The recent appointment of the new Chief Executive of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou represents a home coming for the successful candidate, who returns to live amongst his whanau after three decades working in the commercial sector.
Dean Ngaiwi Moana hails from the Waiapu Valley and affiliates to Ngai Tane, Te Whanau-a-Takimoana and Te Whanau-a-Hinepare. He was raised in Rangitukia, alongside numerous other mokopuna by his Nanny, Tawai Moana (nee Horua) and grandfather, Hamuera Moana.
Dean views himself as Ngati Porou from the “boots-up”, and has experience building projects inter- nationally, as well as growing well-known New Zealand companies primarily in the seafood industry, as both an executive and director. His earlier career included influential roles in international construction companies, Ernst & Young Accounting firm and Te Ohu Kaimoana.
For the past ten years Dean has been based in Palmerston North with his wife Brenda and two sons, Hamuera and Manahi. During this period he has concurrently held the position of Chief Executive of Prepared Foods Ltd, Managing Director of Prepack Ltd and an Executive of Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd. Since 2006 he has also held a directorship on Ngati Porou Seafoods Group.
Dean says that it is both an honour and a privilege to be selected for the top job. One of the catalysts which inspired his decision to apply for the role was the recent passing of former Runanga- nui Chairman, Dr Apirana Mahuika.
"He leaves a huge legacy - his single mindedness, his drive, his philosophy of Ngati Porou first, second and third. Those are big shoes for all to fill and footsteps for us to follow. And so you start to think when people of his ilk pass on it’s time for younger fellas to step up. That contributed to my decision to move out of what I’m doing now and come back home.”
Dean will take up the role at beginning of August, and replaces outgoing Chief Executive Teepa Wawatai who has held he position since October 2013. One of his first priorities when he starts the new job is to get out and about in the rohe to meet the people. And to find out from Iwi members what they want, what they believe the Runanganui is doing well, and where the organisation can improve.
Dean says he is excited about the opportunities that are ahead for him and for Ngati Porou. “We need to look really long term. I know most people when they talk about long term planning they are talking 3 and 5 years. But for us we have to look a bit further. We have to fix a vision in our minds about what we want Ngati Porou, particularly at home, to look like in that future.”