Friday, October 30, 2009

Ngai Tahu good news

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.


Anonymous said...

Kia ora Marty, I believed that change was inevitable and some runanga would profile new representatives during these elections.

The storm you mention is really only a storm in a tea cup! Wally Stone has more integrity and professionalism to let small talk get in the way of his fiduciary duty.

Eye of the Tiger


Anonymous said...

You are on button regarding the employment of Ngai Tahu. If we can create jobs for Ngai Tahu then Ngai Tahu will return to the fold and the cycle will renew and we will grow. Remember many Ngai Tahu live across NZ and beyond and they need a reason to return. To say we don't have the skills in Ngai Tahu is rubbish we are just currently to weak to say this is a goal and make it happen. We would rather say that we just need the best people regardless. With the amount of money we have put into education over the last few years you can't tell me there is no Ngai Tahu of a good enough calibre to help us. I know plenty myself.

Anyway why did we bother with the treaty settlement if it was not for the benefit of Ngai Tahu. Employment is a significant benefit.

Anonymous said...

the issue is not who works for us - the issue is who is the "us" in the whakatauki "for us and our children after us".

if the "us" is the bunch of individuals who manage to rort the system for themseleves and their immediate whanau then that is one approach and we should be honest about it. it is what Wally, Tahu and others advocate and carried out in practice. employ your mates and use tribal funds to buy votes and all is good.

that is how we lost our land and our political power in the 19thC. greedy folks (mostly men) sought advantages for themselves and their own and left the rest of "us" hung out to dry.

after 8 generations we are re-building as an iwi. but some of "us" are still greedy.

Anonymous said...


Change was inevitable is a truism. Some changes are going to be good. But I disagree that Wally has the integrity we are looking for.

Too many unanswered questions about accountability for my liking. Too ready to use the tribal or Whalewatch cheque book to buy loyalty.

Mark and Donald have managed to instil some transparency and discipline re rampant spending on mates and have instituted best governance practice re appointments to boards to stop the practice of appointing the same old circle of friends. No-one has celebrated the fine new NT folks on the Investment Advisory Sub-Committee and the Property and Seafood Boards.

So lets have the debate about who "us" is.