Bluff teen punching to be Antony Welton Fellow for 2023

A $10,000 Fellowship awarded today will help a Bluff teenager fight to achieve his dreams of supporting young Māori and Pasifika in his community.

Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation announced Izaya “Izzy” Simeon as the recipient for the third annual Antony Welton Fellowship.

Izzy, a 19-year-old Motupōhue/Bluff local, aspires to be a boxing coach, and is passionate about supporting Māori and Pasifika young people to achieve their goals.

Southern Queens Boxing offers a “safe and positive environment” for Izzy, and he wanted to give back to the community the same way his coach, Faliu Mauu, does.

“I wish to empower Māori and Pasifika and shape the way they embrace learning and combat hardship while being proud of where they come from.”

A haerenga (journey) to explore his whakapapa is one of the first goals Izzy hopes to achieve, and he plans to shadow his boxing coach to learn the ropes, and eventually train rangatahi to overcome barriers in their lives through boxing.

Mauu says Izzy is someone she can really rely on in the gym and is always there to help out.

“He has made amazing changes in his life in the past 18 months. Izzy is definitely going to be a top-notch coach and I’m honoured to help him achieve that goal.”

The news of receiving the Fellowship has inspired Izzy to get started straight away, attending training this week with a new purpose, he says.

“I am so grateful to be receiving this volume of support! This belief in me has inspired me even further to push towards my goals and I can’t wait to start ticking them off.”

The Antony Welton Fellowship provides one young person each year with $10,000 to awhi (support) them towards their vision for the future. The Fellowship was formed in 2021 when, after 12 years, Antony Welton stepped down from his role as the Chair of One New Zealand Foundation (then the Vodafone NZ Foundation). In honour of his dedicated contributions and commitment to improving outcomes for rangatahi, the Antony Welton Fellowship was established with the support of One New Zealand and CEO Jason Paris who grew up in Invercargill.

The Fellowship is aligned to Te Rourou’s continued investment into the Invercargill Initiative and supporting local rangatahi to thrive.

Antony Welton Fellowship

Creating opportunities for rangatahi in South Invercargill

‘If we can’t take the rangatahi to the opportunities, we’ll bring the opportunities to the rangatahi’ – If there was one way to describe Stacey Materoa’s role at South Alive, this would be it.

Stacey began working as the Rangatahi Project Co-ordinator in January 2023, after South Alive received funding from Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation through its Invercargill Initiative. The purpose of the role was to provide more opportunities for rangatahi in South Invercargill, and over 10 months, those opportunities have been coming in fast.

School holiday programmes, community picnics, rangatahi-led podcasts, and support service satellite events are just some of the ways Stacey helps to enable equitable access for young people in the south.

“We want to be the bridge that connects south Invercargill rangatahi to the rest of the city,” Stacey says.

“Transport is one of the biggest barriers for young people in the south, which means they’re not able to utilise many of the existing support services around the city.  By bringing those services and opportunities here, we’re helping to break those barriers.”

Every project falls under any four focus areas:

  1. Trust & Connection
  2. Spaces & Places
  3. Agency & Empowerment
  4. Exposure & Education

Importantly, the role is continuously shaped by the rangatahi Stacey works with, including a ‘rangatahi events crew’ who help to decide what initiatives are most important to them.

“For me it’s about giving them opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s giving them a say and making sure they’re heard. It’s about showing up for them too; the type of things every young person needs.”

Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation community catalyst Mandy Smith says Stacey has been a huge asset to the Foundation’s Invercargill Initiative.

“The mahi Stacey does directly addresses many of the difficulties raised in our interactions with rangatahi. We know young people in South City are experiencing disproportionate rates of disadvantage and there are clear benefits in supporting a role like this in our community,” Mandy says.

The Rangatahi Engagement Co-ordinator role has already received funding from Te Rourou’s Thriving in Murihiku contestable fund for Stacey to continue her amazing mahi.

Supporting Māori aspirations – Te Ōhaka Tīwhera rolling fund open for applications

Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation is excited to assist our rakatahi Māori panel in reopening Te Ōhaka Tīwhera, a fund designed to support the aspirations of Māori youth throughout Murihiku Southland.

The panel consists of eight rakatahi who have designed the fund and will be making decisions on where the funds should be distributed to best support their peers.

After the previous two rounds, comprising over $240,000 in grants, the panel have adapted the fund to reflect their learnings. Te Ōhaka Tīwhera is now a rolling fund and decisions will be made on a 6-weekly basis over the period of 22 September 2023 to 29 February 2024.

“One change we love is that the rakatahi have decided to start using the Kāi Tahu dialect for the fund, as it better represents their culture in Murihiku,” Te Rourou Community Catalyst Stac Hughes says. “So, we now refer to rakatahi Māori, instead of rangatahi Māori, for example.”

