Kia ora e te whānau,
I’ve had some recent feedback that our whānau enjoyed the weekly blogs that Nick used to produce during his time as our General Manager, so I figured I would give restarting them a go!
Here is the first in what I am sure will be many more of “Corey’s Kōrero”, which is a “short” weekly blog that I hope gives you an insight into some of the mahi that we’re currently progressing in the rūnanga office and to touch on some highlights/challenges in our operating environment.
- I want to acknowledge our whānau who attended this year’s AGM – either in person at Ūkaipō or via the livestream. It was great to see so many new and familiar faces, and to share with you all some of the highlights and challenges we’ve worked through over the past year. It would be remiss of me to not acknowledge the significant contribution that Amelia Hollman has made to our rūnanga during her time with the Trust. I have thoroughly enjoyed the guidance, leadership and input that Amelia has provided to me, to my team and at the Trust table – particularly in the conservation and Taiao space. I also acknowledge the reelection of Haysley MacDonald, and the election of Wirihana de Thierry-Lukitau, as Trustees. The election results can be viewed here.
- Today, Minister of Conservation Hon Kiritapu Allan made an exciting announcement at Titiraukawa. The Minister confirmed that the Government will be providing support to enable a project to clean up rivers in the Marlborough Sounds, which will open up dozens of new job opportunities. $7.5m has been provided to support the Te Hoiere Restoration Project – a project which covers more than 10,700 hectares of the Te Hoiere and Kaituna River and Cullen Creek catchments. I want to acknowledge the work of the Kotahitanga mō Te Taiao Alliance and the Te Hoiere Restoration Project Team, where Sally Neal (our Pou Taiao) has been representing us. This is a very exciting announcement that will make a meaningful difference to Te Hoiere.
- Earlier in the year, I provided an update to whānau on announcements that the Government had made as part of its health reforms. Particularly, I indicated our support of the establishment of a Māori Health Authority – an opportunity to begin to turn the tide on inequitable health outcomes across Aotearoa. I want to mihi to the incoming Māori Health Authority members, in particular, Co-Chairs Sharon Shea and Tipa Mahuta. It is exciting to note that the Authority are now recruiting for a Tumu Whakarae – Chief Executive. The Māori Health Authority will be in place from 1 July 2022.
- Three Waters continues to be a massive kaupapa that our team are endeavoring to keep across. For those of you who are interested, I’ve provided some links below to our respective Councils and the Department of Internal Affairs websites on the reform programme. The recent passing through Parliament of the Water Services Act will introduce higher standards for our Councils in relation to monitoring and enforcement of compliance around water and infrastructure standards. I can see some great benefits through the reform programme, which would keep assets in public ownership, deliver improvements for our drinking, waste and stormwater services, and also provide significant improvements around Māori influence in decision making. No doubt you’ll hear some noise from the community about the reform programme, so I encourage you to do some reading and to keep abreast of the developments in this space.
- We’ve got some exciting initiatives underway – if you’ve missed them, I encourage you to have a look at the links below:
- The Marlborough Lines Tertiary Scholarship for Māori is now open for applications. Click here for more information.
- 9 October 2021: Te Pokohiwi Working Bee
- 23 October 2021: Whānau Scuba Diving
- 4 November 2021: Te Hui Arotake o Tangata Rau Reo Kotahi
- 12-14 November 2021: Wānanga Ahurea ki Wairau
- Whānau Maara Kai at Home Project. Click here for more information.
In closing, I just wanted to share one further link with you. Earlier this year, the Trust agreed to provide a financial contribution towards the establishment of Manu Ora. One of the amazing stories that shone through this was the connection that the Walker whanau have to the home, which was previously owned by Jim and Violet Walker. It is fitting that a whare that was a place of such aroha and manaaki has now been repurposed to become a clinic providing culturally sensitive primary health care in our people. You can read more about this here.