Leighton Evans

Leighton Evans, Chief Executive

Leighton Evans, Chief Executive of Rātā Foundation, talks about the importance of developing a shared māramatanga with whānau, hapū and iwi, across Aotearoa.

Rātā Foundation’s Māori Strategy was developed to guide funding decisions to support the aspirations of Māori in our four funding rohe of Waitaha, Te Tau Ihu o te Waka-a-Māui and Wharekauri.

“Rātā knew to really engage with Māori, first we needed to take the time to understand their aspirations and how we as an organisation could build whakawhanaungatanga across our rohe,” he says.

“In gaining an understanding of how to engage with and support Māori, we can ensure that the work we are doing in the Māori community is inclusive and encourages self-determination.”

In forming a strong relationship with Māori, we can better understand and appreciate our connection with Te Ao Māori, Mana Whenua and Whenua, he says.

“Our journey to māramatanga began with us partnering with Ihi Research. They supported the development of our Kaupapa Māori approach to engage and connect with Maori,” he says.

“What we have learnt from this experience, what we have done and what we will do next to enhance the mana of our Māori communities is interwoven with the stories of our region’s whānau, hapū and iwi.”

He says Rātā Foundation is committed to sharing the future with Māori by working alongside whānau, hapū and iwi them to grow their aspirations and help bring them to life.

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