Reflection on the Māori Development focus, supported by Te Kāwai Toro

The past 10 years has provided an excellent opportunity for us to reflect and learn on how an 80 year old philanthropic foundation can adapt to significant changes in order to support ngā kaikōkiri.

Ngā kaikōkiri  are the dynamic leaders, advocates, mentors, and change makers who work together with their communities to achive their goals and aspirations.

The following outlines what we’ve learnt:-

  1. A survey of Philanthropic funding to Māori, 2012
  • A minimal percentage was allocated to Māori, based on around 8,000 surveys issued.
  • Data gathering was very low, and if it was gathered, specific ethnicities were not considered.
  • There is a need to encourage data collection.
  • It is vital that ngā kaikōkiri are part of the conversation to identify what, how, and when data is to be collected.
  1. Building strategic relationships
  • Building relationships (both nationally and internationally) resulted in an increased level of learning, sharing of information, and resources developed to support indigenous kaikōkiri.
  • Ngā kaikōkiri themselves should share their journey’s to media, newsletters, videos, and other funders, locally, regionally, and globally.
  1. Collaborative funding model
  • It is vital funders ( Government, Iwi, Philanthropic, and Corporate sectors) work together to support the aspirations of Māori.
  • For ideal partnerships to work –suggestion have been made to work  on a shared values/tikanga platform, and our processesses are mana enhancing.
  • There is value in having a wide network of trusted funders that we feel. comfortable introducing ngā kaikōkiri to.
  1. Our journey
  • Many of our changes to processes have been the result of other organisations sharing their initiatives with us, and of course asking the recipients of our funds for their suggestions.
  1. Annual Hui Kaikōkiri
  • It was hugely beneficial for ngā kaikōkiri to hear each others journeys of success, struggle, and what was learnt.
  • Informal time spent connecting and building relationships to further support their kaupapa – this is where the magic is!
  • We have a chance to learn from ngā kaikōkiri on how we can make necessary changes to enhance our partnerhship with them.
  • This hui provides an opportunity for Te Kāwai Toro/J R McKenzie to mihi/thank them all for assisting us in achieving our vision.
  1. Resource of expertise
  • It is important to speak with ngā kaikōkiri on what, who, and how, a network such as this could be developed.
  • Ngā kaikōkiri should choose who they wish to work with.
  1. A small fund
  • Providing a small grant often led to groundbreaking outcomes.
  1. Feedback from indigenous leaders, nationally and internationally
  • Listen more
  • Include more Māori on Governance and decision making boards
  • Treaty settlements only equate to 3% of what is owed
  • Work from a ‘shared values’ perspective
  • Build your organisations cultural competence, and increase an understanding of Māori communities, history, political realities and the Māori economy
  • Review, redevelop, and simplify the application process
  • When reporting, consider video presentations, and kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) interactions
  • Be bold and fund Māori activists, change makers, and disruptors as these people are on the cutting-edge of change
  • Build long-term relationships with iwi and develop co-funding arrangements
  • Flip the funding model for decision making on its head – hand the resources to trusted Māori intermediaries and community members to make the decisions
  • Co-create systems and processes based on kaupapa Māori values.

Be guided by the 5 R’s:

  • Respect, Relationships, Responsibility, Reciprocity and Redistribution
  1. Responsive Funds to Māori Development Kaikōkiri
  • How absolutely remarkable ngā kaikōkiri are as they:
    • Adhere to the wishes of their communities, and keep checking with them to see if they’re on the right track,
    • Achieve great outcomes with minimal resources,
    • Continue to develop on their original goals, often with no road map,
    • Share what they’ve learnt with other whānau, hapū, iwi, Māori communities regionally, nationally and other iwi taketake (Indigenous Peoples) internationally,
  • Extraordinary outcomes are often achieved beyond what we had funded them for
  • The inherent value in working from a kaupapa Māori perspective, as it exemplifies tikanga Māori e.g. manaakitanga, wairuatanga, kaitiakitanga, rangatiratanga etc.
  • J R McKenzie staff and board achieved a closer partnership with ngā kaikōkiri by slightly adjusting our processes, language, engagement, and thinking to reflect the values of those we support.

We are sincerely grateful to all ngā kaikōkiri we’ve had the pleasure of working with for assisting the J R McKenzie Trust in contributing to our vision of a socially just and inclusive society.