Tēnā koutou e te whānau
May I begin by firstly saying a HUGE THANK YOU to whānau members, trustees, directors, our business partners and supporters who made the AGM weekend such a success.
Having iwi members from all around the motu travel to attend the weekend, and to receive such a high level of support from our businesses partners gives our small team, who are working hard on your behalf, a great sense of satisfaction.
For me personally it was wonderful to catch up with whānau that I had not seen for many years, and to meet their children and mokopuna added to the feeling of whakawhanaungatanga and, I might add, reminded me of how old some of us are getting!
To see our whānau enjoying the activities on the sports day, the buzz of conversation at the hākari and the talents of the Ratana kapa haka group was for me a picture of the true wealth within our iwi.
It was good to hear too that as iwi members you appreciated the format changes we made to the AGM. The introduction of the morning Forum session meant we could report to you in more detail and offered a more open session for us to answer your questions.
It provided you with an opportunity to share thoughts and ideas. This feedback is important to us so we can continue to move forward and complete the elements of your strategic plan.
As we move into the last quarter of 2015 we are focusing on the tasks at hand and over the coming weeks we will be advising you of dates and locations of the Whānau Days around the country. These are a way for us to meet with whānau members and provide more information about what our activities are, and to gain feedback from you about the strategic plan.
The Archives project is in full swing and we have an update on progress later in this pānui. Every day we discover another Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō taonga and are working to preserve and copy these with the aim of sharing them with iwi members.
We have concluded commercial negotiations in a number of areas and will soon be updating you on the outcomes of these once all of the documentation is signed. The final outcome of these negotiations will add to the pūtea and allow us to continue to explore benefits to iwi members in line with much of the feedback from the AGM.
Our Literacy and Numeracy programme has now been launched, which provides support and training to those iwi members in the workforce who need support in this area to build or improve their skills. Places are limited and full details are contained in the Education section of this pānui. If you or a member of your whānau would benefit from this training I urge you to contact us.
Seeing the growth in skill and confidence of our Computers-in-Homes trainees, and then their smiling faces at the graduation, demonstrated to me that this is how we can be working with whānau to support them in the goals that they have.
And finally, may I thank my small and very dedicated team who worked some very long hours leading up to the AGM to make sure that we could all come together to celebrate our iwi and its achievements. They continually work hard on your behalf to achieve the goals within the strategic plan and to grow the mana of the organisation and our iwi.
Kia pai to rā