Tū Tama Wahine o Taranaki: 2020 Award for Community Programme of the Year Tangata Whenua

The 2020 ACE Aotearoa Annual Award for Community Programme of the year Tangata Whenua has been awarded to Tū Tama Wahine o Taranaki.

Tū Tama Wahine o Taranaki (TTW) is a Kaupapa Māori, Common Good organisation. Its origins date back to Parihaka in 1881 when clear instructions were given to the women who remained to continue the work of their tupuna taking on the responsibilities of upholding tikanga Māori o Taranaki, and maintaining the care and wellbeing of whānau.

Empowering whānau, hapū and iwi is the basis for the organisation’s work. Each year the organisation works with about 800 whānau – across all age brackets to support the long-term development of both individuals and whānau.

Tū Tama Wahine o Taranaki encourages whānau to see themselves as nations waiting to discover themselves and individuals within whānau to see themselves as activists who are at various stages of development – awaiting an opportunity to create wealth culturally, artistically, socially, and economically.

Whānau learn how to recognise leaders, plan and develop ideas.They are encouraged to demonstrate generosity of spirit in action, preparedness to advocate, and to share responsibility and resources during times of stress and hardship. They are also encouraged to be more considered and deliberate in tracking their whakapapa and whānau history, to plan and ensure tamariki and mokopuna are not directionless and without guidance into the future.

Their most recent programme is a Masterclass for Active Citizenship, Tū Tangata Whenua - How Communities Awaken. Several hundred people have participantated in the Masterclass which uses processes based on tikanga Māori and wānanga as well as community-led adult education practices. This social innovation is having an impact on civic engagement, on race relations, and on its wider strategies of adult education for the common good.