Papaki kau ana ngā tai o Mahaanui. E rere ana a Roimata me Hupe. E tangi ana te iwi mō te uri a Ruahikihiki, a Irakehu, mō Joseph Nutira. Nāia te tangi, nāia te matapōrehu mōhou e Pōua. Koutou ko ngā mate tuatinitini, tuamanomano, ngā mate huhua o te wā, hanatu rā koutou ki te kāinga wairua i te rangi, ki te kāinga tūturu o te tangata. Haere, haere, haere atu rā.

Waiho atu rā ngā mate ki ngā mate. Ko tātou ngā urupā konohi o rātou mā ki a tātou, e te iwi nei rā ko te whakamiha o te wā ki a koutou.

Mauri ora ki a koutou e tai mā, ko te tūmanako ia e ora ana koutou i te nohotahi ki te whānau me ngā hoa. Ka nui te mihi kau ki tēnā rūnanga, ki tēnā hapū, ki tēnā whānau. Tēnā rā tātou katoa.

In March I was invited to address the 46 new students beginning the Whenua Kura programme at Koukourārata. It was great to see so many happy faces and it was an awesome day.

Whenua Kura is open to all Māori, with scholarships available for those aged 16-40. It is a learning partnership between Te Tapuae o Rehua, Ngāi Tahu Farming and Lincoln University, that seeks to grow Māori leadership in agriculture. When I met with the students I saw real potential and enthusiasm among them. I know that with the help of Whenua Kura they will have the opportunity to become future leaders in agriculture.

It is so important to have these celebratory events to remind ourselves of the achievements and milestones that the iwi continues to attain, particularly when faced with negative news coverage of other events. I’m sure many of you will have seen the media coverage and will be aware that the descendants of Kurī are facing a challenging time. As I said in a pānui on this matter to whānau in early April, it is extremely difficult to live within a community with the knowledge that some of your whānau have been the perpetrators of or victims of sexual abuse. Kurī are being courageous in facing these challenges. The national statistics on sex abuse are staggering with the victims being both male and female and Māori and non-Māori – so very few cases come to Court and when they do it is very important to let the process take place without external influences on the process. Again, I want to mihi to my relations as they stand up for what is right.

Throughout March there was a lot of public attention on the proposed Kermadec Sanctuary and the subsequent legal action Te Ohu Kaimoana has taken against the Crown. For me the key with these matters is always that Treaty rights cannot be ignored. To achieve this, the Crown needs to engage in proper dialogue and consultation with Māori.

Te Ohu Kaimoana were given 10 hours notice before the Prime Minister announced the Kermadec Sanctuary Plan and that is not
real consultation. This is why Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has publicly expressed our support for the efforts of Te Ohu Kaimoana
in rectifying the situation. Our involvement in the work of Te Ohu Kaimoana is occurring on a number of levels. I also attended their annual general meeting in Auckland, where Quentin Hix and myself were mandated to vote with other iwi representatives on the future funding of the organisation. Representatives decided that further investigation into the funding options should be undertaken before a final decision is made. I will update you as this progresses.

And finally, I wish to confirm that I have resigned as the Chair of Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura and as chair of the Kaikōura Rūnanga holding company. I remain however, on the executive of my rūnanga as the chair of the Marae Trustees and as the Representative of Kaikōura to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. This means that my position as Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu remains unaffected.