Statement from Tania Wati - Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Statement from Tania Wati

Kei ngā taumata ranga wairua, kei ngā wai whakatere taniwha tēnā koutou. Kia mātua ko ngā mihi ki ngā mate kua nehua ki ō tātou wāhi tapu, ki ō tātou ūkaipō, haere atu rā. E ngā uruuru tapu, e ngā pātaka whakairinga kōrero, e ngā muka tāngata kei te whakamānawa.

Who am I?

Ko Tania taku ingoa, I am the grateful product of three pā, Tuahiwi, Kaikōura and Whakarewarewa. Rangi and I have two adult sons, Nikora and Miharo, whom we are very proud. I have worked around the country and enjoy maintaining my connections with the many whānau I have been fortunate enough to have met along the way.

What is my reason for standing?

Our tribe has a long memory and our Treaty Partner, the government, does not. A lot of time and attention is required to constantly remind the Crown about the commitments they made and to hold them to account. I would prefer that we focus on creating a ‘tribal nation.’ A tribal nation to me is when we build economies and systems where we back ourselves. That is, where we consciously buy from one another, we make decisions and form relationships to help lift each other up, where the iwi brand is used to help all our whānau succeed and progress their aspirations. I am also interested in distributed leadership and the strengths that I can offer as the Deputy Kaiwhakahaere, how this can contribute to our thinking and activities as an iwi. I am interested in kaupapa that create real change for whānau.

What is my leadership style/approach?

My aunties have helped shape the type of leader I am today. From the kitchen and pā office, to the various board roles I now hold. Their coaching has enabled me to become the CEO of Mahaanui Kurataiao, Chair of my rūnanga and now Executive Director of Whitiora. Servant leadership is about listening to whānau and supporting their aspirations. My approach to problem-solving and solution-finding is to be practical and connected to those we seek to serve. I am comfortable in most settings and can often find solutions even through complexity.

Personal / leadership attributes?

  • Managing time and expectations
  • Keeping myself and those around me accountable
  • Politically astute
  • Wide network in both the North and South Islands
  • Outcome focussed
  • The ability to lead from the back to the front