Nāia te tangi kau o te iwi e matapōrehu ana ki ngā mate huhua o te wā. Te Ao Hurae, e ngau kino nei te iwi whānui i tō korenga, i tō wehenga atu. Ka noho koe i te pū mahara, ā, e kore rawa e wareware i a mātou āu mahi katoa mō te whenua, mō ngā taonga tuku iho, ā, mō te iwi whānui hei hāpai i ngā uri whakatipuranga. Nō reira e ngā tini aituā, kua karangahia koutou e Tahu Kumea, e Tahu Whakairo. Hanatu rā ki te kāinga wairua i te rangi, ki ngā mātua tīpuna. Okioki mai rā. Tātou ki a tātou e hora nei, e tautau nei te ahi i te kāinga, mauri ora ki a tātou.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is committed to keeping whānau well informed on iwi initiatives and projects but this can be difficult when whānau change address and forget to update their contact details. I encourage you to stay connected – currently we have 8000 registered whānau who we have lost contact with – that’s 15% of the iwi and in my opinion far too many.

We are starting a campaign to reach out and find whānau. Some of them could be members of your whānau, so we need your help. As a first step, we are encouraging you to go to our website to see if your name or someone from your whānau is on the list of those who are no longer receiving our updates and various communications. There is more information in this issue of Te Pānui Rūnaka, so I ask that you read the pānui on pages 5 & 6 and help us all stay connected and keep the benefits of tribal membership open to all who are registered.

Another important pānui in this edition, concerns the commencement of our annual round of road shows. This is where the tribal leadership gets to meet many of you kanohi ki te kanohi at hui throughout Te Ika a Māui or at Hui-ā-Iwi in Dunedin in November. The purpose of this engagement is to discuss, share and receive feedback on the direction of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. I encourage all our whānau living in the North Island to attend one of the road shows close to you. It is always great to see and catch up with you all. Please refer to the pānui in this issue for dates and venues. I expect some of you will want to discuss fresh water, which is still a hot topic with iwi across the motu. The Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group are conducting another round of regional hui on Iwi Rights and Interests in Freshwater throughout August. These hui will support the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group to have a more detailed conversation with the Crown on realising the cultural, social, environmental and economic benefits of an allocation of Freshwater to Iwi.

The Te Waipounamu Case study was recently completed. It is one of a number of case studies undertaken to assist the Crown and Iwi leaders with their mahi and captures how some of our mana whenua view and participate in freshwater management. The themes from this case study have been helpful in deepening our understanding of the current state of the regulatory and planning systems within our takiwā. We are now driving to get our message out widely and understood across the nation. For instance, in Auckland last month we presented our aspirations and perspective to over 80 representatives from 60 key stakeholder groups across Aotearoa –ranging from NGO, corporate, energy and agricultural sectors. The evening provided everyone with an opportunity to ask us questions. Stakeholders came away feeling the outcomes sought by iwi were practical and reasonable. We will continue the momentum with further engagement in coming months.

Lastly, I would like to pay tribute to Te Ao Hurae Waaka of Arowhenua, more commonly known as Uncle Joe, who passed away in July. He was a great servant and contributed so much to the tribe. I will miss his assertiveness, direction and advice. E te manawa o Arowhenua, e te rangatira, haere atu rā, okioki mai rā.