From the Chair

Posted on 12 December 2017

From the Chair

Tēnā koutou katoa

With Brendon back on New Zealand soil it’s time for me to hand back the reins and this is my final duty before I head back to the stalls. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be part of the various decision making processes that go on behind the scenes. I have taken on board some wise and wonderful suggestions from whānau on how to ensure our decision making at board level counts and makes a positive and meaningful difference.

I have also enjoyed mingling with the iwi leaders. Travelling has been exhausting but ensuring our Iwi voice is heard has been rewarding. I hope I have represented you with dignity and grace, as many of you will know a bit of Māori, Irish and Scottish blood can be a fiery combination.

I’d like to share some highlights with you of some of the forums and meetings that gave me an insight into the advances, struggles and pure frustrations that Māori in general have faced. I mentioned in the last pānui that I attended a combined Nelson/Tasman Mayor’s meeting with other Iwi leaders. At the invitation of the Tasman mayor, we attended a second meeting. My observation was that there appears to be a genuine endeavour to ensure local Iwi are involved in the decision making process. Iwi are receptive to being included but are cautious too and are driving hard to ensure whatever process is adopted, benefits us all.

I attended a Te Waka a Maui Forum (TwaM), hosted by Ngai Tāhu, held in Te Waipounamu. Full and frank discussions on a wide range of pertinent issues filled the agenda. There appears to be a willingness to compromise to ensure matters are resolved and I suspect there’s mutual respect amongst the Iwi leaders with a lot of good will to find solutions.

I moved from TwaM to the Iwi Leaders Forum hosted in Wellington. There are now 73 registered Iwi that make up this group of Iwi leaders. The big names of Māoridom sit amongst this prestigious group inspiring each other to advance Māori issues with vigour.

Our South Island nine Iwi sat together made some good progress in the water purity, justice, education and health spaces.

On behalf of the Board, I’d like to congratulate our rangatahi who were finalists in their category, at the National Māori Language awards. Kiley Nepia tutors the rangatahi programme and it is a credit to him for getting his charges to such a high standard. Well done to you all.

Finally, I attended the Puaha te Rangi Christmas function last weekend in Kawatiri. My cousin Kylie Batt put her hand up and said she’d organise the event for whanau. Everyone had a great time catching up, sharing a meal and enjoying the activities. I’d like to send my thoughts to my cousin Mahara who broke her leg during the last activity of the day.

May our hearts be filled with love and our intentions always good.

Hinemoa Conner

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