Sometimes it is easy to focus on negatives without recognising the positives. I do it, we all do it to some extent or other. Since the release of the Annual Report Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu I have posted on a couple of things that caught my eye. I don't shy away from my belief that Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu should actively endeavour to employ Ngai Tahu iwi members, and i reiterate that it not related to any one else that is giving their time and energy to support and strengthen the kaupapa. I respect and thank everyone involved in that mahi. I am pleased you are there, working hard. My position is not related to that aspect. My position is simple – we must support, nurture and grow our own. And we are lucky in that we have generous numbers of Ngai Tahu qualified and able to perform the roles. And we have a wide range of roles within a wide number of companies where any experience can be achieved. We just have to get the two sides of the equation to connect.
Succession planning takes time and needs to be thought through. The fear of just replacing people willy-nilly is not credible. No one would suggest that, but creating a plan, based on a timeframe seems sensible to me. The institutional knowledge built up should be fostered within our people. We have serious flaws around the knowledge kept by individuals, for all the right reasons, but vunerable to a sudden change in personal health. It happens to us all and we have the perfect way to maintain continuity.
It is our old ways. The ways of learning, maintaining and teaching knowledge. And we have the perfect modern infrastructure. A multi-headed, well construced and managed corporation that is dedicated to improving the lives of Ngai Tahu whanui. It seems to me that some modern concepts as coaching, mentoring and even apprentiships are similar to our traditional methods. Surely we can conceptulise the bridge from the past to the future and build it. It could create new models of adult learning, modern management and governance techniques, indigenous self determination, and multi-generational succession planning. i believe the knowledge is there we just have to want to do it.
Perhaps it is a natural part of our evolution and growth as an iwi that it will just take as long as it takes, or maybe we do need to keep pushing the envelope – to boldly continue to create maximum opportunity for our people. To do it our way. And if you think about our histories, our intertwined past is also our intertwined future. We have always looked after each other – we had to, we still do. The world is different now and we have grown and evolved as a people. We can use our shared heritage and kin bonds to help all our people. And the best thing is it is already happening.
As Mark Solomon our kaiwhakahaere says in the Annual Repot, “... it is important that we continue to look out for one another and to take courage from our achievements.”
Our achievements are many, including registering a profit from our business endeavours in very difficult economic conditions. The team at Ngai Tahu Holdings also had to work through the changes in senior people and that would have been very difficult. It is a credit to their personal character's that they have kept to their mahi and delivered a worthy result. Thank you all. The Office has also lost some good people and after the years of ups and downs any change must be destabilising and scary, especially during times of massive layoffs. Everyone has once again kept to their mahi and our kaupapa and delivered a wide range of services across an amazing selection of important areas. I mean really, do you know many other entities that could even attempt that. Our team delivers it.
As Anake Goodall, CEO says, “the importance of connection cannot be overstated. The development we are currently working on and the reconnections we are now making are manifestations of our quiet and unwavering commitment to doing what we are here to do better, and in more active partnership with those we are here to serve.”
I love to hear that talk. Thank you to all the team in the Office. You can be proud of your achievments.
And the changes seem quite big to me.
As Mark says, “Te Runanga put kotahitanga back on the agenda for both the Office and holdings.”
And Anake supports with, “... these changes have been led by clear instructions from te runanga for kotahitanga across the group...”and “Te Runanga now has the mechanisms to direct the Te Runanga Group through our planning cycle and align all activites of all entities within the group.” and powerfully, “... we are giving effect to the Ngai Tahu values and vision with a shared commitment that has not been seen before.”
I am impressed with the confident tone of both Anake and Mark. This is good for our iwi and their confidence gives me confidence.
Unfortunately we have a storm on the horizon and it's approach seems inevitable.
So I ask that, as changes occur, people continue to consider kotahitanga and our shared connection to each other and everyone and everything.