Trustee Profile: Tracy Tamou

Posted on 17 April 2019

Trustee Profile: Tracy Tamou

She’s a legend on the kapa haka stage and a long-time Te Matatini participant, but thankfully Tracy Tamou still finds the time to sit on the Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Charitable Trust, where she is an elected member for the Tarakaipa hapū.

We sat down with Tracy for a quick kōrero.


Tell us a little about yourself and your whanau.

Ko Ngāti Tarakaipa te hapū

Ko Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō te iwi

Ko Eruera Hemi toku papa

Ko Te Oranga Nepia toku mama

Ko Tini Kere ko Eruera Hemi oku Matua Tīpuna

I am one of 13 children. Although Dad was from the beautiful South Island, he moved to Rātana Pā to be with Mum and this is where we were all raised within the Rātana faith and the teachings of the founder, Prophet Tahu Potiki Wiremu Rātana.

How long have you been a Trustee?

I was first appointed an alternate trustee in September 2014 and then I became a full trustee member in 2016.   

What have been some of the Trust’s biggest achievements in that time?

Without a doubt, the ongoing cultural revitalisation of our iwi, specifically through the Mana Rangatahi kaupapa.

What are you most proud of?

My whānau, my iwi, and of course my Haahi Te Reanga Morehu o Rātana Kapa Haka rōpū.

It’s great to see you and your whānau each year at the hui-a-tau. How can we encourage more whānau to get involved and come along?

I think we are doing the best we can at this time. Our cultural space is thriving, our pānui are ongoing, we invite whānau to hold hui whereby the board can assist in some areas. We just need to keep on being who we are and do what we are good at - Manaaki Tāngata.

Tell us about your involvement with Te Reanga Morehu o Rātana.

I am a foundation member of this rōpū and a performer, alongside my children, my sisters and nieces and nephews.

And how was Te Matatini this year – what were the highlights?

The highlight for me this year was that I got to actually watch our rōpū for the first time! It was very, very emotional. My sisters and I had a well-deserved break and for me it’s a permanent break. 

What advice would you give to whānau who might be thinking about standing for the Trust at some stage?

Give it a go - it is challenging at times, even scary, but far more rewarding in many ways. If you want to have a say in the future of our iwi this is the platform to do so.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

There have been many times I have sought advice, but this piece stands out to me right now: Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to others - work hard and never give up on what you believe in, stay focused on your path.

Do you have a message for members of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō?

It is an honour and privilege to sit as a board member. Through this I have made many connections to you all and I thank all of you who have made this possible.

Na Ihoa hei Manaaki hei tiaki kia tatou katoa.

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