organisations, and provide cultural expertise, advice and support. We are grateful for their knowledge and guidance while developing this work.

Te tīmata i tētahi kaupapa atawhai hou? – Starting a new charity?
This page outlines useful information if you are considering starting a new charity. 

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Te whakahaere i tō rōpū mahi atawhai - Running your charity
This page outlines key information to help you run your charity successfully.

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Ngā whakatauiratanga - Showcase
This page features stories that celebrate the important mahi of marae and other charities with a kaupapa Māori focus.

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Ngā pūrongo ahumoni - Financial reporting
This page outlines key information to help you prepare your performance report or financial statements and annual return.

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Te tono pūtea - Funding
This page outlines funding opportunities for Māori organisations.

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