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Mō ēnei whārangi - About these pages
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.
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.
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)
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)
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.