Iwi celebrates first Ngāi Tahu Dame
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai has extended her congratulations to all Ngāi Tahu whānau acknowledged in today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours for their tremendous service to Aotearoa.
“E te māreikura, Taua Aroha, ko koe te maire tū waotoko i te ora i waekanui i tō whānau, i tō hapū, i tō iwi. Nā konei a reo aroha ka taki. Ka rahi te mihi ki ō taumata ko ekea e koe i roto i kā tau maha. Waihoki, ko te kākau tūrakahakoa hoki e whakamānawa ana ki ō tātou whakaihuwaka katoa o Kāi Tahu ko tohua haikaiwhiwhi i roto i te rāraki whakahōnore. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou.
This is a proud day for Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri and the iwi of Ngāi Tahu, as we celebrate the honour bestowed upon our rangatira Aroha Reriti-Crofts. It is incredibly fitting that she has become the first Ngāi Tahu wahine to be made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, given her staunch advocacy for wāhine Māori.
Aroha is well-known, highly-respected and much beloved throughout our Ngāi Tahu community and indeed throughout te ao Māori for her work with the Māori Women’s Welfare League and Māori Women’s Development Inc. She has held numerous representative roles on behalf of her rūnanga and iwi, notably serving as chairperson of Matapopore Charitable Trust where her knowledge and expertise played a crucial role in bringing cultural narratives and design to life in the rebuild of Ōtautahi.
He rā Māori, he rā Kāi Tahu. Aoraki Matatū! Aoraki Matarahi!”
Mrs Tumahai also extended a heartfelt mihi to other Ngāi Tahu recipients honoured today.
“I am very proud to see several iwi members recognised today for their dedication to their communities. Ngāi Tahu historian and cultural expert Muriel Johnstone, environmental leader Peter Ramsden and te reo Māori champion Lynne Harata Te Aika were made Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and Trevor McGlinchey received a Queen’s Service Medal for his work in social welfare at the flaxroot level.
All of the Ngāi Tahu recipients honoured today have made major contributions to the iwi through their leadership as trustees, governors and chairs of various tribal entities that work to strengthen and uplift our whānau members, preserve our traditional knowledge and protect the natural environment. It is truly fantastic and appropriate to see these efforts acknowledged with a prestigious Queen’s Birthday Honour.”