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Pou Herenga Tangata Award

The Pou Herenga Tangata Award is targeted to support rangatahi Māori who are active in, or aspire to, community leadership. It is an annual fund of $25,000 (consisting of five $5,000 awards) that aims to support rangatahi Māori.

Successful recipients will be rangatahi, or organisations, that embody and promote the characteristics invoked by the term Pou Herenga Tangata; a pillar that binds people together, within their community, whānau, hapū or social group. 


About Pou Herenga Tangata

In Te Ao Māori, rangatira are often extolled for their ability to bind people together. In this way, they are likened to a mooring post upon which many waka may tie their lines. Through their steadfast nature and values-driven actions, these pillars bring communities together.

This award recognises the contributions of Norm Dewes to Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust, and to his community. These contributions have taken different forms throughout his close association with the Trust; as a founding Chair, a Trustee, and as a staunch advocate for Māori living the urban experience. 

Matua Norm has, in his many decades of service to his community, embodied this award. The post to which people bind their mooring ropes, providing stability in unity.  



Te Momo: the characteristics  

Successful Pou Herenga Tangata awardees will be rangatahi Māori (ages 16-24) or community organisations who are supported by their community and meet the following criteria:

  • Be either Māori individuals (aged 16-24 years), or a non-government organisation that is recognised as a Tier 4 entity (see here) which is financially solvent;
  • Have demonstrated support from their community to deliver, or currently deliver (or propose to develop) kaupapa Māori initiatives that specifically target and support the development of rangatahi Māori in their communities; and
  • Can demonstrate clear outcomes towards creating “future leaders armed with ancient wisdom”.


Award eligibility

The award’s core purpose is to support rangatahi Māori to deepen their connection and contribution to their community.

For individuals

Applicants are to be Māori individuals between 16 years to 24 years of age residing in Aotearoa who aspire to serve their community.

For organisations

In the case of organisations, programmes identified for support must be co-designed and/or supported by the community and demonstrate clear connectivity towards the Trust’s impact outcome of creating “future leaders armed with ancient wisdom”. 

Applicants that fall under the organisational category must be non-government organisations that are based in Aotearoa (including Marae). They must be recognised as Tier 4 entities (as defined here). An oganisation can also be a collective of Māori individuals who have come together and meet the requirements of this category.  This award is not applicable to government organisations or agencies.




Required documents/information

To apply for this award, fill out the online application form below and supply the following documents:

  • Project/moemoea description providing information on what you or your organisation wishes to achieve with this funding, and the proposed path of achieving these aspirations
  • Names and emails of two referees to provide references
  • A “Cover Video” - A 120 second video outlining
    • Your community, and your commitment to them
    • How you will deliver positive outcomes for rangatahi Māori.

Selection criteria

  • All eligible applications must be received before 17 September 2021
  • A Selection Panel will consider applications on their merit against the purpose of the Pou Herenga Tangata Award and Te Pūtea Whakatupu’s impact outcomes.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be notified and invited to take part in an interview process. Given the nature of the time, this process may be virtual or in person.
  • The successful candidate will be notified by 27 September and announced via Te Pūtea Whakatupu’s website and associated social media channels.


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