E heke tonu ana ngā roimata ki ngā tini rangatira o te motu kua whetūrangihia i ngā marama tata nei. E tāua, e Te Whe, te kōtuku taiea o Rāpaki kua rere atu ki te ope o te rua Matariki. Ko mātou kua ora i a koe, i āu mahi katoa i te whakarauora reo, i ngā mahi tiaki i ō tātou taonga tuku iho, ā, i te whakapeto ngoi kia ora ai te iwi whānui. Otirā koutou ngā mate huhua kua karangahia e Tahu Kumea, e Tahu Whakairo. Hanatu rā ki te poho o te kāinga o ngā mātua tīpuna, okioki mai rā. Kāti ake rā, rātou ki a rātou, tātou te hunga ora ki a tātou. Mauri ora ki a tātou katoa.

E te iwi, kua anu mātao, ko Makariri. Ko te manako ia, e whitawhita ana te hatete i te kāinga kia whakamahana i te manawa me te wairua o te tangata. Kia kaha tātou ki te tiaki i a tātou anō. Tēnā rā koutou i runga i ngā āhuatanga o te wā.

It is with sadness that we farewelled Te Whe Phillips who passed away in May. Te Whe was always a strong advocate for Ngāi Tahu and her passion and knowledge will be missed. My aroha is with all of her whānau.

Congratulations to Charles Crofts who was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori last month. It was great to see acknowledgement of our rangatira and due recognition of his efforts as part of the Ngāi Tahu A team whose responsibility it was to negotiate the Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement. Charles was the first Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the public face of the Ngāi Tahu Claim during the 1990s. He continues to play an active role as chair of oukourārata and of course he’s never been one to let any of us rest on our laurels, so is a familiar participant at hui and always ready with a probing question or two.

Congratulations also to Professor John Broughton (Ruahikihiki) who was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori health, theatre and the community. John was a founding director of the Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit and is Professor of Māori Health, Department of Preventative and Social Medicine, Otago Medical School. John has also written and co-produced 22 theatre productions including ‘Hell and Bullets: The WWI Diary of Private Hohepa Teihoka’, which was showcased at Hui-ā-Iwi last year.

Charles and John were among many Māori who received recognition in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

I have sent my personal congratulations to our Ngāi Tahu recipients and in many ways each of their journeys are a small indication of how far our people have come. They have each made amazing contributions to our community.

In May, I was asked to speak at the official opening of Environment Canterbury’s new building. Being asked to speak at this event was a reflection on the ever growing partnership Ngāi Tahu has developed with Environment Canterbury.

As a sign of this partnership, the 10 Papatipu Rūnanga of the Canterbury region gifted a taonga to Environment Canterbury. The taonga was a collection of eight stones arranged in the night sky formation of Puaka and Matariki, representing the geographical reach of the Council’s work.

During my speech I emphasised that our partnership needs to continue to grow. Recent media attention on the prospect of 40 billion litres of Canterbury’s water being bottled and sold highlighted that greater involvement of mana whenua is required in relation to the management of, and decision-making around, water in our rohe. I attended the Ahuwhenua Māori Excellence in Farming Awards where the Proprietors of Rakaia Incorporation took home the win. This was the first time in the 83-year history of the competition that a South Island dairy farm has won the Ahuwhenua Trophy.

Over the past couple of months I have enjoyed seeing the recognition that Ngāi Tahu Holdings has received for their mahi. Ngāi Tahu Holdings won the Outstanding Business Leadership award at the Māori Business Leaders Awards. Award organisers emphasised the great mahi Ngāi Tahu Holdings has done over the past few years to develop a diversified portfolio.

I also acknowledge all of the Ngāi Tahu Holdings subsidiaries who have been winning some excellent awards. These awards are a reflection of the hard work employees are putting in.

It is great to see our people attending the consultation hui on family violence that have been taking place around the takiwā. These have been hosted by Te Puna Oranga in collaboration with Te Whare Hauora, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and He Oranga Pounamu. We must continue to seek new and improved ways to strengthen the capacity of support for whānau to prevent the impact of violence. The kōrero has been fantastic and I am pleased to see whānau embracing this conversation.

Over the next few months, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu will be holding a series of Road Shows across Australia and New Zealand. These will provide whānau with an opportunity to hear from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and celebrate Ngāi Tahutanga and whanaungatanga. I hope to see many of you at these events — please keep an eye on Facebook and our website for all information about dates in your region.