From the GM
Kia ora e te whānau
I am now proud to say that I have been in my role with the iwi for 12 months! And what a year it has been.
I learned early on that the iwi is lucky to have the calibre of trustees and staff in the office who toil away for you on a daily basis – their dedication and talent makes my role relatively easy. During the past year, we have fare-welled Debra Kiesling who was of great help to me in my early weeks and months and have welcomed Nicola Coburn and Georgia Gapper to the team.
The Hui-a-Tau and Five-Year Plan roadshow last year gave me the opportunity to hear directly from iwi members, which has in turn help frame our strategies, plans and projects.
Of particular note is the significant amount of external funding we have managed to source to fund our Hoe Kia Rite waka tāngata project – it is going to be a great day when our people can join their Ngāti Kuia whanaunga on the water at the Tuia 250 commemorations at Meretoto later in the year. While the project will leave a legacy to future generations of our iwi, perhaps the greater opportunity here lies in the opportunity we and our Kurahaupō relations have to retell our story, as the people of the land when James Cook visited our shores.
Our communications have been a focus for the year, and you will soon see a new more accessible website which we can use as a portal to both communicate with you and receive feedback from you.
The other particularly exciting project for the year is that we have kicked off planning for our first pahi – this has come out of the mahi of the Marae Development Committee and will see us progressing to a Concept Plan for the construction of a facility at Rotoiti/St Arnaud by the end of this financial year.
These things are funded by a combination of our commercial developments and contestable external funding. Our commercial directors continue to work to develop commercial opportunities for us to provide the necessary income for us for today and into the future. It was also pleasing that we managed to finalise the first stage of the Woodbourne base project with Rangitāne o Wairau, Ngāti Kuia and the Marlborough District Council at the end of last year. Hopefully, this will be the first of many such collaborations at a commercial, social and cultural level.
While there remains much to do with you, and on your behalf, these are exciting times and I look forward to reporting on further developments in due course.