12 Sep 2013

2degrees and iwi launch community fund

6:56 am on 12 September 2013

Ngati Porou has agreed a deal with mobile phone company 2degrees to set up a community fund fuelled by a cut of iwi members' monthly spend with the network.

Te Runanga Nui o Ngati Porou signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the company on Thursday last week, before opening a new mobile store in Gisborne.

Under the partnership, 2degrees will upgrade the technology and connect the tribe's organisations, including Ngati Porou Hauora, Ngati Porou Fisheries, Pakihiroa Farms and the East Coast Rugby Union.

Acting chief executive of the runanga Allan Jensen says 5% of their monthly contract spend will be donated back into a Community Development Fund.

The scheme will also apply to iwi members and others who have contracts with 2degrees and want to associate themselves with the runanga.

However, it does not apply to pre-paid arrangements.

Mr Jensen says the fund, to be governed by the runanga, will go towards supporting marae and whanau, with a particular focus on rangatahi, young people.

He says the last census showed 100,000 people registering as Ngati Porou, making it the second largest iwi in the country, next to Northland's Ngapuhi.

He says 5% of those members are with 2degrees, so the possibility of the fund reaching a six-figure sum is very real.

Iwi members or associates, which includes anyone, can sign up to the fund through 2degrees once the initiative is launched on 12 October.