From the Chair
Kia ora e whānau.
I want firstly, to pass on my appreciation to Hinemoa (Conner) for agreeing to step up and cover things in my absence during October and November last year. The formal appointment to the Deputy Chairperson role has been delayed a little while we work through a technical matter. I expect we will be in a position to fill the role, around April.
It was good to hear that there were good attendances at the two hapū Christmas parties held late last year, and that both events were well organised by the two Hapū. Well done to both of the organising teams. Other than our recently appointed Whakapapa researcher breaking her leg, I understand both functions were appreciated and enjoyed by all, and otherwise went without incident.
At the end of last month I attended the closing Pōwhiri for the participants on the Mana Rangatahi wānanga, and saw first-hand how their cultural capacity and awareness has grown since they started their respective programs. Well done again to Kiley and his support team, for organising these wānanga and for making them successful and enjoyable for those attending. It was also pleasing to see a mix from across the Iwi attending.
The board is currently working on our operating plan for the next financial year and will look to have this signed off before 31st March. Built in to that will be the cultural activity for the next 12 months, specific activity within the whakapapa, education and research spaces, plus any other initiatives the board consider appropriate and achievable over the planning time-frame. Further detail will be released once the plan is finalised. Some of the insights from the research will then be fed in to the finalisation of the new five-year plan, which will be presented at the AGM in August.
We are also working at the moment, with the other seven Te Tauihu Iwi and Te Ohu Kaimoana, on the resolution of waterspace allocation and operation, in Tasman Bay. While this is a Settlement asset and agreement, it has been clear from the outset there is not an option to take our entitlement in cash. Rather the eight Iwi will receive 20% of the waterspace on offer. Iwi will also need to work together to initially agree on space allocation (with other fishing companies who have applied for space), and the mechanics of setting up an entity to carry out the actual operation of our 20%. That may involve leasing the space out rather than fishing it ourselves. We have reached an agreement in principle which will enable Resource Consent applications to be submitted to the Tasman District Council, and are currently working through the next level agreements with the other Iwi. There will be options downstream and once the space becomes productive, to re-consider our involvement, which could include selling our holdings to other Iwi.
The next census has been scheduled for the 6th March 2018. I understand a key difference this Census is that as well as being able to complete a paper version of the form, for those who prefer, there will be an option to complete the census online. Statistics NZ use the census data to capture a snapshot of who is living in, and visiting New Zealand. One aspect of the census which has been problematic for us in the past is a question on ethnicity. The Census invites participants to fill in the name of the Iwi to which they affiliate, the point of confusion being that there are two Ngāti Apa Iwi, one in each Island. When filling out this section, I would remind you all to tick the “Ngāti Apa Ki Te Rā Tō” box.
Until next month….