“The panel has also split the funds into different pools, which contribute to the overall goal of creating an equitable community for our young people. This shows how they have taken the fund and made it their own.”

The fund is proudly supported by Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation in partnership with Community Trust South, the Invercargill Licensing Trust Foundation, the Invercargill Licensing Trust, and Clare Foundation, who collectively believe rakatahi Māori are best placed to understand their own needs for support and cultural connection.

The categories of funding are:

Visiting Your Pepeha Fund

Individual grants of $2,000 available to financially support recipients to visit where they whakapapa to. Funds can be used towards travel, accommodation, food, koha, and taking a support person for the journey. Applications are open to rakatahi Māori aged 15-20, residing in Murihiku, who have whakapapa connections outside of the Otago/Southland regions.

Rakatahi-Led: Innovation in Schools

This fund gives rakatahi the chance to create projects, events, or initiatives that connect rakatahi to te ao Māori within their kura (school). The rakatahi said they wanted to see more rakatahi-led initiatives and were excited to offer each of the Invercargill high-schools up to $5,000 to support rakatahi initiatives.

Te Ōhaka Tīwhera – Contestable Fund

For the larger contestable fund, the rakatahi are looking for creative and innovative projects or initiatives that support rakatahi to connect with te ao Māori. This could be through the arts, sport and recreation, education / learning, hui, events or wānaka. They are also looking to support initiatives that encourage the use of tikaka and te reo Māori in the community. Applications of up to $15,000 are welcome.


Applicants for the rakatahi-led and contestable funds will be invited to pitch their project or initiative to the Te Ōhaka Tīwhera decision makers at one of their 6-weekly meetings.

For more information about the fund, including criteria and how to apply, visit Te Ōhaka Tīwhera Fund – Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation


Thriving in Murihiku Fund grants $375,000 in 2023 Round

Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation is proud to support a range of new and existing initiatives as a further $375,000 in grants are made to organisations in Waihōpai (Invercargill) and Motupōhue (Bluff) as part of the Invercargill Initiative.

The following organisations were funded as part of the 2023 round.

  • Murihiku Young Parents Learning Centre is a teen parent unit in Southland. The $15,000 grant will support a series of one-day trips to all Murihiku Marae to build cultural knowledge and connection to culture for students.
  • Lighthouse Southland is a specialist family violence agency providing support and services to the victims/survivors and users of family violence and abuse. The $39,000 grant will continue to support the delivery of an education programme for rangatahi in Murihiku whose behaviours are causing harm to them, or those around them.
  • Insert Coin to Play Charitable Trust work to provide easier access to technology and social opportunities for children, teenagers, and young adults. The $40,000 grant will support the organisation to continue offering their programme to rangatahi in Murihiku.
  • Awarua Whanau Services is a kaupapa Māori whanau service and a subsidiary of Te Rūnaka o Awarua. The $50,000 grant (made up of $40,000 from Thriving in Murihiku and $10,000 from the Bluff Activation Fund) will employ a youth mentor to service rangatahi in Bluff who have limited access to services.
  • Awarua Whanau Services also received a grant of $50,000 by the Bluff panel for a feasibility study exploring the development of a multi-purpose community facility for rangatahi in Motupōhue.
  • YMCA Southland offer a range of youth services and mentoring, and youth development programmes. The $42,000 grant will support the staffing of a fully kitted-out trailer designed to take physical activity into communities that face disadvantage, exclusion, and lack of confidence. the ‘Community Connector’ trailer enables The Y to have a presence in the wider Murihiku community, particularly areas of Invercargill and Bluff with high deprivation levels.
  • Youthline Southland is a local organisation providing support, information, crisis intervention, and referrals for young people. The $46,000 grant will support the employment of a volunteer coordinator to assist the ongoing work of the organisation.
  • South Alive is a community-led development organisation based in South Invercargill, aiming to revitalise the most under-resourced part of Invercargill. The $13,000 grant will support a series of events, workshops, and initiatives for rangatahi in South Invercargill.
  • Southern Queens Boxing provide a safe and open environment for rangatahi and aim to create a healthy path to nurture their determinations, hopes, and strengths. The $30,800 grant will support the organisation to provide access to rangatahi experiencing disadvantage and exclusion.


Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation grants $375,000 to ten initiatives in Murihiku Southland – Media Release

Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation is proud to support a range of new and existing initiatives as a further $375,000 in grants are made to organisations in Waihōpai (Invercargill) and Motupōhue (Bluff) as part of the Invercargill Initiative.

