E ngā tini aituā o te wā, hanatū rā ki te kāinga wairua i te rangi, ā, okioki mai rā. Rātou ki a rātou. Tātou ki a tātou. Mauri ora ki a tātou. Kei aku rangatira huri noa i te motu, ka nui te mihi, ka nui te māriri ki a koutou i runga i ngā tini āhuatanga o te wā. Tēnā rā tātou katoa.

Last month marked a significant event for the nine iwi of Te Waipounamu with the signing of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency contract with Te Puni Kōkiri. Minister Tariana Turia is very excited and thrilled with the expertise and experience of the organisation to assist and help build whānau capacity in Te Waipounamu and empower whānau to create their own pathways.

Kaiwhakahaere tuarua Lisa Tumahai has been elected as interim chair of Te Taumata, the governance group mandated to make decisions on behalf of the iwi shareholders of Te Pūtahitanga.

Te Taumata are currently recruiting directors for Te Pūtahitanga. Once this recruitment process is finished, the process to fulfill further positions will commence.

The Te Pūtahitanga team are out and about with their road show providing information on what the structure will look like and more importantly asking the hauora organisations and whānau members for feedback and advice.

In other recent developments around Te Waipounamu, Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura hosted the Prime Minister and officials for the announcement by the Conservation Minister Nick Smith of the Kaikōura Marine Management Bill. The Bill, once passed by Parliament, will provide for a new marine reserve, a whale and fur seal sanctuary, five customary fishing areas and new recreational fishing regulations.

Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura has worked closely with Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura with this project from its inception, working alongside Kaikōura communities to drive the kaupapa.

We are all immensely proud of the outcome. The philosophy underpinning Te Korowai was adapted from the Fiordland Guardians, where, in 1995, a group of commercial and recreational fishers, Ngāi Tahu, tourism operators, environmentalists, marine scientists and community representatives came together to address the escalating pressures on the marine environment.

The implementation of the strategy will assist us in better managing the future of the Kaikōura marine environment and the richness of resources that supports the economic, social and cultural future of the Kaikōura community.

On Saturday 12 April, the Waitaha Cultural Council Trust hosted the Waitaha Senior Kapa Haka Regional competition. Ten groups competed this year to represent Waitaha at the national senior kapa haka competition, Te Matatini 2015, including, eight from Canterbury, Te Iti o Tahuna from Queenstown, and Ngā Tumu ki Otago from Dunedin. Three groups qualified to represent Waitaha at Te Matatini 2015.

I would like to acknowledge the Waitaha Council for organising an awesome event, which was enjoyed by all who attended. Also I extend a mihi to all the participating groups who have worked hard with composing and practicing their programme for the competition over the past several months.

Congratulations to Ngā Manu a Tāne, Te Ahikōmau a Hamoterangi and Te Pao a Tahu, who will be representing Waitaha at Te Matatini, and on behalf of Ngāi Tahu whānui we wish you all the best at Te Matatini.