Written by: Teepa Wawatai
15 Dec 2014

In 20 years time the political, economic, social, cultural and environmental landscape in this region will be vastly different. I’ve said that on a number of occasions over the past 12 months to groups of staff and various audiences from Gisborne and Crown agencies.

This week I attended a meeting with the Hon Peter Dunne in his office at Bowen House in Wellington. As Minister of Internal Affairs he invited, at short notice, a group comprising Timu Te Heuheu, Uncle Api, Sonny Tau, Mark Solomon and Rahui Papa to attend a briefing on the Archives Exhibition Project. Uncle Api asked me to attend on his behalf.

After more than 25 years in operation, the Constitution Room at Archives NZ is due to be replaced and relocated to the refurbished National Library building on Molesworth Street. The Constitution Room displays the nine sheets of the Treaty of Waitangi – Te Titiriti o Waitangi 1840, and two other precious documents. This is the founding document of this country, our nation, New Zealand. The Minister gave a brief background to the project and shared some thoughts including a desire to have a formal consultation process with iwi for which he sought feedback on this aspect.

Building the Nati Nation presentation

This happened just days after our AGM where in my presentation I spoke about nation building with specific reference to the Nati nation. That’s what we are actually doing. We are engaged in building the Nati nation. A nation is physically defined by its geography and climate, prominent features and natural resources, markers and boundaries and more. But more than anything it is defined by its people, their history, culture, connection and interaction with the land and with each other.

Mana motuhake Ngati Porou – self determination – being in charge of our own destiny is the vision that drives our nation building for future generations.

Progress Against the 5 Year Strategic Plan

We have a 5 year strategic plan and that is on track. We are now moving from the establishment phase to strategy implementation and execution. This means we are building capacity and capability in new areas in addition to improving the myriad of business as usual activities. A clear sign of this is the number of new roles we’ve created.

In the last 12 months we’ve hired 16 people into permanent positions and 11 of those are for totally new roles. In addition we’ve employed 13 people into new roles on a fixed/short term basis. Some of these will likely convert to permanent roles too. That level of activity has an impact on a small city like Gisborne and is being noticed by the community. It sends a signal that we are a people of purpose with serious intentions about where we are heading.

A Multi-generational Plan

Over the next 12 months we will commence work on the nation building plan. That’s the 30-50 year multi-generational plan. Alongside that we will invest in an outcomes measurement framework that will help us track our progress on the 5 year plan and the nation building plan – year by year, decade by decade, generation by generation and century by century.

When I look at what Tainui and Ngai Tahu have achieved with the benefit of 15 years of settlement redress I imagine and envision what we can achieve by engaging, mobilising and utilising the breadth and depth of the human capital base that is part of our Nati nation.

We are privileged to have dual citizenship as citizens of this great country – New Zealand, and also as citizens of the Nati nation. With citizenship comes rights and privileges on one hand, and obligations and responsibilities on the other. That is where we have immense wealth to draw from.

Engaging Our Human Capital Asset Base

Over the next 12 months we will start to develop ways and forums for engaging that immense human capital asset base. I am greatly encouraged by the breadth of our vision, the scope of activities we are engaged in, the depth of value contributing relationships we have nurtured and the pace at which we are proceeding. We have opportunities that our tipuna never had before with the potential to build enduring legacies that positively impact the wellbeing of all citizens.

As I said, in 20 years’ time the political, economic, social, cultural and environmental landscape around here will be vastly different.

Teepa Wawatai

Chief Executive Offiicer, Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou 


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