From the Chair

Posted on 25 October 2018

From the Chair

Kia ora e te whānau

We are currently working on the times, dates and locations for our upcoming roadshows focusing on our Draft Five-Year Plan and will advise as soon as they are finalised. We are hoping to touch base with as many iwi members as possible – your feedback on the plan is invaluable. We’ll send more information our separately when booking have been confirmed.

Meanwhile, Simon and I have started the process of engaging with the principals of the schools of which we are now the land owners and have received a very positive response so far. We have discussed the possibility of a cultural component with them, e.g. a mauri stone, which has been well received. Some are keen for us to assist them in their cultural journey by assisting them, for example, with appropriate te reo Māori names for classrooms. 

We are continuing to work with the three councils across Te Tauihu  -  the Marlborough District Council, the Nelson City Council and the Tasman District Council  -  to form relationship agreements. With eight iwi and three councils this is proving more difficult than some might think. The more desirable option of Māori Wards has been defeated when referendums have been undertaken in the past during council elections. One area though which is gaining traction is an application to the Provincial Growth Fund from the three councils, with support from iwi, to access funding to develop a Provincial Growth Strategy. If created, this could provide significant opportunities for iwi for future investment and possible employment.

I was invited recently, to attend a celebration to mark Conservation Week for Nelson/Tasman, hosted by the Department of Conservation. It was great to learn about the large number of initiatives that interest groups, schools, community groups and other organisations, have taken on around Nelson/Tasman. Several of them showcased their activities as part of the event.

I met also with the Brook Sanctuary Chairman and CEO, along with other iwi. We were given an update on their terrific work and they will soon be at the point of introducing further bird species to the sanctuary. They discussed with us protocols and logistics around the relocation of kiwi from Okarito (South Westland), kākāriki (from Hurunui), tieke (South Island Saddleback, from Motuara Island) and other species from other locations, to the sanctuary, over the next 12 months or so.  Very promising work indeed.

If you fly through Nelson in future, you will have the pleasure of transiting through a new airport terminal. The dawn blessing and opening of the new terminal complex was held recently. This is an amazing facility, constructed largely from laminated veneer lumber, produced at Nelson Pine Industries in Richmond. Of particular note was a (quite large) mauri stone in pakohe, commissioned by Ngāti Kuia, which is the first thing passengers will see as they enter the terminal from the tarmac.

Until next month …

Ngā mihi

Brendon Wilson

Chairman, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Trusts

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