Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Taranaki, Ngā Rauru
Charisma Rangipunga is the Chief Values Officer at Ngāi Tahu Holdings, and is also an author, composer, mother of three boys, and above all, a passionate advocate for the revitalisation of te reo Māori. Earlier this year she was re-appointed as Deputy Chairperson of Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission), a role that offers her the opportunity to promote te reo Māori as a living language that must be nurtured and embraced. It is her vision for the language to be spoken in households throughout Aotearoa, incorporated into day-to-day communication in a relevant, contemporary way.
What constitutes a good day?
Hearing my boys laugh … like the big roar type, bent over holding their puku, tears rolling down their faces, sore cheeks type of laughing.
One thing you could not live without?
Positive people, positive kaupapa, whānau, and friends happy, healthy and hīkaka – that’s one right?
Who or what inspires you and why?
My mum. Resilience, perseverance, being innovative and creative, getting your hands dirty and working hard, drawing strength from things Māori, giving with no expectations of a return – all gifts I received from my mum.
Highlight in the last year and why?
Rarotonga last year with our whānau – first time for our in-laws overseas, everyone together and kids blown away by all the reo Māori naturally happening in that whenua. Amazing.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Art. I love art, particularly indigenous art, so much so that I no longer have wall space left; and I have art pieces sitting on the floor against the wall.
Favourite way to chill out? Favourite place?
Favourite place is home. Chilling out with board games and whānau at home is the best.
Dance or wallflower?
I am an introvert so … wallflower in crowds I don’t know … dance maniac with friends/whānau in safe spaces.
What food could you not live without?
Ummm, he Māori ahau!!! I will let you work that one out.
What meal do you cook the most?
Three healthy sons, proud in who they are and where they are from, all speakers of te reo Māori. Greatest feeling in the world.
Do you have an aspiration for Ngāi Tahu to achieve by 2025?
Kia ora te reo Māori, kia ora rawa atu nei. He reo ka rangona, he reo ka kōrerohia, ā, ko ia te reo tuatahi i ngā ngutu o ngā uri whakaheke, ko ia hoki te reo tuatahi i ngā ngākau o te tāngata.