I AM Mark Solomon
te ira tangata
Ka kitea ngā pae hohono o te ngākau
I am Mark Solomon. I was born and raised in Christchurch and live there with my wife Maria, our children and extended whānau. Though Christchurch is where I live, it is Kaikōura, a small fishing village two hours’ drive north of the city that is my ancestral home. My Ngāti Kurī ancestors settled there and many of my whānau still keep the home fires burning.
Our whakapapa is woven into the Kaikōura landscape and spans more than 15 generations from our ancestor Marukaitatea. The footprints of my tīpuna are on and of this land. It is my hope that the footprints I leave today will help guide my children, my grandchildren and the generations to follow.
I often think of my Uncle Bill Solomon when I return to Kaikōura for it was his foresight and resolve that our magnificent Takahanga Marae was built. Uncle Bill was a quiet and humble man. He was a kaitiaki, who believed in and stood for our people and our environment. His memory and legacy continues to have a profound effect on my life today. Te Rūnanga represents the dreams and aspirations of almost 50,000 registered tribal members living here and overseas and as Kaiwhakahaere I am proud to carry on his work.
My dream for our people is simple: to be culturally strong, healthy and happy. Achieving this dream is complex, but we are a tenacious people. We have a long and proven history of being able to adapt and innovate, and we continue these traditions today guided by a set of values handed down by our ancestors.
Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei – for us and our children after us is the vision that guides us as we invest our time and collective resources in initiatives that will create opportunities to enhance the intergenerational wellbeing of Ngāi Tahu Whānui and grow our communities into the future.
I welcome you and invite you to learn more about Ngāi Tahu, my people, our place and our on-going story.
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou tēnā tātou katoa.
Tā Mark Solomon