Kapiti News

Fund to support mana whenua business open


Applicatio­ns for the 2021/22 Ma¯ori Economic Developmen­t Fund are now welcomed with $65,000 available in the contestabl­e fund.

The fund was establishe­d in 2013 by Ka¯piti Coast District Council and Te Whakaminen­ga o Ka¯piti to assist Ka¯piti wha¯nau, hapu¯, iwi and ma¯ta¯waka develop business or social enterprise.

Previous successful applicants include the Ma¯oriland Film Festival, O¯taki Manuka Growers Ltd and Ka¯piti Island Nature Tours.

Recent recipient Hohepa Thompson knows setting up or growing a business is not easy.

After months of planning and building the Otaki ¯ artist and owner of The Hori Gallery is preparing to open a new studio space and Te Church Cafe´ at O¯ taki Beach this month.

Thompson said he is now looking forward to welcoming the community to the venture.

“It’s going to be space to work and for the community to use, with a tikanga Ma¯ori-led approach.

“Adding the cafe´ is about being able to host people which is a big part of what we do.

“It’s about bringing people into a space to eat and sit, somewhere to bring the kids and see the creative process at the same time.

“We’ll be doing things a bit differentl­y — like on a koha basis for some things — to teach people about culture in a way they might not have seen in a commercial space.”

Thompson said support from the fund has helped in what has been a long and challengin­g journey.

Te Whakaminen­ga o Ka¯piti chairwoman Naomi Solomon said a vibrant Ma¯ ori economy benefited everyone.

“We are fortunate in Ka¯ piti to have a number of establishe­d and burgeoning Ma¯ori businesses which bring not just economic but social, cultural and environmen­tal benefits to the local community and country.

“We are looking forward to seeing some strong applicatio­ns come in.”

Visit www.kapiticoas­t.govt.nz/maori-edgrant for more informatio­n.

Applicatio­ns close February 18.

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