Voices for better

We’re wholeheartedly passionate about being a voice for a better world for women, children and animals, as well as other less advantaged New Zealanders. Read on to learn about many of the causes and issues we care deeply about.

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PLEASE PROTECT THE BAN; SIGN HERE & SHARE
PLEASE SIGN and SHARE: THIS IS HUGELY IMPORTANT We are asking you to use your voice to protect the ban on live exports of livestock.We are working with national animal welfare groups, such as SPCA, VAWA, HUHA and others to bring you this petition to protect the ban on the cruel and horrendous practice of live export by sea....and we need you to weigh in too.
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Fashion Sister
Fashion Sister is a Gattung Foundation initiative designed to empower women through access to affordable new and pre-loved designer clothing. Our mission is to democratise fashion so that more women can overcome the barriers to accessing fashion and enjoy an opportunity to look fabulous and feel more confident. Addressing female inequality has always been important to us and this is a way that ‘sisters can support sisters’ in a wonderful and practical way.
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We are awarded the Order of St John Priory Vote of Thanks
The Prior of St John, Her Excellency The Right Honourable Dame Cindy Kiro, GNZM, QSO, DStJ, Governor General of New Zealand has, on the recommendation of the Order of St John Priory Chapter, their senior governance board, recently awarded the Foundation a Priory Vote of Thanks. This is in recognition of the exceptional contribution we have made to the work of Hato Hone St John in New Zealand.
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From Meth to Mentor
We were so inspired when we heard Shannan Hill's story of her road to recovery, and we are so pleased to see it be told in this week's issue of the New Zealand Women's Weekly. The inaugural winner of the Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua Mana Wāhine Award, a collaboration of the The Gattung Foundation, the judges of Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua (Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court) and the Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust t/a Academic Dress Hire Nina Tomaszyk, Shannan is now a drug and alcohol counsellor, after overcoming her own battle with addiction. Pick up a copy of New Zealand Women's Weekly to read more about how Shannan changed her life trajectory and is now giving back to her community through counselling.
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Year in Review 2023: Sarah Munnik
This year marked 130 years of women’s suffrage and as a predominantly female-led business we love seeing other women drive change and be a force for good in NZ. A few of the female leaders inspiring us include:Theresa Gattung, one of NZ’s most successful women in business, our leading feminist and someone who successfully uses her business success to fund her philanthropy, the Gattung Foundation. Theresa has an unashamedly focused lens on empowering women and has dedicated her life to advocating for gender parity. We are proud of our client and we are constantly inspired by her. https://stoppress.co.nz/stoppr...
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Aviation magic for Abi Carter
She’s been saving up for years, sometimes working three jobs at a time – all for a chance to touch the sky! For bright-eyed 20-year-old Abi Carter, she’s always been fascinated by aviation. And now, she's been awarded a Pauwels Flying Scholarship, sponsored by the Gattung Foundation. “My nana actually used to take me to Classic Flyers as a little kid and I always wanted to fly but then life kind of hit and there were bills to pay and helping out my sisters and then I started working full-time,” says the young pilot prodigy. It wasn’t until her co-worker and best friend Kate, who was sitting her commercial pilot licence, encouraged Abi to give flying a go. “[Kate] took me for a flight, which was magic – and I was absolutely hooked. "Then I’ve just been saving for the past couple of years and then started flying this year, and it’s everything.”
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Gattung sisters share a common thread
The Gattung sisters are dipping into their own pockets to support a new women-led initiative that brings back memories of their childhood. Theresa Gattung is well-known as a New Zealand business leader. She was chief executive at Spark when it was Telecom and co-founded meal-kit company My Food Bag. Her younger sister Angela didn’t follow her into the corporate world, instead becoming principal of Inglewood High School and then working abroad as an education consultant. Last year, the sisters launched The Gattung Foundation, wanting to empower others to change their lives. https://businessdesk.co.nz/art...
