HAPPY BIRTHDAY TE RARAWA
Congratulations to Te Runanga o Te Rarawa on it’s 20th Anniversary. It reminds me of many things: when Jack Campbell threatened to take the name Te Rarawa away from everyone else; Gloria Herbert’s peaceful and positive demeanour balancing out Jack’s gruff persona; the Runanga’s one staff member pecking away on a second-hand computer; all the iwi sharing the same office space; and Kevin Robinson when his hair was black.
Today the Runanga employs more than sixty people under their loyal and long-suffering CEO, Kevin Robinson, and it’s because of the Runanga leadership’s stability and vision, that they have not had to go through the upheavals that others continue to face.
Like others, I too have often chafed at the time that Te Runanga o Te Rarawa has taken to develop an idea, and bring it to fruition, but the acceptance by Te Rarawa of the process and the decisions, speaks volumes for the faith the people have in their Runanga.
2006 is also a special year because Te Rarawa’s wonderful chairperson, Gloria Herbert, is retiring after many years of helping to guide her iwi into a positive and prominent position in the affairs of the Tai Tokerau. Gloria is an original Runanga member who shared the first years of the Runanga’s management with Kevin Robinson, before taking over the chair. Under her direction, Te Rarawa has seen huge progress, and her stamp is very much upon that growth.
Gloria is a fine woman, and a genuinely caring person who always takes time to talk to people, regardless of their station in life or their iwi. Gloria is a woman of great humanity and compassion, and a person with a genuine love for her people.
Gloria Herbert has also been a hugely calming and positive influence in my own life. An MP I may be now, but Gloria knew and helped guide me, back in the days when I was a wild and woolly radical with a burning passion, a bulletproof hide, and no ears.
The new chairman, Mr Haami Piripi, is another story altogether. Te Rarawa is in for a change in style, for I suspect the fires of independence still rage in the heart of their new chairman. I wish him well in his endeavours, and I offer him my support in the challenges he faces.
Happy Birthday Te Rarawa. Thank you Gloria for all that you have done, and for everyone you have touched. May the years ahead be peaceful ones for you, your long-suffering husband, and your wonderful family. Best of wishes Kevin, for you carry the good from the old regime into the world of the new. And Haami? May you never blink.
WINDS OF CHANGE
Meridian Energy wants to build a wind farm down Pouto way.
It’s still going through the planning stages at the
moment, and public consultation and discussion with Te Uri o
Hau has yet to be completed, but if all parties can reach an
agreement, it could be a winner.
Having Auckland get first dibs on all power sourced from south of the Bombay Hills doesn’t help us attract business opportunities. Local power generation will help the north become a positive option for business development.
And wind farms are cool. They don’t look too flash, but they don’t smell, they don’t belch smoke, they don’t ruin the rivers, and they don’t gobble up resources. They use nothing but good, clean, always available wind, and they generate power for the people.
And talking about power, all power to the police for the good work in the Kahui case.
The news that Chris Kahui was charged with the murders of his twin baby boys last week wasn’t a big shock. Some of the whanau already knew, but unless somebody admits to it, the police have to do hard yakka to uncover the truth.
So congratulations to the police. They had a stink job to do, they had everyone on their case to get a result, and they got a hard time for taking so long.
I wasn’t surprised that nobody owned up though. I mean – hands up anyone out there who would willingly own up to murder? It doesn’t happen too often with other murders, so it was a bit much expecting anyone to own up to these ones.
I contrast that reality with the Maori Party’s vision, which says that:
“The Maori Party is born of the dreams and aspirations of tangata whenua to achieve self-determination for whanau, hapu and iwi within their own land; to speak with a strong, independent and united voice; and to live according to kaupapa handed down by their ancestors.
Our vision is be based on these aspirations, for they speak to us of whanau whose wairua is strong and vibrant; who have fully developed their spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical well-being; and who are confident, secure and pro-active in all aspects of the social, cultural, economic and political life of this great country of ours.”
The Kahui case reminds me that we’ve got a hell of a lot of work to do within Maoridom, if we are to break this vicious and destructive cycle of death.
I’ve talked to a couple of Maori MPs from other parties to see whether we’re up to the challenge of doing something positive for our kids as a result of this tragedy. I hope we can. Our kids deserve better.
Tai Tokerau MP