The Thriving in Murihiku contestable fund is focused on providing funding to organisations creating positive outcomes for rangatahi in Murihiku Southland. A portion of this year’s fund was ringfenced for the Bluff Activation Fund to ensure Bluff was well represented in decisions made.


Continuing Te Rourou’s community-led kaupapa, each fund was led by a panel who jointly decided where the funds would go to best support rangatahi in the rohe. The panel was made up of community members, including rangatahi and those working in the youth sector, bringing their lived experiences and knowledge to support decision making.


Te Rourou Community Catalyst Mandy Smith said there had been an overwhelming number of applications for the fund, and while the decision-making process had been difficult for each panel, the right people had been sitting around those tables.


“It was inspiring to see how many people are working toward supporting our young people. It meant a lot of discussion went into making those final decisions, but it really affirmed the notion that locals are the experts in their own communities. We love the initiatives supported by this community,” she said.


One recipient was Number 10 Youth One Stop Shop who provide a range of free health, wellbeing, and support services to young people. The organisation was given $50,000 for an emergency support fund for rangatahi. Number 10 Director Jude Crump said the fund meant the organisation could better support the increasing number of rangatahi who are “falling into gaps between funding”.


“Often a small financial outlay in an emergency or crisis can make the difference between surviving and thriving. We will utilise this money alongside the existing supports we offer to fulfil our vision of ‘healthy, resilient young people’,” she said.


Te Rourou Community Catalyst Stacy Hughes said such initiatives were a great example of innovative funding which would assist Te Rourou in learning what works best for a place-based initiative.


“It was immediately clear to the panel that supporting something like this was essential for disadvantaged rangatahi. Working alongside Number 10 to see the impact of this fund will give a good idea of the real need in the community,” he said.

Lexical Liberation: Demystifying Philanthropy through the Abandonment of Jargon

(Why We Should Talk Like Normal People in Philanthropy)

Shaz Reece, Murihiku Insights, Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation


The language we use in philanthropy is super (duper) important and should be accessible to all, as in, everyone should be able to understand what you’re talking about.

As of last week, I’ve been in the philanthropic world for one year. Before this, I couldn’t have told you much about it. In fact, it was probably a year ago that I typed ‘philanthropy definition’ into Google (you know you’ve done it too). Little did I know that this would be the first of countless sneaky Google searches as I began my journey into the depths of Philanthropic Jargon (words and terms used by a specific profession or group).

As funders, we have been slowly making progress to acknowledge the overwhelming power imbalance held over grant recipients (we hold the funds, we hold the power). We need to keep the momentum going, questioning more than just our funding methods, and ensuring we are interacting with the community in an equitable (fair) and accessible way for all.

My title at Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation is ‘developmental evaluator’…lol, what does that even mean?! Well, turns out it means that I gain insights from our Invercargill Initiative; learn from, reflect on, and adapt the mahi as the initiative unfolds (as opposed to evaluating after the fact). That makes sense to me…now…after a year. But I can tell you how it reads to our community partners and grant recipients: developmental EVALUATOR. Not a term fondly welcomed into any organisation who is constantly having to prove their worth in a world of competitive funding (jumping through hoops to get funded).

The title ‘Person who researches and collects data to make sure we’re doing things good’ paints a better picture of what I do, but I prefer ‘Murihiku Insights’. What’s in a name? Everything.

A while ago, I had some rangatahi ask me to explain the words I was using when interviewing them. In that moment, it became clear that the Philanthropic Jargon brainwash had reached its final stage. I had finally levelled up to Gatekeeper of the Sector, ready to promote an unnecessarily complicated vocabulary to the next generation of philanthropists.

“Why didn’t you just say that in the first place?”

I’ve got no answer to that, but I did gain some insight: Gen Z are coming, and they don’t have time for our nonsense.

At a recent Youth Advisory Group (YAG) retreat, I heard similar frustrations from my fellow youths (see: ‘fellow kids’ meme) working in philanthropy. Our young people are being made to feel out of place because they can’t instantly translate a secret language made up by those looking to protect their privilege – a language which is continuously loaded with increasingly pointless acronyms (or AIMLESS – Acronyms and Initialisms Making Language Extremely Smug and Stupid).

We need to regularly acknowledge philanthropy’s long history as a system steeped in privilege and racial inequity (where minority populations have rarely had a say about their own wellbeing). The people working on the ground are far too busy doing the actual work bettering the lives of those in their communities, they don’t have the time or energy to decipher our cryptic messages.

If we’re giving young people a platform to have their say, if we’re aiming for a fair playing field for everyone; young people learning to give grants, organisations receiving grants, and the people benefitting from those grants, let’s make sure that the invitation is in a language they can understand.

(If you have to follow everything with an explanation in brackets, you’re doing it wrong)



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