Te Pātaka - Ngā Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust

The Innovation: Establishing a satellite office in Queenstown Wakatipu

This video is the story of Ngā Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust’s journey to establishing a satellite office in Queenstown Wakatipu. It covers establishment of the office, the development of services, and the ongoing challenge of finding new contractual opportunities post the Innovation investment.

Ngā Kete Matauranga – Wero of the Wakatipu

[Tracey Wright-Tawha, CEO – Ngā Kete Matauranga] Everything was on the table top, so we weren’t threatening or coming in with the view that we were going to stamp our foot or take over.  It was more about saying “How can we add value to this community?  How can we help give people service options?  How can we help minimise the gaps in service that currently exist.”

[Deirdre Kokich, Wakatipu Manager – Ngā Kete Matauranga] Six per cent of Wakatipu community are Māori.  ??... Māori work hard in the Wakatipu community.  They’re often… ?? all the things that help drive Queenstown with its strong tourism focus.

[Tracey Wright-Tawha] Wakatipu never had any kaupapa Māori service provision in the area, though it is a particular area of significance to Ngāi Tahu.  We are a Ngāi Tahu kaupapa Maori service.  We are mandated by Oraka Aparima Rūnaka, and their tribal footsteps go up into the lakes of Tahuna, Queenstown. 

And we were very fortunate to be approved the Māori Innovation Fund, a sort of a seedling fund for a three-year period.  That was to help build our capacity there.  And you know we did that really, really well.  And we were interested in what the needs of Queenstown were.  So many years ago, we started going up just to test the water. 

So we started running Mummies Parenting programmes.  We brought in a worker to do Māori cultural identity building / whānau resilience sort of capacity building work, which was really great.  So there were a number of programmes around te reo Māori; the practice of rongoā, by looking at plants and natural practices – doing Māori things with Māori whānau that they valued that is a part of who we are and our identity.

There was actually a bit of an infrastructure that we had to, not break into, but an infrastructure where there was a weariness among outside agencies coming in who historically had come in, delivered a service and then exited out.  So we took significant time developing relationships over a number of years.

[Karen Goffe, Inaugural Wakatipu Manager – Ngā Kete Matauranga]

So we had the community coming on board, and then we had the other agencies and providers coming on board.  And then I was quite amazed that in a short time the other agencies were looking to us and coming to us.

[Deirdre Kokich] So I think the way that we did business was very appealing to Māori in the local community.  The services were offered in a way that suited them.

[Karen Goffe] It’s the journey that, you know, we’re prepared when we sign up with the whānau – it’s the journey that they want to take.  It can be two weeks, six weeks, six months, two years.

[Tracey Wright-Tawha] So the community knew that if you came to Ngā Kete, you got great one-on-one alcohol and other drug treatment service provision.  You got a great mobile nursing service, you could come for clinics or the nurse would come to you.

[Karen Goffe] For us, it came to the point where they trusted us and we felt like we were finally being accepted as part of the community.                                                                                                                                                                                               

[Rippling throughout the Community]

[Uncredited quotes from clients]

“In Queenstown we’ve got nothing for us.”

“Just need to get involved.  It’s not just health and fitness.  It’s just the whole whakawhanaungatanga.”

“I really felt like I needed a support because I was doing it on my own, with no support.  And it’s been good because it’s encouraged me.  I’ve joined the gym.  I would never have joined the gym if it weren’t for joining Wahine Ora. I would have been too embarrassed or too shy.  It helped me mentally.”

[Luke Leaf, Local Artist] The calendar – a while ago I supplied some carvings for the photos.  So that was some good exposure for me as an artist, getting my work out there.  They made the calendar.  They printed off heaps of them, they were all free.  That’s pretty good advertising.

[Uncredited quotes] And creating some new friendships I guess, with younger, older and just all coming together and supporting each other.

Getting healthy – body, mind and soul, the whole thing.  Getting the right skills.  Meeting the right people to help motivate me, and for me to help motivate them.  So that’s been fun.

