From the chair
Kia ora e te whānau
Thanks, first of all, to those of you who took the time out of your busy schedules to attend this year’s AGM. It is always good to re-acquaint with familiar faces we have come to know over the years and to see other whānau for the first time. It was great also to give retiring Trustee Denis Gapper an appropriate send off. Congratulations to new Trustee Clinton Gapper and returning Trustee Bosun Huntly, upon their election to represent Tarakaipa hapū for the next three years. Commiserations to the unsuccessful applicants and particularly to Tracy Tamou who has represented Tarakaipa on the board for the past three years. Tracy has had to travel from Whanganui to attend board meetings which can be a challenge and I appreciate everything she has brought to the Trust table.
I announced at the AGM, my intention to step down as chair of the Trust after 12 years in that role. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Trust, and it has been a privilege to be part of the team that has guided the Iwi through the last phases of settlement and to help progress it to what it is today. I have one more year to run on my current term as a Trustee and have decided not to stand again in my Puaha Te Rangi seat when it comes up for election next year. I am happy to spend my last year in whatever capacity the Board sees fit.
Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō has a very exciting future ahead as we now embark on a number of significant projects and initiatives which will bring a greater level of maturity to the Iwi and will deliver a greater sense of belonging for you, our people. The initiatives in the new Five-Year Plan around broadening our cultural capacity, improving engagement through connectedness, enabling a deeper understanding of whakapapa, giving those who require it greater opportunities to prepare for a brighter future through the realising potential strategy, and providing those of you who have the passion and appropriate skills to work with the various sub-committees, will position the Iwi well moving forward and will help grow depth in critical areas.
When I look back over the past 12 years, if I was asked what I consider the highlight to be, I would say the reinforcement of my belief in people. That for me starts with the building of a relationship with all of you to give you the confidence to re-elect me as a Trustee to the extent that you have and I pass on my thanks to those of you who have given me that support throughout my tenure. Our office team is very important as are the directors on our subsidiary entities who have all served us well. Then there is the very wide range of people we come into contact with and who we need to ensure we build and maintain strong relationships with like other iwi, representatives of the councils with whom we have associations, a large number of Government agencies, the list goes on and on. These relationships are important to ensure that we are able to leverage off their various obligations to us as tangata whenua, and to ensure that we stamp our footprint on the whenua.
I thank you for giving me the opportunity to lead the iwi over the time that I have, albeit the prospect was somewhat daunting initially, and I can assure you that the experience has helped shape my character and has made me a better person.
Tēnā koe mō te wa whakamutunga.
Brendon Wilson, Chairman