Ngāi Tahu Councillors to join Environment Canterbury

Oct 10, 2022

Ngāi Tahu Environment Canterbury Councillors will bring the voice of mana whenua to the regional council table when making decisions about te ao tūroa (the natural world).

The 10 Waitaha (Canterbury) Papatipu Rūnanga have selected their two councillors to represent them, following the historic passing of the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill in Parliament last August.

They are former Environment Canterbury Councillor and Tumu Taiao Mana Whenua Expert Iaean Cranwell (Kāti Irakehu, Kāti Kurī, Kāti Makō) and former National MP Tutehounuku (Nuk) Korako (Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Ngāti Wheke).

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai says the Iwi warmly welcomes the two councillors to their new roles as kaitiaki of Waitaha.

“We’re proud to finally have our people represented on the Council table with full voting rights, so we can have a formal say on how we manage the whenua and wai Māori (freshwater) of our tīpuna (ancestors) now and into the future,” says Lisa Tumahai.

Te Rōpū Tuia Co-Chair Liz Brown says the two councillors were selected through a robust process, which included seeking applications from all Ngāi Tahu whānau aged 18 and older.

“Mana whenua are confident Iaean and Nuk will be high performing Environment Canterbury Councillors. Both have extensive environmental skills and governance experience and are rangatira (leaders) for our hapū and whānau.”

Liz Brown says the two councillors have a strong understanding of Ngāi Tahu tikanga and connections within the Waitaha Ngāi Tahu community.

Iaean represented Ngāi Tahu on Environment Canterbury as a Councillor from 2016 to 2019 and was one of two Tumu Taiao Mana Whenua Experts on the Council during the last term. He has built strong relationships with his hapū, papatipu rūnanga, communities, and environmental organisations throughout his career. He also has experience as a director, chair, and member on a variety of commercial and charitable organisations.

“It’s exciting and a privilege to continue my mahi on the Council as a voice for mana whenua. We have many challenges ahead, as we navigate implementing Te Mana o te Wai (National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management) and the RMA reforms, but I’m pleased we will be working through these issues as a Council in true Te Tiriti partnership,” says Iaean Cranwell.

Nuk Korako shares whakapapa with all 10 Waitaha Papatipu Rūnanga and has had long involvement with Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke, Ngāi Tūāhuriri, and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Nuk brings extensive governance experience through past and present directorships, chair, and trustee roles on organisations such as Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Ngāi Tahu Holdings, Consilium, the Rod Donald Environmental Trust, Mahaanui Kurataiao, Te Ihutai Ahuwhenua Trust, and the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Co-Governance Establishment Committee. As a former National List MP, he was a member of the Local Government & Environment Parliamentary Select Komiti and was Chair of the Māori Affairs Select Komiti.

“I’m passionate about the mauri of our mahinga kai and wai Māori, but for too long we’ve had to watch the degradation of te taiao without having a formal say,” says Nuk Korako.

“Over the next three years we will demonstrate why Ngāi Tahu Councillors are a positive change for the better. This is an opportunity for mana whenua to finally have our perspectives heard, as we bring our mātauranga to Council and advocate for te ao tūroa.”

Liz Brown says the two Ngāi Tahu Councillors will be the voice of the Iwi and hapū.

“We promise to hold our councillors to account at every hui, ensuring they are advocates for our people, our communities and te taiao.”

The two Ngāi Tahu Environment Canterbury Councillors will be re-selected every three years, coinciding with local body elections.

“Our councillors will add value, bringing their mātauranga and diversity to the Council table, and we look forward to seeing what they can achieve as kaitiaki of Waitaha,” says Liz Brown.




Media contact: [email protected]



  • Environment Canterbury works in partnership with the 10 Ngāi Tahu Papatipu Rūnanga who hold mana whenua within the Environment Canterbury boundary through a collective known as Te Rōpū Tuia.
  • Two Tumu Taiao Mana Whenua Experts provided advice to Council on behalf of mana whenua during the last Council term. The Local Government Act 2002 did not allow the Tumu Taiao to have Councillor decision-making powers to vote at Council meetings.
  • Under The Environment Canterbury (Transitional Governance Arrangements) Act 2016, mana whenua were represented on Council by two appointed Ngāi Tahu Councillors. The Act expired in October 2019.
  • Environment Canterbury and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu put forward a Local Bill which sought to continue mana whenua representation on Council. Unfortunately, the Local Bill did not proceed through Parliament at that time (April 2019).


Nuk Korako – additional background:


  • Independent Director: Consilium Investment Services – Christchurch NZ
  • Managing Director: Te Putake Ltd
  • Director: Rakiura Experiences (Real Journeys & Rakiura Māori Lands Trust)
  • Director: International Inbound Tourism Services Ltd
  • Chair: Rāpaki Sail GP Organising Komiti
  • Chair: Ihutai Ahuwhenua Trust MR900 (Otakaro –– Opawaho Awa Estuary)
  • Founding Trustee: Te Tapuwae o Rakau (Tree Footprints) Trust
  • Trustee Chair: Manuhaea Ahuwhenua Trust
  • Trustee: Whānau Whenua Whare Charitable Trust
  • Trustee: Rakiura – Stewart Island – Māori Lands Trust
  • Trustee: Hope Upstream Charitable Trust (Addressing Youth Suicide)
  • Member NZ Institute of Directors
  • Patron: Cholmondeley Children’s Centre



  • Director and founding Chair: Te Poho o Tamatea Ltd: Rāpaki Charitable Company
  • Director: Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation Board
  • Chair: Rāpaki Marae Development Board (Building the Marae Complex)
  • Chair: Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Appointments Komiti
  • Chair of the National Party Māori Caucus reporting directly to Cabinet and the National Party Board.
  • Member: Board of Mahaanui Kurataiao (Maori Environmental Services)
  • Member: Board of Cholmondeley Children’s Home
  • Member: Mawhera Incorporation Board
  • Member: Waitangi National Trust Board
  • Member: Rāpaki Marae Cultural Komiti
  • Trustee: Rod Donald Environmental Foundation Trust
  • Foundation Trustee: Rāpaki Marae


Iaean Cranwell – additional background:


  • Director: Outward Bound Trust of New Zealand
  • Co-Chair: Te Hau Kōmaru National Waka Houara Charitable Trust
  • Board Chair: Ngā Tama o Ōruapaeroa / Shirley Boys’ High School



  • Environment Canterbury Tumu Taiao Mana Whenua Expert on Council
  • Environment Canterbury Councillor – Ngāi Tahu elected Councillor
  • Director: Ngāi Tahu Seafood
  • Associate Director: Ngāi Tahu Tourism
  • Co-Chair: Te Rōpū Tuia
  • Chair: Te Kaio Trustee Company Ltd
  • Board Chair: Mahaanui Kurataiao Ltd
  • Te Maruata: Māori sub-committee of the National Council of LGNZ.
  • Te Hononga: CCC – Papatipu Rūnanga Committee – Wairewa Rūnanga Representative
  • CWMS Regional Zone Committee: Wairewa Rūnanga and Banks Peninsula Representative
  • Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Alternate Representative for Wairewa Rūnanga