Tēnā koutou e te whānau
A belated Ngā mihi mō te Tau Hou. The year has begun at the same hectic pace as we finished last year, with a hive of activity since the office reopened at the beginning of January. 2016 looks to be an active and exciting year for our iwi.
First, may I thank the coordinators of our two hapū Xmas functions, they were both well-attended and I’m sure that those who couldn’t make it last year will be eager to attend this year. It was a great way for me to catch up with whānau and to meet with those of you I had not yet met or not seen for a few years.
Congratulations to those who received Education Grants, there were some excellent applications this year and it is exciting to see the talented young minds and range of education choices being made. Thanks to the Education Committee too, for their mahi and deliberation.
It was with great pride recently that I welcomed the announcement of the recipient for the Marlborough Lines Tertiary Scholarship, our very own Kiley Nepia. As Cultural Advisor, Kiley has been busy coordinating the wānanga programme and working on a number of projects within the organisation. In his spare time (what spare time he would say) he has been completing his Masters Degree based on the cultural revitalisation of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō.
The first wānanga of the year in January, Mana Rangatahi, was a great success and it was good to see some new young faces attending the wānanga for their first time, certainly by the end of the week you could see that they had made some excellent connections with their new found cousins and were identifying proudly with their Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō heritage.
We will soon be advising you of the dates for the other wānanga for the year so you can diarise the dates and book in once registrations open.
We have been completing the planning for the Hui-a-Iwi Roadshows, happening in March, more details are contained in this Pānui. We will be providing you with an update on current progress, future plans and it will be the commencement of a wider engagement strategy so we can get your feedback on the direction of the next strategic plan.
We are in the last two years of our current Strategic Plan and there are some key elements of this plan that we will be giving a new focus to, such as environmental issues, settlement properties and sites of significance. We will, of course, continue with the initiatives and programmes established last year and look to improve upon these where necessary.
I urge you to make the time to attend a hui in March so you can ask questions and provide us with your feedback and thinking. I look forward to meeting with you.