Ngāi Tahu holds AGM and Open Forum

26 November 2011

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Mark Solomon has thanked whānau and staff for their resilience and commitment to each other and the wider community in a difficult year for Te Waipounamu (the South Island).

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has held its Annual General Meeting and Open Forum at the tribe’s post-quake headquarters in Wigram, Christchurch, and at four locations around the country – all connected via a web-link.

Except for fleeting visits to recover taonga, Ngāi Tahu has not been able to re-enter its Hereford St headquarters in Christchurch since the February 22 earthquake. The tribe has now established new premises at the former Wigram airbase, a site being developed by Ngāi Tahu Property.

“I want to thank the staff from across Te Rūnanga Group who carried on maintaining our tribal programmes and businesses in the face of much adversity and additional workload this year,” says Mark Solomon.

“From the Pike River Mine disaster to the numerous earthquakes in Canterbury, our people have been quiet leaders in our community and I am truly in awe of their courage and strength.”

Mark Solomon reminded those attending today’s AGM and hui of the numerous marae, both within the Ngāi Tahu takiwa (tribal area) and throughout Aotearoa who had accepted Canterbury refugees following the major earthquakes. He thanked these communities, iwi throughout the country and all New Zealanders for their generosity to Cantabrians.

“We have been humbled by the support that was so freely given and we want to show our fellow countrymen that their support has helped us to rise up quickly, to begin rebuilding and to bond together stronger than before.”

Mark Solomon also reiterated that the Ngāi Tahu commercial entities led by Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation had done remarkably well in the past 12 months despite the adversities of the year.