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The Power of Women - Survival and the Sisterhood
Māori fashion designer Kiri Nathan, Samoan hip-hop artist Ladi6 and Pākehā business entrepreneur Theresa Gattung are from different cultures, different professions and different decades, but they’re drawn together by a common thread. They talk about the power of women with Joanna Wane. When Samoan hip-hop queen Ladi6 found out she’d been gifted $35,000 in this year’s Arts Foundation Laureate Awards, she was immediately suspicious. “I was like, ‘Who are these fancy people giving away all this money,’” she says, with a laugh. “It sounded really dangerous and weird!” Described by the judges as an innovative creator and undisputed trailblazer in a traditionally male-dominated world, Ladi6 (Karoline Fuarose Park-Tamati) was chosen for the Theresa Gattung Female Arts Practitioners Award. That raised a whole lot of questions for her, too. “Everything I do, I try to do with real intention,” explains Ladi6, who was born and raised in Christchurch and founded New Zealand’s first, all-female hip-hop crew. “Who was this person funding this award? So I looked Theresa up.” Gattung, whose parents were 10-pound Poms, blazed a very different trail in another traditionally male-dominated domain: the corporate business world. At the age of 37, she became the first female CEO of an NZX-listed company when she was appointed as chief executive of Telecom. Last year, she and her sister Angela launched the Gattung Foundation, which aims to reduce inequality by lifting the voices of women and Māori and Pasifika communities. She’s also a patron of Co.OfWomen, a community of female entrepreneurs, and that’s how she met Kiri Nathan, who became the first Māori designer to open Kahuria, New Zealand Fashion Week, in August.
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Game Plan AKL - supporting youth
Game Plan AKL is a new fund which will enable select Year 9 students direct access to their chosen sport and recreation activity for the five years they are at high school. Many Auckland families are sacrificing participation in sport and recreation for more immediate priorities, like putting food on the table, paying rent, or staying warm. The Gattung Foundation's support is being targeted to girls attending high school in Papakura. Evidence tells us that cost is one of the greatest barriers to access sport and recreation for young people in Auckland. Game Plan AKL aims to tackle this challenge, so less young people are missing out on the benefits of being involved in physical activity. Aktive is fortunate to have the support of a special group of Ambassadors who are helping to spread the word of Game Plan AKL - Dame Valerie Adams DNZM OLY; Laura McGoldrick; Keven Mealamu MNZM; Deputy Mayor of Auckland Desley Simpson; and Ruben Wiki ONZM.
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The Inaugural Mana Wāhine Award presented to a graduate of Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua
Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua, the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court, was established in Auckland and Waitākere as a pilot in November 2012. In 2019, the then Minister of Justice announced his intention to make the two pilot courts permanent and establish a third court in Waikato. In 2021, Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua ki Kirikiriroa was established at the Hamilton District Court. The AODT Court aims to break the cycle of offending by treating the causes of that offending. It provides an alternative to imprisonment for people whose offending is being driven by alcohol and/or drug substance use disorders. Through a collaboration of the Gattung Foundation, the judges of the court and the Kate Edgar Educational Charitable Trust, an idea was born to establish an award for an outstanding woman graduate of the AODT Court, for her outstanding contribution, using her lived experience and academic studies in the recovery field to give service to others and to the court. It acknowledges her commitment, hard work and role modelling as well as her own transformational change as mana wahine. The recipient exemplifies the aspirations of the AODT Court movement – that with the right support, such change is possible. The inaugural award was presented to Shannon Hill.
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Celebrating our first year
This month marks a special milestone for Gattung Foundation as we celebrate our one-year anniversary. To celebrate, we're proud to share some of the remarkable achievements that have defined our journey to date. None of this would have been possible without the generous support of our charity partners, donors, friends and family. Thank you for supporting us on this journey as we use our skills and resources to make. real. change.
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Fashion Sister, A Pop-Up Clothing Initiative, Is bringing joy To local communities
The unique shopping experience, helmed by Angela and Theresa Gattung, aims to raise money for charities. A pop-up initiative called Fashion Sister, supported by Angela and Theresa Gattung of their namesake Gattung Foundation, is set to hold another celebratory event this weekend. The sisters will open their doors in Newmarket this Saturday, for another caring and community-focused shopping experience. Fashion Sister is a recurring pop-up initiative that aims to raise money for charities, while continually hosting shopping events that create a sense of community and foster moments of joy. The pop-ups also aim to lower some of the barriers to accessing clothes for the groups that take part.
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IYM online platform aims to guide young women into science and technology careers
Astrophysicist Pauline Harris (Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Rakaipaaka and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa) had an interest in science from a young age. “I really loved space and was a Star Trek fan... and that kind of got my curiosity going into science,” she said. Harris received her PhD at Canterbury University and is now an associate professor at Massey University, but she said she has faced barriers as a wahine Māori. “Some of the teachers at school would say that I was stupid and good for nothing... just that racism and that kind of doubt of your ability,” she said. IYM Anytime is targeted at students from year 9 to 12 and will provide free mentoring and career advice through funding from The Gattung Foundation.
