The Methodist Pūtea Grant is now open for applications to projects being undertaken by Kāi Tahu rūnaka and whānau with a focus on religion, heritage and culture.

Historical background
The Methodist Pūtea Grant came into effect as a result of the historical and significant relationship that exists between Kāi Tahu whānau and the Methodist Church of New Zealand (MCNZ). This is especially so at Ōtākou, when in the 1990s the MCNZ returned ownership of the Ōtākou Memorial Church to Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou (TRO) and also made a koha of $210,000 arising from the proceeds of the sale of property at Kawarau Falls.

This capital asset is protected and income generated from investment is administered by the Methodist Pūtea Kōmiti (MPK) and applied to grants benefiting Kāi Tahu rūnaka and whānau.

The Methodist Pūtea kōmiti
The kōmiti is currently made up of both Ōtākou and Puketeraki rūnaka and a member of MCNZ. The MPK has the discretionary right of TRO to make final decisions on merit and reports to the AGM of TRO.

The MPK meets each April to administer the grants process. All applicants are informed that their application has been received and are notified of the outcome. Grant payments are made by 30 June of the same year. An unsuccessful applicant may reapply in the future when an appropriate category is offered.

The MPK began in 2004 and to date has granted a total amount of $54,700.00.
Last year, the MPK received one application and was pleased to grant Te Rūnanga o Moeraki the full amount they requested for the purpose of erecting wooden signs, identifying the urupā names and hapū affiliations of the six urupā on the Moeraki Peninsula.

There is only one funding round per year and while there is five categories that are focused on religion, heritage and culture the kōmiti may offer two categories each year on a rotating basis, and may only identify two successful applicants in any year.

Invitation to apply
This year there is one category under which applications can be made, Category 4 which reads: To provide financial assistance to support the cultural needs of the iwi. The nature and extent of those needs to be identified through research and the funding applied to specific initiatives.

Who can apply
Ngāi Tāhu Rūnanga (Kāi Tahu Rūnaka) located south of the Waitaki: Te Rūnanga o Moeraki, Kāti Huirapa Rūnanga ki Puketeraki, Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou Inc, Hokonui Rūnaka Inc, Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc, Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka, Awarua Rūnanga.

Individual applications shall be considered from Kāi Tahu members affiliated with any of the above rūnanga and they must be endorsed in writing by their rūnanga

Applications close 12 noon Tuesday 9 June 2015. To receive an application form please contact the Ōtākou Rūnanga office on 03 478 0352.

Applications should be addressed to Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou, 45 Tamatea Road, Ōtākou Peninsula, Dunedin 9077, or emailed to the administrator, Nic Hedley at [email protected] Att: Methodist Pūtea Kōmiti.

We look forward to receiving your applications. Nō reira, nāhaku noa, nā Rachel Wesley, manager.