At this year’s Hui-ā-Tau at Arowhenua Marae, you could feel the close spirit of whanaungatanga and kotahitanga. The marae was filled with laughter, with whānau enjoying each other’s company. It was awesome watching and listening to our kaumātua reminiscing the ‘good old days’ at Arowhenua.

It’s moments like this, that you can take time to reflect on the amazing mahi everyone is doing for the iwi and for each other. To see whānau happy, makes me feel that we are doing the right thing and heading in the right direction.

We had an estimated 200 people at Arowhenua and over 100 people across the three satellite hubs, in Arahura, Waihopai and Ōtākou. Whānau were presented with an update on the different projects and initiatives undertaken by Te Rūnanga Group in the 2012-2013 financial year.

The Open Forum presentation was well received and whānau took the opportunity to ask their questions and seek clarification on iwi kaupapa.
We have received positive feedback via the questionnaire handed out at the hui. There is a clear message from whānau that Hui-ā-Tau should be longer than half a day to enable an opportunity to have a more in-depth discussion on issues and iwi projects. Also, whānau thought this year’s hui was well presented and very informative and they are pleased with the continued growth of the iwi.

As always, the kai was absolutely delicious. A big thank you and acknowledgement to the whānau at Arowhenua Marae for their manaakitanga and hard work put in to organise another successful Hui-ā-Tau. Kāti Huirapa, kua ora te iwi i a koutou. Ka nui te mihi.

Later that day, Kotahi Mano Kāika organised a poiuka (softball) game for whānau from Ōtautahi, Arowhenua and Ōtepoti. I hear it was an afternoon of fun and a bit of a mixture of whakawhanaungatanga and whakataetae (competition). Congratulations to the whānau from Ōtepoti who won the game.

Earlier this month at the Ngāi Tahu farms in Eyrewell, we were joined by the Minister for the Environment, Amy Adams, to launch a joint research project between Ngāi Tahu Farming and Lincoln University. The research will monitor contaminants leaching through the soil profile into the waterways. Environmental and cultural aspirations have been the top priorities for Mana Whenua and through this research we will gain valuable insight into the impact we are having on the environment. The research is forward-thinking and will allow us to better manage our farming businesses.

Finally, I would like to wish everyone an enjoyable summer holiday. Please time take to relax and enjoy the company of whānau and friends. Please be safe and let’s hope Tamanui-te-rā comes out to play throughout the summer break.

E te iwi, nāia te mihi o te Kirihimete me ngā mihi o te Tau Hou ki a koutou katoa. Kia tau te manaakitanga o te wāhi ngaro ki runga i a koutou.

Ngā mihi,