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Kate Edger Awards Empowering Through Education
The Kate Edger Education Charitable Trust recently held its annual Awards ceremony. It's the highlight of their year when 100+ women who have received funding from the Kate Edger Trust towards their education are celebrated. Angela was asked to be the guest speaker at this event.
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YES Alumni Awards 2023, Alumna of the Year sponsored by the Gattung Foundation
On 14 September 2023, the achievements of incredible alumni were recognised at the YES Alumni Awards 2023. This year, the new category of Alumna of the Year was introduced through the sponsorship of the Gattung Foundation. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists.
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Young women being inspired by Pave Your Path programme
In partnership with Tupu Toa, the Foundation funded another two Pave Your Path workshops in 2023 to provide 60 Year 13 female tauira a day to hear from Tupu Toa alumni, guest speakers, see corporate offices and think about their futures. The messages all concerned the idea that #WāhineCanDoEverything!
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IYM graduate mentoring programme assisting females into STEMM careers
Through funding from the Gattung Foundation, Innovative Young Minds have in 2023 established their graduate mentoring programme for young wāhine who have taken part in either IYM Online or IYM Residential. 84% of the wāhine who have attended an IYM programme are now either studying or working in the STEMM sector.
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Paid Internship from Niche Media Ltd and the Pouwels Charitable Foundation
The Gattung Foundation is pleased to announce their support for the Scholarship, or Paid internship programme being introduced and managed by Niche Media Ltd and the Pouwels Charitable Foundation and is based in South East Auckland. The objective is to engage candidates from the Māori, Pacific and Asian communities, otherwise known as the CALD communities, (CALD = the Culturally And Linguistically Diverse) communities in Aotearoa. These CALD communities make up over 52% of Auckland’s population and just under 40% of the total NZ Population, (2018 Census). And their points of view and their stories are really vital in providing a balanced view of our diverse society and in developing messaging and marketing that resonates more effectively with Aotearoa’s current populace and our future workforce.
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Kōhine relish STEMM challenge in programme run by Tōnui Collab
Aiming to get more kōhine (young women) from Tairāwhiti interested in a career in technology is the goal of a robotics programme run by Tōnui Collab. Tōnui Collab runs a number of different programmes in Te Tairāwhiti to expose rangatahi to the diversity of STEMM — science, technology, engineering, maths, mātauranga Māori. In the past year about 2500 rangatahi have taken part in Tōnui Collab-led STEMM learning experiences. But director Shanon O’Connor has noticed more boys than girls are taking part in the school-based STEMM programmes.
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Partnership with Mindful Fashion Announced for their Circular Design Award
There’s a collective desire for real, transformative change permeating the local fashion industry, and with circular solutions — innovations and systems that design out or repurpose potential waste — considered the future of fashion and gaining traction, it’s an exciting time. In recent years, we’ve seen local designers (many of whom benefit from the smaller scale and nimble operating common in the New Zealand market) repurposing textiles, incorporating recycling, and eliminating waste. Now, a new award will acknowledge and encourage achievements in circularity. Mindful Fashion, the non-profit industry organisation that advocates to support and improve the fashion sector in Aotearoa, has announced the launch of the Mindful Fashion Circular Design Award, in partnership with the Gattung Foundation.
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Paving the way to a career in Music Therapy
Introducing Sinead Hegarty, the 2023 recipient of the Gattung Foundation sponsored Master of Music Therapy Award in partnership with the Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust and the Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust. Sinead lives in the Hawkes Bay and is in her final year studying for a Master of Music Therapy degree at Victoria University. This scholarship comes with a monetary award of $8,000 and a minimum 750 hour placement with the Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust. Sinead has chosen a highly important topic for her Masters research, based around how music therapy might be used to support community wellbeing during times of high stress and instability. We are thrilled to support Sinead’s journey towards a career in music therapy.
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Forging Futures in our old home town of Rotorua
Did you know that the Gattung girls went to McKillop College in Rotorua? A small, single sex Catholic girls' school raised four amazing wāhine! And now we are giving back to our community by partnering with the First Foundation to provide young women at John Paul College (McKillop and Edmund Rice were amalgamated in the 1980s) scholarships which will forge their futures. Our first student has been named and awarded a scholarship and we hope to enable many more wāhine into the future. Congratulations to Payton Liupuhi!
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New ambulance for Waihī Hato Hone St John
The Waihī area received a new ambulance this week, thanks to a generous donation from the Gattung Foundation. The charitable organisation has assisted a wide range of good causes since it was founded in October 2022, including providing educational scholarships for wāhine Māori, supporting a women’s refuge, and vaccination clinics for dogs. However, donating a new Hato Hone St John ambulance was particularly personal for founders Angela and Theresa Gattung. The Gattung family has close links with the Waihī Beach area. “The donation of this ambulance is our way of giving back to the Waihī community following the support our whānau received during our dad’s illness,” Angela said.
