Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Bill


Uncle Charlie
A Man for his People

It is unlikely that you can have a discussion about the Ngāi Tahu Settlement without hearing stories about Charles Crofts (Ngāti Huakai, Ngāi Tūāhuriri), or as most of the iwi know him, Uncle Charlie. As Charlie tells it, it was the “luck of the draw” that he was Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu at the time of settlement. However, as we speak in the home he shares with his wife Meri, eating mousetraps and sipping on tea, it becomes clear that there was more than just luck at play. Charlie is a man who was always going to do great things.

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Walking the talk

Tā Mark Solomon is not the kind of man who speaks at length about himself. He values his privacy and he’s prone to under-playing any suggestion that he’s made a significant contribution to Māoridom, to Ngāi Tahu.
The fact that he was knighted in 2013 in recognition of the work he has done for Ngāi Tahu and for Māoridom is a case in point. His initial reaction was to baulk at the honour, but there were those who told him to “pull his head in,” that it wasn’t just for him, it was for the tribe. He relates how he was told firmly to “get up there to Wellington and receive the honour on behalf of the tribe.”

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