Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa has announced a partnership with Te Huinga Tākaro o Aotearoa (Te Huinga Tākaro), a new National Māori Sport Authority, which will see Te Huinga Tākaro receive $1,225 million in investment over two years.
Te Huinga Tākaro has been formed to bring together the collective aspirations of the Māori National Sport Organisations (NSOs) and to increase their capacity and capability to support their membership.
The Te Tiriti-led partnership was formalised, with the signing of a Mana Ōrite agreement at a ceremony in Wellington.
Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa Chief Executive, Raelene Castle, says signing up to a Mana Ōrite agreement with Te Huinga Tākaro indicates a long-term partnership that will enable more culturally distinctive pathways for Māori to engage with.
"Māori NSOs play a vital role in supporting Māori participation, performance and success, and Sport NZ is proud to provide significant investment for the first time.
"We acknowledge what the Māori NSO’s do, and have done, for sport and especially for whānau, hapū, iwi, Māori to uphold te reo, tikanga Māori, and raise participation and performance as Māori."
The investment will support the establishment and sustainability of Te Huinga Tākaro and enable them to be in a strong position to partner with other funders and organisations who share their broader aspiration of advancing Māori wellbeing through sport.
The 12 Māori NSOs that make up Te Huinga Tākaro are Aotearoa Māori Netball, Aotearoa Māori Tennis, Māori Basketball New Zealand, Māori Football New Zealand, Māori Touch New Zealand, New Zealand Māori Golf, New Zealand Māori Hockey, New Zealand Māori Rugby League, Te Tohu Tākaro o Aotearoa, Aotearoa Māori Bowls, Aotearoa Māori Surfing and Aotearoa Tag.
Te Huinga Tākaro Establishment Board member, Carol Ngawati, says this partnership agreement acknowledges three decades, and many hui, working towards Māori Sport Organisations being recognised for their contribution to sport in Aotearoa.
"Most importantly, today, we fondly remember those who passed away, that championed this day, and we acknowledge our Patrons, Dame June Mariu and Sir Tamati and Lady Tilly Reedy for their leadership, their talents, their wisdom and providing a ‘korowai’ of aroha for us all."
The partnership is funded under the Kaupapa Māori Response Plan, which was created in response to COVID-19 and its resulting impacts on Māori.
Sport NZ Toihautū – Principal Advisor Māori, Moana-Lee Raihania, says Sport NZ is excited by the mutual benefits and the value that this partnership with Te Huinga Tākaro will bring to the sector, and to Aotearoa, and more importantly to Māori wellbeing.
"The purpose of the Mana Ōrite agreement is to establish the foundation for how Te Huinga Tākaro and Sport NZ will work together to advance each other’s aspirations.
"This is a ground-breaking relationship for Sport NZ, and as an organisation we are extremely humbled to be able to be working alongside Te Huinga Tākaro to improve participation and wellbeing outcomes for Māori.
"The accomplishments of the Māori National Sport Organisations are remarkable when you factor in the challenges they face. With the exception of one or two, they rely almost entirely on a voluntary work force.
"This day has been a long time coming and we must not forget the shoulders and legacy of those that are still with us today and those who have passed, their struggles and their joy in keeping the kaupapa of Māori sport going for future generations."