2018 in Review – Chairman Haydn Edmonds

Ngā mihi atu ki tō tātou nei kaihanga, māna mātou te huarahi pai e arahi, otirā, ki ō tātou nei tini mate maha kua whetu ki te rangi, o te tau, o te marama, o te wiki kua pāhure atu, nō reirā, haere koutou, haere koutou, okioki mai.
Ki ngā uri o Ngātiwai whānui, mai i a Rākaumangamanga tae atu ki Piki Pāria, puta noa i te ao katoa, nei rā ngā mihi ki a koutou. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa
On behalf of the Ngātiwai Trust Board I am pleased to again report on our activities for the year ending March 2018.

The Bland Bay Campground is looking forward to a busy summer

​ I would firstly like to pay tribute to many Ngātiwai rangatira that have passed away over the last year and their whānau, hapū and marae who are missing their leadership, support and friendship. May they rest in peace. Rere ki uta, rere ki tai.

This year has been a mixed year but an encouraging platform to build a better future for Ngātiwai uri. There has been a change of government and their policy settings are starting to take effect. Te Tai Tokerau has been identified as the number one “surge” region in the country. It is an area that has for far too long been ignored in the past by successive government, and it is good to see programmes such as the Provincial Growth Fund looking to invest in much needed economic development.

Ngātiwai have several proposals on the table for digital infrastructure, tourism and agriculture. There are also collective iwi proposals that we are involved in through Amokura looking at seaweed aquaculture. This Government plans to plant a billion trees, to expand Northport, build a rail spur to Marsden Point and possibly relocate the Navy forces from Devonport to the North. As Auckland becomes more focused on expanding intensive housing, opportunities for Te Tai Tokerau arise to become the future food producer for Auckland.

Taking advantage on the growing potential in Te Tai Tokerau means we must dedicate our staff resources and make investments in key areas in the coming year. We need to think more about the long game, rather than year to year wins. The aim is to see that these opportunities have a collective impact for our people in terms of jobs, skills and business opportunities.

We have had mixed performance across our business this year. Oceans Tutukākā has reduced significant losses in past years and has improved its hotel reception area, the running of the restaurant Wāhi, refurbished a number of rooms, and has absorbed Body Corporate increases. Our General Manager has done a fantastic job managing costs, adding new services and budgeting to break even next year for the first time. We are busy through the summer months but winter periods are slow for all hoteliers and accommodation providers.

The Fishing Company continues to be our main source of income for education scholarships, marae grants and sponsorships. However, we realise that species stocks are being shelved and our rohe moana is becoming intensely utilised, we must look to the future and diversify. Our parcel of inshore quota is valuable but it must be sustainably fished and taken care of. We are working towards projects that focus on restoring the “mauri” of our moana so that our future generations can maintain the mana of Ngātiwai as its kaitiaki.

Commercial property is another area that we are deriving additional income. Ngātiwai is a shareholder in the Westpac Building and the Warehouse Building which are proven investments. We also have a shareholding in the James Street carpark, where the Council has a buy back clause. The Bland Bay Campground continues to make a profit and this goes toward reducing the loan that was invested in it to get it up to scratch.

The Education Unit continues to face challenging times posting a loss this year. The tertiary education sector as a whole is struggling with a number of major polytechs posting deficits and coming under statutory management. Next year’s Tertiary Regional Investment Plan has a stronger focus on developing skills at the right place and right time. We must keep holding on to our PTE as it will be central to the economic development surge coming.

We again delivered a successful Manaaki Marae programme and drivers licence programmes as well as continued our work in early childhood, NCEA Level 2, and curriculum development around our Ngātiwaitanga.  The Ministry may look to refocus our contract in the coming year. We continue to provide pastoral care through our relationship with Te Matarau however, next year the changes in the sector come into effect which will mean we need to plan for these changes. I am still a firm believer in the education of our young people and providing pathways not only to tertiary but also to trade skills.

I am encouraged by the work done to build our capacity and capability in the Social Development space over the past year. We now are working with agencies such Ōranga Tamariki, Ministry of Justice, community providers and other iwi and hapū on developing housing solutions, reducing youth suicide and providing wrap around services for vulnerable whānau.

Our Treaty Claims were put on hold following the Urgent Waitangi Tribunal Inquiry. The report challenges Ngātiwai as an iwi, which I believe was not their role. As an iwi, we will never let that happen again. While our mandate was not ceased by the Crown, we do have work to do with some of our hapū. Ngātiwai must fairly represent the interests of all its claimants including those that oppose us. With the change of government and the new Minister in 2017, the Board will now advance this work and I am confident issues can be resolved as we continue to meet obligations in holding hui ā iwi and wānanga.

The kaumātua have been meeting on a regular basis at the Board to discuss tikanga issues and to provide leadership in areas where the Board needs support. Thank you for your guidance.

My congratulations to the Kaumātua kapa haka who performed at the Matariki Festival in Wellington for the second year in a row. Well done!

We continued to provide grants for our marae, educational scholarships and sponsorships for sport, arts, culture and tikanga, the total contribution exceeding $200,000. Marae such as Whananāki are in full swing as they get ready to rebuild their marae under the Ōranga Marae programme and Mōkau as they look to rebuild their wharenui. Congratulations on their fundraising efforts.
A new relationship has been struck with Watson’s Honey (now known as ŌHA) which is fully owned by Ngāi Tahu.
They have a new team we have been working with closely to sort out the beekeeping on our DoC concessions. Our Resource Management Unit deals with four Councils and the inconsistency in fee structures for consents and iwi engagement. The Marine and Coastal Act consents are also problematic as the claims have yet to be heard.
While Ngātiwai has statutory obligations to these agencies, we remain frustrated with the work we have to do which is largely fee for service.
Our reo strategy through Te Kūpenga Reo and Te Waka Reo o Ngātiwai continues to move around Ngātiwai Marae. Te Mātāwai are now the funders of our future strategy. We thank Foundation North for their three year commitment toward revitalising Ngātiwai and to the Kupenga Reo Team.
My thanks to the Board’s Senior Management Team, led by CEO, Kris MacDonald. We now have our legal and financial support in-house. This has allowed Ngātiwai the flexibility to deal with a broad range of management issues when needed. The Team is making internal improvements in operational policies, planning, and ensuring that we continue to deliver on the Board’s strategic direction.
It has been a challenging year for some staff, who have had to endure personal health issues yet continued to make a supreme effort. To all of you, thank you.
We have clarified the role of governance and operations and are constantly adapting our staff structure to the changing environment. I would like to pay tribute to our administration staff and finance team and thank you all for your dedicated commitment.
Finally, to my Trustee colleagues, thank-you for your support in steering the Board this year. We have had some ups and downs and tough decisions to make. We do the best we can for our tamariki mokopuna, our whānau, our hapū, our marae and iwi. We must stay united to stay a strong proud iwi.
I would like to wish everyone a blessed festive season and look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.
Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete ki a
koutou katoa
Haydn Edmonds – Chairman

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