On Thursday 23 May the new Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated Board (NKII) met for the first time. New Board members were welcomed onto Waipatu Marae where the meeting was held.
On the manuhiri or visitors side we had Heretaunga Taiwhenua Te Haaro Board Chairman Mike Paku, attending as the new alternate in support of the new Heretaunga representative on the NKII Board – Waiora Rogers, who was part of the welcoming ladies on the paepae calling Mike on with the other visitors. Mike shared the Te Haaro Boards support of Waiora in his mihi. During the meeting, Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana assigned portfolios to Board members. Waiora will take on the Te Ara Toiora – Health and Wellbeing or Hauora portfolio. Her discipline and health and wellbeing background will be an asset to this kaupapa for the iwi.
Former Kahungunu ki Wairarapa representative on the NKII Board, Nelson Rangi was present in support of Melissa Ihaka, one of our brand new Board members from Wairarapa. She’s young, she’s brave and she’s been given the responsibility to take on the Rangatahi portfolio for the iwi Board. Nelson was happy to come along and show her the ropes. Melissa has a lot to learn, but she will be a great contributor now and in the future as she wraps her head around her new role.
Wairoa Taiwhenua Chairman and brand new Board member Nigel How, was present with alternate Naomi Wilson. Naomi is a former NKII staff member and is no stranger to NKII. The two are a dynamic team. Young, fresh, vibrant and keen to be involved with iwi business. In their introductions, the two made it clear that they are here for the whānau of Te Wairoa. Today it was good to see their team work. Nigel is a talented weaver and is a curator at the Wairoa Museum. His portfolio will include Environment and Natural Resources.
Former Board member Bill Hamilton came to support his brother Brian Ruawai-Hamilton who is representing the Taurahere members from the Southern District. Brian brings with him a wealth of governance experience and knowledge from his previous work with Māori Affairs and more recently his work as a Pouarahi at Heritage NZ/Pouhere Taonga.
Northern Taurahere representative, 85 year old Owen Purcell, drove up from Hamilton like he has for the past ten plus years to be at the meeting and provide his valuable feedback. It was quite cute watching Owen as our IT specialist Kerrin Fair gave instruction on how to use their new tablets. We expect to get a few phone calls over the next few days asking us how to use these oversized phones. Meanwhile I could see the younger Board members taking in the simple instructions with ease while trying to assist their fellow board members to turn their tablets on.
JB Smith, representing Tamatea Taiwhenua was nominated to be the Boards Deputy Chairman for the Board and he will also invited to take on the Te Reo and Tikanga portfolio for the Board. JB has always had a great interest in our culture and is steeped in knowledge of both Te Reo Māori and tikanga. He will continue to lead out and represent NKII as needs arise.
Hori Reti, representing Te Whanganui A Orotu was surprised that he is no longer the youngest Board member now that 26 year old Melissa Ihaka is here. This is Hori’s 2nd term as a Board member and in a short time his portfolio is grown immensely. Hori is a Director on the Takitimu Seafoods Board and is responsible to feedback to the Board on Takitimu Seafoods as well as the iwi’s voyaging waka ‘Te Matau a Maui’. Hori also has ‘Corrections’ tucked into his portfolio due to his mahi with the Prison and with our whānau involved with the Department of Corrections.
Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana gave a historical background presentation of NKII as part of the Boards Induction. It was rather refreshing seeing pictures of historical events that have lead us to where we are today. Ngahiwi is pleased with the meeting and warned the young ones to take ‘before and after’ photos. He urged the Board to expect to work hard. “It’s not all fun,” he said, there’s alot of work to do”.
Board members left the meeting feeling invigorated and excited about the challenges ahead. The lovely sunny day made it even more pleasant for a first meeting. I believe this is a sign of greater things to come.
Photo: Taken in front of Waipatu Marae Back row: JB Smith, Mike Paku, Mere and Ngahiwi Tomoana, Brian Ruawai-Hamilton, Nigel How, Owen Purcel, NKII CE Chrissie Hape, Front row: Melissa Ihaka, Waiora Rogers, Haami Hilton, Nelson Rangi, Edina Hilton and Naomi Wilson.
Posted: 30 May 2019