E tangi mōteatea ana te ngākau ki ngā mate huhua huri noa i te motu. Kua karangahia koutou e Tahu Kumea, e Tahu Whakairo, ā, hanatu rā koutou ki te kāinga wairua i te rangi, ki ngā mātua tīpuna. Waiho atu mātou ki konei hei hopo, hei matapōrehu mō koutou. Okioki mai rā. Rātou te hunga mate ki a rātou.

Tātou te hunga ora ki a tātou. E te iwi whānui nāia te whakamiha, nāia te owha ki a koutou i runga i ngā tini āhuatanga o te wā. Tēnā rā koutou.

Ngāti Waewae Rūnanga hosted the last of the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Road Shows in early September. There was a good turn out of whānau at each hui, especially in Te Ika a Māui. Road Shows are always a good time to catch up with whānau and rekindle those relationships.

We received positive feedback on the presentation and the direction the tribe is taking and also had some challenges put to us about where to go from here.

At the September Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu board meeting I was re-elected as kaiwhakahaere and Lisa Tumahai was re-elected as kaiwhakahaere tuarua (deputy kaiwhakahaere) for another three year term. Both Lisa and I are humbled by the support from Papatipu Rūnanga and iwi members and we thank you all – ka nui te aroha ki a koutou katoa.

My re-election brought back memories of those first few dramatic days I spent as kaiwhakahaere. On Saturday 26 September 1998, I was elected kaiwhakahaere. Two days later, on Monday 28 September Tā Tipene O’Regan and I were in the lawyer’s office in Wellington signing documents for the Ngāi Tahu Settlement.

Whānau from all around the motu traveled to Wellington for the passing of the bill and we all stayed at Pipitea Marae. The next day, Tuesday 29 September, the iwi descended onto Parliament for the passing of the bill. It will always be a memorable day of tears, laughter and a sense of pride at how much we have achieved and the mahi our tīpuna did to get us to that point. This was my introduction to the kaiwhakahaere role and what an introduction it was.

To be totally honest I wasn’t sure if I could do the job. However, when you have kaumātua pushing and encouraging you to get on with the job, there is no turning back.

The first three years were our developmental years. As an organisation we had so much to learn and develop. It was basically building from the ground up. We had to create accountability processes, create policies, learn how to deal with the expectations of the people and develop a distribution plan. In 2001, following several consultation hui across the country, we developed Ngāi Tahu 2025, the iwi strategy that outlines the tribe’s aspirations and direction.

Our most recent annual report shows we are well on the way to rebuilding the economic base for the iwi, but there is more to do to ensure the benefits of the settlement flow through to our regions and to our whānau. One of my goals is to see our tribal economies strategy come to fruition. Under this strategy it is our intention to develop and promote a range of growth and investment opportunities for whānau and Papatipu Rūnanga, enabling them to reach their own aspirations.

Finally, I look forward to seeing everyone in November at Arahura Marae for the opening of their new whare tipuna as well as the Hui-ā-Tau 2014. If you are unable to attend the Hui-ā-Tau you have the opportunity to log in online for the live-stream.

For more information about the live-stream option please read the Hui-ā-Tau update pānui in ‘The Office’ section of this edition.