Open Collective
Open Collective
December Update
Published on December 21, 2022 by Sarah Grant

Kia ora e te whānau,

There has been lots to celebrate this month including the Ngāi Tahu event and the We Share Solar programme in Taranaki. Read on to find out more and we have learnt this year.

Just to note Kia Kotahi Ako whānau will be 'out of office' from the 23rd December 2022 and back online on the 9th of January 2023.
1. Ngā Kaupapa Whakanui - Celebrating

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tāhu Event

Te Rūnanga o Ngai Tahu held their annual hui-a-iwi (tribal gathering) at the end of November. This is an opportunity for whānau, iwi, and hapū to connect and celebrate Ngāi Tahutanga (Ngāi Tahu culture) and whanaungatanga (connection). This year’s theme was all about revitalisation and we had the honour of showcasing our Solar Suitcases as part of the wider sustainability initiatives. There was great engagement from all ages assembling the solar systems and charging their phones. We are excited to see where this goes next…

We Share Solar Under Way at Te Pihipihinga Kakano Mai i Rangiatea!!

Classes are underway for the We Share Solar programme at Te Pihipihinga Kakano Mai I Rangiatea (TPKMIR) with students from year 7 to 10. This is the first kura kaupapa Maōri (full immersion Māori language school) pilot. They are based in Taranaki and we are looking forward to supporting them in the year as they continue with this kaupapa (project).

Weaving together Edmund Hillary Fellows
Thanks to Steven Moe and Matthew Jackson for capturing these photos.

Kia Kotahi whānau co-led the Fellows events for the Edmund Hillary Fellowship in August and November and the Fellows Climate Action group calls. We explored how we can partner with each other and Aotearoa to solve some of our toughest challenges. Through our intentional weaving of this community we are also identifying areas of policy change to accelerate together. 

Celebrating We Care Solar Sierra Leone award

We would like to congratulate We Care Solar on winning the 2022 Energy Globe National Award for their ‘Light Every Birth Sierra Leone” project. This is fantastic news and super exciting for the team. Click this link to find out  more -

2. Ngā akonga - Learning

We've learned huge amounts in the first 18 months, both as an organisation and personally. Here are a few of our top learnings as we reflect on the year:

Leave space for the magic! We’ve found strategic planning and goals really helped set our direction but leaving space for magic and wisdom has led us towards unexpected impact. For example, we have found it particularly helpful to remember this when signing agreements with new partners so we have specific project goals but keep things open for new opportunities and collaborations.

Follow the energy! When we look for where there is the most energy for action then things will happen fast. Having patience or changing course can be more effective than pushing on when the timing or energy isn’t right.

Open Collective Blog- we’ve also shared some of our learnings about using the Open Collective Platform for fundraising and how to collaborate for impact.

3. Ko Ngā Pātai - Asking

  • Do you want to help us explore designing and manufacturing the solar suitcase here in Aotearoa? We are bringing together a group to advise us next year and would love to hear from you if you are interested.
  • Become a supporter - as you can see, Kia Kotahi Ako has had a great year and there is lots in motion for 2023. We would love to hear from you, or someone you know that is interested in supporting our mahi (work). Additionally, we appreciate financial support. You can contribute once, on a regular basis, or annually via Open Collective, or you can get in touch with Sarah directly to talk about how we might collaborate.
There are lots of exciting things coming up in the new year and we look forward to sharing these with you. We would also like to take the opportunity from all of us at Kia Kotahi Ako to thank you for all the support over the past year and wish you a lovely, stress-free holiday season spent doing the things you love with the people you love.

“Hoki ki ōu koutou kāinga, kia purea koe e ngā hau ō Tāwhirimatea.

Return to your homes to be replenished by the winds of Tāwhirimatea”

Meri Kirihimete, kia pai hoki tō koutou whakanui i te tau hau (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year),

From the Kia Kotahi Ako whānau.