Christine Korako, Chair, Rātā Foundation
Christine Korako, Chair of the Rātā Foundation Board, talks about the organisation’s mahi to develop a strategy to build their understanding of Māori aspirations and proactively engage to build stronger relationships Māori across our four funding rohe - Waitaha, Te Tau Ihu o te Waka-a-Māui and Wharekauri.
With the support of partner Ihi Research, the strategy development had had a deliberate Kaupapa Māori approach with a view to identify priorities and aspirations of Maori rather than working from a deficit based lens.
The Strategy is guiding Rātā on how it should work with and support Māori communities, their whānau hapū and iwi.
“To enable Rātā to work more effectively towards our purpose and move away from being a reactive funder to being a proactive one, we really needed to first understand how to be more strategic in our funding practice, and make meaningful connections with Māori,” Christine says.
“We wanted to understand what the issues and concerns are for Māori, and how Rātā can support those to be mana-enhancing and strengths-based which is consistent with a kaupapa Māori approach.”
She says an essential component of the Māori Strategy is ensuring Rātā Foundation works to be inclusive in our view, not prescriptive.
“An important part of this strategy was to understand Māori aspirations so that we can support them, not only in the immediate future but for future generations of tamariki and mokopuna,” she says.
Rātā is committed to being a culturally responsive organisation, we are working individually and collectively to grow our cultural competency, guided by the leadership of our Māori staff and Komiti.
The kaupapa is one of partnership and self-determination, she says, ensuring Māori can walk alongside Rātā on a journey to māramatanga.
“We have a whakatauki – e pātuki te manawa o te Rātā, he oranga mō te iwi; the heartbeat of the Rātā sustains the people,” she says.
“This is so important in the work we are doing now in our Māori Strategy, and across all that we do at Rātā Foundation.”