Setting Our Kids Up to Live Their Best Lives

CEO’s Report

This report marks two years since I joined Kootuitui ki Papakura, an incredibly humbling, at times confronting, and always inspirational journey.

During this time, the Kootuitui team has doubled in size, an achievement in some ways marred by the increased need in our community that has driven this growth. The aftermath of the pandemic has left in its wake cost pressures significantly impacting low and no income households. Over recent months, Kootuitui staff and volunteers have reported a notable increase in lower-income and non-working households, single-parent, Māori and Pasifika families reaching out for help with basic human needs such as shelter, warmth and food.

Covid Response Continues

What became apparent very early on was the impact of Covid-19 on the Papakura community. Families that were struggling to make ends meet before Covid-19 found themselves in relatively dire circumstances.

Kootuitui staff and volunteers were at the forefront of responding to this need providing support through our three strands Whaanau, Health & Education.

Papakura is a melting pot of people, culture and community spirit, but we also face some challenges that exacerbated the impact of the pandemic.

In response, Kootuitui has partnered with organisations such as MSD, Kiwi Harvest and Rapid Relief to provide food parcels to our community. Whilst food relief is important in the short term, it does not change the mid to long-term outcomes of that whaanau. Moreover, regular receipt of food parcels can create dependence, impact mana, and reinforce feelings of hopelessness.

In reflecting on the intent of Kootuitui, ‘to provide a hand up instead of a hand out’, this created somewhat of a strategic dilemma. Therefore, during the last year, we have placed renewed emphasis on providing pathways for families to achieve sustainable financial, home and food security.

The Impact of The Pandemic

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Our Whaanau

  • The average daily indoor temperature in the winter for most New Zealand houses is just 16°C. If house temperatures fall below 16°C, the risk of respiratory illness increases.
  • Children growing up in Papakura are three times more likely to live in cold damp mouldy living conditions.
  • Papakura residents are 33% less likely to own their own homes and twice as likely to live in overcrowded conditions.
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Our Health

  • Papakura East is in the highest 1% of Census areas for childhood hospitalisations potentially attributable to
  • Inequitable access to primary care – 46% of school-age children haven’t visited their GP in the last year.
  • Pacifika children are 75 times more likely to contract rheumatic fever – a disease that has been successfully eliminated in most first-world countries.
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Our Education

  • Students in South Auckland are twice as likely to leave school without any qualifications compared to the Auckland/New Zealand average.
  • In the Auckland region, approximately 7% of school leavers graduate with less
    than their NCEA level 1; however, in South Auckland, the figure is 17.6%.
  • After the 2021 lockdown in NCEA, achievement rates for high decile schools remained static or improved conversely, achievement rates in Papakura declined

Kootuitui Initiatives

Kootuitui ki Papakura exists to redress the inequity in our community and improve the immediate, mid and lifelong outcomes of young people growing up in South Auckland.

The future of our community needs to be one where there are no barriers to accessing healthy food and where no one is hungry. We need to encourage and foster a community approach that is strengths-based and help build knowledge, skills, access and connection, empowering whaanau to move from dependance to a place of resilience and security.

I’m very fortunate to be part of a team that shares this vision, a team deeply invested and passionate about the future of their community. I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every member of my team for their commitment and steadfast belief in Kootuitui and the community we serve. To our Trustee’s we are privileged to have such an innovative and experienced Board, so invested in leveraging their experience, knowledge and networks to better the lives of tamariki and their whaanau growing up in Papakura.

To close a whakatauki that reflects our organisation’s intent for the year ahead:

‘He kai kei aku ringa’ – There is food at the end of my hands.

This whakatauki signifies resilience, empowerment and hope. It refers to one’s ability to use the skills and resources they have to create success. It’s about being responsible for the resources and capabilities one needs to grow and develop.

– Abi Bond

Kootuitui ki Papakura Org NZ ceos report

"He whakatauki Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, ēngari taku toa he toa takatini"
"Success is not the work of one but the work of many"

Our Supporters

We benefit from the support of funders, partners and community organisations, and the commitment of the schools’ boards, leaders, teachers and staff.