News from home / National Nati news / Politics
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7 Dec 2016

Ko Hikurangi te maunga

Ko Waiapu te awa

Ko Ngati Porou te iwi

Ngati Porou members recently gathered at Uepohatu Marae in Ruatoria for the 2016 Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou hui a tau (annual general meeting). The hui provided the opportunity for the Iwi to take stock, not just of the financial year ended — but of the past five years since the post-settlement governance entity was established.

The hui, held on the last Saturday of November, was broadcast live over the internet and radio, to enable Natis living at home and around the world to learn more about the activities conducted over the past 12 months by Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou (TRONPnui) Group.

Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou is charged with the oversight of social and health services (Whanau Oranga and Ngati Porou Hauora), supporting cultural development (Toitu Ngati Porou) and growing the collective iwi asset base (Ngati Porou Holding Company). Representatives from the Runanganui’s governance and senior management delivered presentations throughout the hui, that detailed the performance of each of the various divisions.


TRONPnui chairman, Selwyn Parata highlighted in the first presentation activities and initiatives that the organisation has contributed to whanau and hapu development, and its investment in cultural and economic development.

Among these activities included providing financial assistance to Ngati Porou Hauora to help cover the organisation’s shortfall in government funding. By providing financial support, Ngati Porou Hauora has been able to continue providing health services to Ngati Porou communities on the East Coast.

Another initiative included the establishment of Te Tini o Porou social service hub in Kaiti. Over the past year since it opened Te Tini o Porou has provided a central base for Whanau Oranga social services to provide support to vulnerable whanau. Investment in the Ngati Porou language strategy and continuation of the marae grant programme have also helped to support Ngati Porou communities to develop their cultural and social capital.

In his presentation the chairman also out-lined the direction the board will take over the coming year. A major focus will be on the reduction and elimination of operating deficits, so debt could be paid down and more dividends can be invested in whanau and hapu development. Selwyn says each sector is actively moving to reduce costs while balancing that with employment level expectations.

“TRONPnui is a major regional employer. Every dollar spent in wages translates to $1.60 spent in the local economy. The combined pay packets of our workforce and earnings from the sale of our produce is growing Ngati Porou’s contribution to the region’s GDP and prosperity. We need to look at how we leverage our collective asset base to invest in our local economy, nurture and grow Ngati Porou entrepreneurship, improve the alignment of tertiary education and training with industry workforce requirements and attract more investment.”


TRONPnui chief executive, Herewini Te Koha provided a strategic overview of the organisation’s operational activities, which included advocacy within the environmental space. Herewini says, “much planning has gone into co-management with the Department of Conservation to develop Nga Whakahaere Takirua, an ecological strategy for conservation lands within the Ngati Porou rohe.”

Hearings on a proposed freshwater management plan have delayed progress on the Waiapu Catchment Joint Management Agreement (JMA) with Gisborne District Council. With more meetings scheduled, the chief executive says the JMA will further hapu aspirations for the health of the Waiapu and other tributaries. TRONPnui is also participating in the design of the National Freshwater Management policy for the protection and enhancement of freshwater, and have been successful in anchoring Te Mana o Te Wai as the overarching principle.


Senior Manager of Whanau Oranga services, Anne Huriwai, says her sector self-funds — receiving $3.6million in contracts annually from nine government departments.

Whanau Oranga has 54 staff offering social services to whanau in Kaiti and on the Coast. Close to 4000 people received support from 26 services this year.

Anne says a deliberate decision was made this year to focus Whanau Oranga as a prevention space that prioritises the most vulnerable children and whanau.

Awhi Whanau helped 69 whanau out of involvement with Child Youth and Family (CYF). The programme’s early intervention service kept 132 children from entering CYF oversight.

The Tatai Hono Iwi Justice Panel has steered 230 low-level offenders away from future offending. Positive too are the results from the In-Prison programme with 60 prisoners graduating while 11 children from prisoner’s families have received mentoring and support.

Anne says Whanau Oranga has proved its ability to respond to urgent need with the Huarahi Pai programme working alongside 35 Kaiti whanau who were caught up in a series of drug raids earlier this year.

She says a further 20 young mothers gained workplace skills with the help of Wahine Activate.

Absenteeism is a perennial problem. However, Anne says the Tairawhiti School Attendance Service worked with 579 students in total and were successful in getting 431 students back in school.

There was more good news for rangatahi this year with Paikea Gymnasium at Te Tini o Porou up and running. Fifty young people are enrolled in the Paikea Peak Performance pilot programme and plans are underway to mobilise the new equipment for use in communities along the Coast.

Whanau Oranga staff are looking to move to a single reporting system to simplify accountability requirements. “Once adopted, it will reduce the number of contractual reports we must complete from 130 to four and result in quarter of a million dollars’ worth of savings,” says Anne.


Toitu Ngati Porou is charged with the overall cultural development of Ngati Porou and with the implementation of strategies for education, matauranga, te reo, communications and marae.

This year Toitu paid out $660,000 in marae grants and $20,000 in capital grants to 35 Ngati Porou marae. Chairperson, Amohaere Houkamau says 24 marae have joined the Nati Insurance Scheme which has resulted in the majority of them reducing the costs of annual premiums by 30 percent to 50 percent and increasing insurance coverage.

She says the Wai Whai Nati initiative has connected 43 out of 48 marae with high-speed broadband.

To reduce governance costs, Toitu has reduced the number of its trustees from seven to five and cut back on the number of ‘kanohi kitea’ board meetings

“Given that we’ve got high expectations — major ambitions —and uncertain annual revenue streams we need to prioritise our spending to firstly cover our annual marae grant payments, which requires us to provision approximately $1.1 million every year.

