They are soil people doing the work below the ground to cultivate the environment to enable new growth to emerge.

Cain Kerehoma / Co-founder of Tāiki e!

My name is Cain Kerehoma and I represent Tāiki e! Impact House based in Gisborne Tairāwhiti. Tāiki e!was established in late 2019 as an engine room for social and environmental change in Tairāwhiti, providing a collaborative space that brings together a diverse group of entrepreneurs and changemakers who are working towards impactful and purposeful work in our community.

We have worked alongside Jo and Pascale and the Venture Centre team since 2017, initially through Startup Weekend Tairāwhiti and then as part of the development process of establishing Tāiki e! We regularly connect with the team at Venture Centre to draw on their expertise and experience, which has been invaluable in helping us to navigate our way through the initial planning, design and development stages of Tāiki e’s journey. Their generosity of spirit coupled with their technical knowledge around enterprise development, entrepreneurial eco-system building and community development frameworks mean that they are uniquely placed, with a broad set of tools and networks, to empower and support a diverse range of stakeholders and clients. The impact of their work ripples to the far reaches of the country and has certainly been felt here in Tairāwhiti.

They are soil people – while everyone is interested in investing in the plants and trees – they are doing to the work “below ground” to cultivate the environments that enable new growth and potential to emerge. They hold space for others to flourish and nurture the deep networks that underpin the entire eco-system. It is largely unseen and thankless work; incredibly nuanced and not easily replicated; often under-funded or not funded at all. 

Ultimately words on a page couldn’t encapsulate the deep respect and appreciation that we have for Jo and Pascale. Aotearoa is lucky to have these genuine, generous and talented wahine who are fiercely committed to leaving a lasting legacy for future generations. We give our highest endorsement to Venture Centre and the work that they do. We fully support any application for funding or investment that they are seeking – there are few recipients more deserving then the Venture Centre team.

Ka tika ā muri, ka tū rangatira ā mua – when the back is high functioning, the front flourishes.


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