An allotment over the road there – a community garden for all of us women to get involved in and put some veges and things in the ground.  I think that’s gonna be our new mission over the summer.  Start growing our own veges and distributing it out to the whānau here.

My thing, what I’ve been trying to do for Wahine Ora, is to get a lot of wahine up to the maunga and snowboarding.  And so a lot of them have been here for years and years and never been up to Coronet or the Remarks, so I’ve been encouraging the girls to go snowboarding and yeah – we’ve been doing really well.

[Quest for Credibility]

[Tracey Wright-Tawha] With the investment of the Māori Innovation Investment Fund, we had an external evaluator walking our journey with us.  That was fantastic and I recommend that practice.  What that evaluation showed is that the quality of our service was tino pai – it was excellent.  It showed that we were developing a client base and it was increasing over time; that we had a high percentage of Māori; that we were a service that could meet the community’s needs – that was really, really great.  And the evaluation showed that our processes, our systems, our accountability, our compliance was great / fantastic, and that this service should be continued.

[Karen Goffe] We actually had our own office space – was a big movement for us, to do that. 

[Tracey Wright-Tawha] It was a community gathering place.  So the after-school group would come and do their photography there.  We’d have the rural women’s group come and run a meeting there.  We’d have the Mummies Playgroup come and bring their babies and then talk to the nurse about teething or breastfeeding or nutrition needs for their whānau. 

We invited the community to come on board with us and form an advisory committee.  So we were always getting the local community guiding us, giving us their thoughts and opinions and suggesting what they would like to be seeing next.

[Deirdre Kokich] If we wanted to check anything out, in terms of how well we were doing or where we needed to go next or what we could do differently – checking in with them was a very good way to do that. 

[Innovating and Industrious]

[Tracey Wright-Tawha] So we started picking up new work to do health clinics in sort of more outreach areas in the Wakatipu region.  Glenorchy, for example, where we do a fortnightly clinic.

[Deirdre Kokich] That was a beautiful experience and still is.  We met with the reference group in Glenorchy around that clinic.

[Tracey Wright-Tawha] Agencies, you know, businesses would say “Could you come in and work with our workers?”  Now Queenstown is a tourist / hospitality industry, and so not a lot of 9-to-5 work.  The request was being made “Could you do a 6-to-8pm shift?”  So it meant that we had to be quite flexible and dynamic in our approach.  It meant that we had to work with our staff to keep them safe.                                                                                      

[The Wero of Sustainability]

[Deirdre Kokich] I think maybe some funders particularly think, they look at Wakatipu and Lakes and go “Oh, 6% of the population is Māori.  That’s not a strong priority compared to maybe a city that has 14% Māori or whatever.”

[Tracey Wright-Tawha] It’s always reliant on ongoing investment.  It’s the world that we’re in.  Unfortunately post-Māori Innovation, we could not secure the same level of contracting to sustain the current operation that we’ve had there.

So, you know, that’s difficult.  It’s challenging, but it’s also a reality.  And so what we’ve had to do is just reconfigure, review, and restructure our operation there.  Though that’s disappointing, but there’s a view that the world keeps moving.  We have to be vigilant and ever watching the horizon for new opportunities that will add value back to the work that we’re doing there.  But ongoing investment after a pilot is essential.


About Ngā Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust

Ngā Kete Matauranga Pounamu is a mana whenua mandated kaupapa Māori provider employing 40 staff. The agency was founded in September 2000 by the current CEO, Tracey Wright-Tawha, and extends across a range of health and social services, for example, nursing, addictions, rongoa, smoking cessation, disability, and taitamariki services.


Ngā Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust
92 Spey Street

P O Box 1749

Phone: (03) 214 5260
Free phone: 0800 925 242
Fax: (03) 214 5262
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.kaitahu.maori.nz

Disclaimer: This page and the innovation it accompanies do not represent the views of the Ministry of Health. The views represented are those of Ngā Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust and the innovation piloted.

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