Hotuhotu nei te manawa i te wehenga atu o ngā mate huhua o te motu. Ko rātou mā nō te kei o te waka tae noa ki te hiku kua karangahia e Tahu Kumea, e Tahu Whakairo. Hanatu rā i a Tamarēreti e rere ana i te au o oti atu, ki te kāinga tūturu o ō tātou tīpuna okioki mai rā, okioki mai rā.

Kāti ake rā, ū mai te waka whakaaro i te moana o wairua ki ngā oneone o te ao kikokiko, tīhei mauri ora.
Ko te manako ia e noho haumaru ana tātou ki tēnā pito, ki tēnā pito. Kei te mahana haere, kua pihi mai ētahi tipu hou hei whakarākei i te kahu o Papatūānuku, ā, kare he roa ka tatū mai a Rehua. Nō reira, tēnā tātou katoa e tai mā i runga i ngā tini āhuatanga o te wā.

This is always a busy time of the year for me and for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. We celebrate ‘Settlement Day,’ the date on which the legislation to give effect to the Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement came into effect. At times it only seems like yesterday and at others it seems a life-time ago. To celebrate Settlement Day this year, the staff of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu took the opportunity to get out the office and help local Papatipu Rūnanga with jobs around their marae.

Our Christchurch staff were divided up across Rāpaki, Koukourārata, Tuahiwi, Taumutu, Wairewa and Ōnuku where staff helped with tasks that included: inventory, gardening, painting, harakeke harvesting and maintenance. Dunedin staff worked at Te Nohoaka o Tukiauau (Sinclair Wetlands).

The fruits of the settlement are also reported on at this time of the year when Te Rūnanga issues its annual report, which sets out the activities of the Te Rūnanga Group for the previous year. I encourage you all to look at the annual report on the Ngāi Tahu website. It is pleasing to see our long-term investment approach is paying off. This year we posted an end-of-year profit of $168.73m (post-distribution) for the year ended 30 June 2016. You can find our annual report and accompanying videos online here:

Our strong financial performance ensures we can continue to deliver initiatives to whānau that help enhance their wellbeing and quality of life. Our focus is always intergenerational, and strong investments now mean future generations of Ngāi Tahu will thrive, Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei – for us and our children after us.

One big news items for Māori recently has been the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill. You may have read that Te Ohu Kaimoana has rejected compromises the government proposed in relation to the Bill. The government did not adequately consult Māori about the creation of the sanctuary, which takes away rights that are guaranteed to us under the 1992 Sealord Deal.

Te Ohu Kaimoana offered a compromise to shelve the use of the Māori fishing quota in the Kermadec region but not lose the right to it, but this was not accepted. In my view we cannot stand by and let Treaty rights be swept under the table by the government. If the fisheries settlement is so easily breached then what of our own settlement? For these reasons I have voiced my support for the position taken by Te Ohu Kaimoana. We do not oppose Marine Reserves, or the protection of the marine areas, but this has to be done by agreement and not by trampling over the rights provided for in our settlements.

At the end of October I will be giving the keynote address at the ending domestic and family violence summit in Wellington. This summit is a great follow up to the family violence consultation hui which have taken place across Te Waipounamu over the past few months. These hui were 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. I applaud these hui for creating new ways to support whānau and prevent the impact of violence.

With all the positive things I have to report on a regular basis it always saddens me when I have to report on matters such as the leaking of confidential information from Te Rūnanga sources and the misinformation that is being reported in the media. The actions of what can only be a very small number of people casts doubts on the integrity of the majority of Representatives and Alternates whom I am confident have the best interests of Ngāi Tahu Whānui at heart.

Te Rūnanga is taking this misuse of information seriously and we have had an independent person leading an investigation into these leaks. It was sobering reading to have a report tabled at our September meeting that said while the source of the leak to the media had not been found, what was revealed was that a number of Representatives and Alternates were clearly breaching their obligations to keep confidential information confidential. Te Rūnanga is meeting in mid-October and again in November and I am hoping to be able to report back on the steps we have taken to date to address these issues.

Finally I am pleased to announce that Hui-ā-Tau 2016 will be held at Koukourārata Marae, on Saturday 19 November starting at 9.30am. I hope to see as many whānau there as possible.


Tā Mark Solomon.

Tā Mark Solomon.