Posted By Barry G
Tā Koha Bunch: Manawa from Ngahere Communities

Our Tā Koha Bunch blog series continues as we sit down with Manawa Udy from Ngahere Communities at their soon-to-be-opened co-working, event and makerspace in the heart of Manukau City, to discuss their crowdfunding campaign.

Manawa’s got a creative spark. The way she thinks. The way that she communicates. The way she looks at the world. She is a reflection of the wealth of creativity tucked under the surface of South Auckland. But the lack of material wealth – money, resources & opportunity – has made her journey as a digital storyteller and entrepreneur, that much harder.

“When Mel & I started  Bob & Bob Creative – our digital storytelling agency – we were pouring in heaps of effort and sweat but obstacles kept cropping up. Sometimes it was money, sometimes it was equipment, sometimes connections, sometimes perceptions.”

Now she wants to change that for other young creatives.

Ngahere Communities’ kaupapa is to cultivate communities that enhance creativity and innovation using collaborative spaces, common values and co-designed programmes. Collaboration and partnership are at the heart of the social enterprise.

The vision for their first community, Ngahere @ Te Haa o Manukau – co-created alongside Auckland Council’s The Southern Initiative, ATEED, GridAKL and Panuku Development – is to transform Manukau by supporting and growing its innovation ecosystem.

“We want to be the pioneers that inspire aspiring Māori and Pasifika entrepreneurs to follow their gut, and not be held back by a lack of opportunity or resources.” According to Manawa they’ve got some exciting longer term plans: “Manukau is only the beginning!”

The Ngahere @ Te Haa space – at the corner of Osterley and Putney – is taking shape. The doors are opening in September to the multipurpose events and makerspace, meeting rooms, and a co-working office space. Now it’s time to fill the space with good people.

Ngahere Communities project campaign is now live. They have three clear aims: 1) plant the seeds of the community by pre-selling their packages for desk spaces, events and memberships, 2) build the community by involving their whanau, friends and the people of Manukau, and 3) raise the funds needed to run the space for the first few months before it becomes self-sustaining.

“Our Maori & Pasifika people are some of the most creative, courageous and entrepreneurial in the world, but so often it’s the negative stats that bring us attention. We want to build a community and provide a physical space to help challenge those stereotypes and create our own story.”

You can read more about Ngahere Communities and pledge to their campaign here!

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