This coming financial year we will also be prioritising Ngati Porou Reo, matauranga/education, the arts and entrepreneurship,” says Amohaere.

The Ngati Porou Reo Implementation Plan will roll out next year at the Ngati Porou Pa Wars, with a major communication drive. The purpose of the communication drive is to inform Ngati Porou hapu, marae, taurahere and reo collectives about the initiatives Toitu Ngati Porou will be investing in over the next two years and how they can engage and participate.

Radio Ngati Porou’s part-time archivist Kingston Cooper, provided a report on the work that he has been doing, as a consequence of Toitu’s investment in the radio’s archive project. Kingston has so far archived 964 recordings of pakeke, wananga and hui, which Radio Ngati Porou will be broadcasting on multiple platforms.

Amohaere says a contestable fund for Ngati Porou entrepreneurship, visual and performing arts as well as taonga conservation will be set up to enable people to rebuild traditions.


This year has seen Ngati Porou Hauora (NPH) grow its client base to 9185 especially in the Gisborne service, Puhi Kaiti. The Huringa Pai initiative, additional diabetes clinics, dietary interventions with whanau and the outreach work of diabetes nurses have all had a positive impact.

NPH board chairperson, Teepa Wawatai says NPH is having to deal with a “dislocated funding system” with Tairawhiti District Health Board showing a profit this year despite consistently underfunding primary care. He says NPH is among the big-hitters in performance but has, so far, been reliant on the support of TRONPnui to the tune of $6 million to provide its Coast services.

Teepa says iwi should not have to dip into treaty settlement funds to subsidise primary health. He says Government is dodging its obligations to provide health services to all New Zealanders. TRONPnui plans to meet with Crown Ministers to address the deficit and find alternative pathways to alleviate the Hauora’s budget pressures.


Ngati Porou Holding Company Ltd (NPHCL) chairperson, Matanuku Mahuika presented an overview of the activities of the commercial arm of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, which included presentations from Ngati Porou Seafoods Group and Pakihiroa Farms.

On the investment front, two-thirds of the groups assets are invested through a series of fund managers. It was a tough year for financial markets, which were badly affected in early 2016 by the slump in the Chinese economy and then again in June, by the United Kingdom’s decision to exit the European Union just before the June 30 balance date (shortly afterwards however the markets quickly recovered). As a result of market volatility, this saw Ngati Porou’s profit dip to $6.5 million down from $18.3 million the previous year. However, overall asset base remained unaffected and grew, with total group assets reaching $210.9 million — up from $208.7 million in 2015.

Matanuku says market volatility is expected and factored into the investment plan which assesses returns over a five-year period and aims for a 2.5 percent real return over that period. “Our job is to cut and trim and do our best to anticipate what is going to happen, but the model anticipates volatility and despite the tough year we are still performing above the investment plan benchmark” says Matanuku.

Aside from overseeing investments, NPHCL has also been working with the operating parts of its business (fishing, farming, forestry and now manuka honey) to improve returns and therefore generate a greater contribution to group earnings.

The year produced mixed results with the fishing result being below budget due to the drop in pricing for the lease of deep water quota. However, farming had an improved result with a net profit of just under $400,000, up from a small loss in 2015.

The Ngati Porou miere (manuka honey) collective alongside a number of Ngati Porou land blocks is an exciting development and hopefully only the first collaborative enterprise with Ngati Porou land owners. A feasibility study is now under way into the possibility of developing a port in northern Ngati Porou.

Matanuku says, “There are a lot of challenges to this, including being able to satisfy ourselves about the environmental effects of such a development. However, this has been discussed for many years and we need to know whether it could work.”

NPHCL is also taking part in a Tairawhiti- Gisborne regional branding campaign which Matanuku says has potential to provide benefits to the region, particularly emphasising, “we want to be telling stories that speak about us and the provenance of Ngati Porou goods and services.”


Ngati Porou is beginning a process to review the TRONPnui Trust Deed five years after settlement. TRONPnui board member, Mei Reedy Taare says review dates have been pencilled in for January to May 2017 with June to August scheduled to incorporate any changes to the shape or content of the document. The review will be progressed by a TRONPnui Committee, although consideration is being given to the appointment of an external independent reviewer to oversee the process. The final report and recommendations will be tabled at the 2017 hui a tau and a special general meeting will be needed to approve any subsequent amendments to the Trust Deed.

The latest edition of Nati Link was launched at the Hui a Tau. Stories inside include: a profile about “Sidewalk Karaoke” creator, Bailey Mackey; the Kohere whanau’s pilgrimage to France to honour tipuna; Hikurangi Enterprise’s economic initiatives. Copies of Nati Link can be downloaded from or picked up from TRONPnui and Ngati Porou Hauora.


Environmental advocate, Tina Ngata spoke about seismic testing in the Pegasus and East Coast Basins. New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals (NZPAM) granted joint prospecting permits to oil giants Chevron and Norwegian ownedStatoil, despite formal objections by TRONPnui, nga hapu o Ngati Porou and Gisborne District Council.

At the close of the meeting, Ohinepoutea requested that a resolution be read regarding the settlement of Ngati Uepohatu claims within the overall Ngati Porou settlement.


• To watch the full webstream recording of the 2016 TRONPnui Hui a Tau visit the home page of

• To read the 2016 TRONPnui annual report and full financial statements, copies of the publication can be picked up from TRONPnui’s Gisborne and Ruatoria office sites, or downloaded from here.