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Kura Māori empowering next generation of engineers in Tairāwhiti
Breaking cycles and empowering the next generation is the kaupapa for Te Kura Kaupapa Māori O Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti on the far East Coast of Tairāwhiti. The area school is paving a way forward for promising engineers through its STEM work, currently engaging over 70 ākonga in robotics – and with national success.  Zoey Henderson leads the kura robotics programme and has witnessed significant strides among students from Years 1 to 13 since the subject was introduced five years ago.   “The children start out in Year 1 and start to develop the skills in terms of coding as they progress,” she explains. “Once they are in their senior school years, they then start to move into construction and get to test their robots out in an arena setting.”  Last year, a cohort of girls from the te reo Māori immersion kura travelled to Wellington to compete in the VEX Robotics National Championships.   “Our focus last year was to develop our girls’ robotics skills as often it is our boys that dominate in this field,” says Zoey.   She says the kura was thankful for sponsorship from The Gattung Foundation – a charitable organisation established in 2022 to help address inequalities for girls and women across Aotearoa.  
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Angela becomes a CanBead Ambassador!
The CanInspire Charitable Trust has been supporting people with illness, trauma and loss since 2010. It serves communities by having CanBead workshops available, inspiring thousands of people.Each workshop has a strong social focus, and participants are encouraged to share ideas and interact together while working on their designs. They are also a wonderful distraction and an excellent way to make new friends in similar situations.
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We need to rethink how to reduce food waste and food insecurity in NZ
With the latest Statistics NZ Food Price Index figures showing the biggest rise in more than 30 years and the demand for support at an all-time high, now is the time to rethink how we reduce food waste and food insecurity across New Zealand. Despite Aotearoa New Zealand producing enough food to feed 40 million, people at home are going hungry. Almost 40% of adults and 19% of children don’t have enough food, and 58% of the lowest-income families can’t access fruit and veggies – trends which show no sign of slowing. Being involved in philanthropy for eight years has enabled me to see just how many people in this country experience food insecurity and go hungry. This is a problem Kiwis have long experienced, but something that has increased significantly post-Covid and continues now with the cost-of-living crisis.
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Movers and Shapers: Angela Gattung and the robotics classes
Angela Gattung calls herself “chief explorer”. With sister Theresa, the entrepreneurs last year launched The Gattung Foundation, a charity focusing on reducing inequality, particularly for women, girls, Māori and Pasifika. Theresa is the well-known former chief of Telecom, and a high profile philanthropist. Angela, the foundation’s executive director, has an education and charity background. Both are committed to equal opportunities.
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Kōhine Robotics Teams Attend the Vex IQ Nationals
A little school in a remote part of the East Coast is making big waves in the world of Vex Robotics.  Earlier this year, the Foundation supported Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kawakawa mai Tawhiti start two girls' robotics teams by providing the putea to purchase resources and travel to competitions.
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Gifts for Calming Relaxation
We were delighted to receive many messages of kindness and support in the days that followed the media of our official launch. One of these was from a woman named Leann Schlepers, who is the owner of a small business called Grown Naturally 4 You, found at grownnaturally4you@gmail.com.
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Wear Kindness Campaign
The Kindness Collective’s Christmas Joy Store is New Zealand’s first social toy store where referred parents and caregivers can choose gifts and treats for their children that they know they’ll love, off the shelves, shopping for free. The Joy Store provides families with the gift of kindness and dignity of choice, which everyone deserves.
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SPCA Inspectorate Vehicle
Animals are dear to the hearts of all three Foundation trustees. Over the years, family pets have included Mickey and Minnie (cats), Ren and Stimpy (cats), Urchin, Palin, Ollie and Archie (cats), Pipi (dog), Heathcliff and Rocky (cats) and Max and Shelby (dogs). So, supporting charity partners that care, protect and prevent cruelty to animals, who shelter, rehome and rehabilitate pets, is one of our priorities. One of these partners is the SPCA. Early in the year, Angela met with the then CEO, Andrea Midgen, and they discussed the most pressing issues being faced by the organisation.
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Towel Drive
On a recent visit to Woven Earth, Angela heard from founder, Kerryn Thrupp, that her greatest need is new towels and this generated the idea of a Towel Drive. Angela connected with her niece, Kayla Gattung, and the idea came to life.
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