From the CEO


From the CEO

Recently I met the 20 Ngāi Tahu rangatahi preparing to head off on the trip of a lifetime to Silicon Valley. The room was buzzing with chatter until they all broke into a waiata rendition of Manu Tiria. Meeting these rangatahi took me way back to a similar experience as a 13-year-old. The only difference was that we were preparing to head to Wellington to visit Parliament and our waiata was the Anglican school hymn. Roll forward many decades and our young people are international travelling ambassadors for our iwi.

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From the CEO

So whose responsibility is it to build engagement? Members themselves? Or should Te Rūnanga widen its net? It’s a debate that has been around for a while, as we have our ahi kaa who are religious volunteers protecting and practicing the kaitiakitanga responsibilities of tikanga on the marae, while at the other end of the spectrum we have our whānau who live away, and over the generations some have become further disconnected. The overwhelming feedback from our road shows is that whānau are motivated to be involved, and they are hungry for more information.

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From the CEO

This year Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu celebrates 20 years since the Settlement was signed with the Crown in 1997. At that time our tribal membership registration was around 8500. In comparison, more than 56,000 are registered today. The year ahead will be a walk down memory lane as we set out to celebrate the long pathway leading up to the Settlement through a number of events, to be held in the coming months.

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From the CEO

As I sat down to reflect on this year my initial thought was how quickly time has rushed by – is that a sign of aging, or is it that I have become so fixated on packing so many things into my life that I have created a new norm? Recently, a wise young person said to me that is OK, as long as they are the right things!

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From the CEO

If you are starting a career, midway, or moving towards a change, choose something that brings you happiness. Lost time can never be retrieved, so be courageous, be visionary, and challenge yourself beyond that rigid square.

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From the CEO

Very soon the baby boomers will peak into the third age, and I am pondering on whether our country is ready for this. It is timely that Te Rūnanga starts to look at the role it could play in supporting the health and well-being of our kaumātua.

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From the CEO

Along with global warming or climate change, it goes without saying that communities are becoming more culturally diverse. The world is a small place and people are more mobile than ever before. Some are forced to move due to political and survival needs, while others are free and equipped to make choices at their own will. Over the next 20 years we will see a growth in European, Māori, Asian, and Pacifica ethnicities. As political and iwi leaders, we should ensure our decision-making reflects this.

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From the CEO

As Christmas approaches I am reflecting on being CEO for the past three years. I can truly say that time has not stood still. The recent Hui-ā-Iwi held in Dunedin is a testament to the many activities that Ngāi Tahu whānau are so enthusiastically engaged in. Otepoti was buzzing and alive with whanaungatanga at the heart of our gathering. Whānau from all directions rekindled their connections.

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From the CEO

This month Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu celebrates 17 years since settlement with the Crown. The governance approach over those years was to go hard on asset wealth creation, and today the tribe is financially anchored. The set-up of a new 18-member tribal council came with its teething problems, and like any new group there would be colourful moments along the way.

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From the CEO

Having applauded the innovative way Ngāti Waewae brought tradition to life through the wāhine mau rākau at the opening of Tūhuru Arahura Marae, I was taken aback to hear criticism of wāhine in these roles. I asked myself, “Is this really the 21st century?” as our history clearly shows wāhine took on these roles far earlier than this.

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