From the Chair

Posted on 09 April 2021

From the Chair

Leading up to the Easter holidays earlier this month, the fairness of public holidays was in the media spotlight. In particular, the specific dates or days the holidays fall on and how this impacts on workers. It seems this is affecting our Māori workforce given our representation in the hospitality industry in particular. I’m interested in following this up as I’m concerned this also impacts on iwi members. I’d like to hear from you if this is your circumstance.

I continue to take part in the Nelson City Council Iwi-Council Partnership Group. This group is made up of councillors and the eight iwi chairs of Te Tauihu along with advisors and staff from each entity. We are currently discussing a Partnering and Engagement Agreement (2020); Increasing Māori representation in Council; Maori Wards; and receiving updates on Three Waters (future Local Governments and Planning Reform). Cementing these relationships are beneficial to iwi and allow us to be at the forefront of discussions with local government as opposed to the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

The Board, in conjunction with management, have been concentrating on ensuring we follow deed compliant policies. To this end, at its March meeting, we approved a new Whakapapa Registration Policy and Tīpuna Guide, which draws on the work that was undertaken by the late Mahara Gilsenan. This has been a huge body of work and has involved countless hours of research. It means we can operate a more streamlined application system and give the Validation sub-Committee confidence in the validation process that accompanies each and every application. Thanks to the Validation sub-Committee for their efforts in this large piece of work and also to Mark Moses for his invaluable contribution and for helping bring it all together. Keep your eye out for further pānui on this work.

Our Taiao advisor, Dr Jennifer Skilton, has been busy in the short time she has been with us. She has been in discussions with the Buller District Council looking at joint iwi/council opportunities and has also provided the board with valuable briefing papers on matters which will add to our strategic thinking on matters relevant within our rohe.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Brian Steele for his contribution to Ngāti Apa Investments Limited (NAIL) and Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Assets Holding Company Limited (NAAHC). Brian has served on both these boards from the start and we have benefited greatly from his expertise. On behalf of the Iwi, I’d like to wish Brian and his whānau all the very best for the future.

NAIL chairperson Gerrard Wilson and I interviewed for a replacement director earlier this month and we are pleased to welcome Andrew Murray to the role following Board approval at our last hui. Andrew is well respected in his field and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role.

Finally, look out for a key initiative from our Cultural Advisor Kiley Nepia, Te Kaiaotanga o te Reo, a Māori language symposium that we are jointly hosting with Rangitāne o Wairau in Blenheim in May.

There are some exciting events happening over this month, to those of you who have committed to some of the opportunites, thank you.

Until next time, stay in touch with your whānau and try to learn at least one new kupu a day.


Ngā mihi

Hinemoa Conner

Chairperson, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Trusts

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