Te Rūnanga o Koukourārata Representative
Elizabeth Hera Cunningham
He Kupu Whakatauaki
Ko Elizabeth Cunningham, ahau, he uri ahau nō Roimata Tamihana. Ko te Kuia tēnei nō Ngāti Mutunga ki Wharekauri, nō Taranaki Tūturu, nō Ngāti Toa Rangatira me Ngāti Maniapoto o Pari Waikato hoki.
Ka huri noa ki te taha whakapapa o tōku tipuna ko Teone Taare Tikao, ki tēnei matua nō Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe me Waitaha hoki o Te Waipounamu.
Ka noho ahau i raro i te taumarumaru o tōku mauka ko Te Ahupātiki i te rohe o Puari i te taha o te awa o Koukourarata, i raro hoki i te maru o te Whare Tipuna Wahine a Tūtehuarewa. Nō reira, rātou te huka wairua haere, haere, haere, tātou te huka ora ki a tātou, tēnā koutou katoa.
Elizabeth remembers that back in 1996, her father, William Henry Grennell (Bill), signed Te Kawenata o Ngāi Tahu on behalf of Te Rūnanga o Koukourarata.
Elizabeth was also at the signing and felt fortunate to be part of this significant moment in Ngāi Tahu history. (It must have been an important day as her mother Lorna, made her Dad wear a new jersey she had recently knitted!)
Since then Elizabeth has been a member, a secretary and Chair of the Education Committee for her Rūnanga, as they tried to make a positive difference with the opportunities the deed offered. Elizabeth is now an elected member of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.
Elizabeth’s training as a student nurse in Christchurch led her to pursue a health career in all its aspects; as a clinician, service provider, policy developer and planner. At a local, regional and national level Elizabeth has advocated for the improvement of Māori health, given the unacceptable health statistics for Māori.
- Elizabeth is a member of the Canterbury District Health Board, which has a budget of $1 billion and employs 8,000 staff.
- Elizabeth is also the Chairperson of Kawawhakaruruhau (Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Midwifery for the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute).
- Elizabeth has been a member of the Māori Womens Welfare League since 1978.
- Currently Elizabeth is employed as the Research Manager–Māori for the University of Otago, Christchurch.
- Recently Elizabeth served as an Environment Canterbury councillor and qualified as a Resource Management Commissioner.
- Elizabeth is a Justice of the Peace.
Rūnanga Office Contact Details:
Postal address: PO Box 3187
Phone: (03) 365 3281