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Mana-ā-Riki: The first three years

Since joining the Middlemore Foundation as CEO in 2018, I have been lucky enough to

witness firsthand the positive impact of our Mana-ā-riki programme on our local


Mana-ā-riki was born in 2016, in response to a growing concern about the increasing

number of children being admitted to hospital with preventable diseases such as rheumatic

fever, skin and respiratory infections. Of course, health is only part of a bigger, disturbing

picture where children in our poorer communities suffer long term disadvantages in many

aspects of their lives. If children are to fulfil their potential, they need to start from a

position of strength, healthy and well, absorbing a world class education in a nurturing


The kaupapa of Mana-ā-riki puts the child at the very centre of the programme and aims to

improve life-long outcomes for our tamariki. A holistic, integrated approach tackles issues in

health, education and homes simultaneously and allows us to reach out to families and the

local community. Ground-breaking initiatives that run across these three strands have

generated real change and had a real impact on so many of those involved.

There have been some notable successes over the past three years. I am particularly proud

of the reduction in preventable illnesses in schools. Daily clinics have provided free

accessible healthcare for families, allowing nurses and kaiārahi to catch issues early and

stop them from becoming serious. Students in Mana-ā-riki schools have shown some

remarkable successes in Writing and student engagement, taking these lifelong skills into

high school and hopefully beyond. Our Home initiative, which was largely designed and

implemented by volunteers in the community, has delivered low cost, practical support to

help create warmer, healthier homes.

I would like to personally thank our lead funding partner Westpac, our portfolio of key

funders, the Board members of the Middlemore Foundation, and of course the very many

individuals within the local community who have contributed to the success of the

programme. We have been priviledged to work with our lead service partners, Kootuitui ki

Papakura, as well as Manaiakalani, Counties Manukau Health, National Huaora Coalition and

The Southern Initiative. Without your collective energy, enthusiasm, skills, commitment

and financial support we would not have achieved all that we have.

Looking forward, I am excited to incorporate the lessons we have learnt into our future

plans to evolve place-based whānau-driven iterations of this programme into communities

in need across our region.

I hope that we can continue to make small changes that have a powerful impact in our

poorer communities, changing the odds and securing a better future for our tamariki and

for Aotearoa.

Sandra Geange


Middlemore Foundation

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