E hopo tonu ana i ngā mate huhua o te wā. Ka tangihia, ka mihia rātou kua karangahia e Tahu Kumea, e Tahu Whakairo. Okioki mai rā. Rātou ki a rātou. Tātou ngā waihotanga mai o rātou ki a tātou. Mauri ora ki a tātou.

Kei aku rangatira, kei aku manu mātārae, nāia te miha ki a koutou i runga i ngā tini āhuatanga o te wā. Tēnā rā koutou katoa.

At the end of March Ngāti Waewae hosted the Crown apology to a South Taranaki tribe, Ngāruahine. This is the first time in our country’s history that an iwi has had its Crown apology given in another iwi takiwā. The significance of Hokitika to Ngaruahine’s history is related to its people, sent there as prisoners during the 1870s following the Taranaki land confiscations.

While groups were sent to various parts of the South Island, the largest number were settled in Hokitika. It was indeed an honour for Ngāti Waewae to host this significant event in their takiwā and to welcome both Ngāruahine and the Crown to Arahura Marae.

The day after the Ngāruahine apology, Ōtākou Rūnanga hosted the Charter Hui at Ōtākou Marae. The charter was drafted as a set of rules or statement of intent before we settled with the Crown. It has been amended slightly since then. This is the first time the iwi has held a hui to discuss the charter in its entirety. A further hui is scheduled for August at Arowhenua.

The Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group is facilitating a further series of regional engagement hui across the motu starting in April, with the first in Ōtautahi. The group has been tasked by the Iwi Chairs Forum to engage with the Crown as it develops a new framework for freshwater management in Aotearoa. These hui will serve as an opportunity for the Iwi Leaders Group to provide an update on the work that has been achieved to date and to get feedback on your aspirations in relation to the management, use and allocation of freshwater.

We have also celebrated the launch of He Toki ki te Mahi and a number of new farm qualifications as part of the Whenua Kura programme. He Toki ki te Mahi was officially launched by the Prime Minister, John Key, at Rehua Marae in Christchurch on April 16.

He Toki ki te Mahi is an iwi-led initiative, which follows on from He Toki ki te Rika. The purpose of He Toki ki te Mahi is to support He Toki apprentices and students in the work force and link them with potential trade companies. He Toki ki te Mahi mentors Māori apprentices through the apprenticeship journey.

The Whenua Kura event was in the following week when scholarships were handed out to the first intake of students studying at a higher leadership level within the programme. Whenua Kura is an iwi-led agricultural training partnership between Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Tapuae o Rehua, Ngāi Tahu Farming and Lincoln University.

This unique initiative began last year as a one-year Certificate in Agriculture, offering both classroom learning and on-farm experience at the Ngāi Tahu farms. This year, the programme has expanded in order to offer additional qualifications including a Diploma in Agriculture, a Level 4 certificate in Agriculture and a Diploma in Agricultural Business.