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Uenuku Launches ‘Game-Changing’ Social & Cultural Trust


Uenuku Launches ‘Game-Changing’ Social & Cultural Trust

The launch of a new iwi Social and Cultural Trust in Raetihi next week (Wednesday 22 November) marks the beginning of a new era for the iwi of Uenuku, Tamakana and Tamahaki.

In preparation for the post-treaty settlement era, Uenuku Charitable Trust is establishing a social and cultural entity – the first of three new subsidiary trusts – to help progress the development aspirations of the three tribes and their hapū (sub-tribes).

Local dignitaries, community and business leaders and Crown officials from various government ministries will attend the launch at the Theatre Royal in Raetihi along with representatives of neighbouring iwi including Ngāti Rangi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Hāua and other iwi and hapū of the Whanganui River and the Ruapehu district. Uenuku Charitable Trust will share its plan and some of the aspirations expressed by the people of Uenuku, Tamakana and Tamahaki.

Uenuku Charitable Trust is currently negotiating the settlement of Treaty of Waitangi claims. The launch of the new entity results from aspirations expressed by members of the three tribes as part of the pathway to settlement, and UCT chairman Aiden Gilbert said the aim was to begin laying the groundwork for post-settlement development.

“We know that the work we are doing now is only part of a bigger picture but we don’t have to wait for Treaty settlement to start chipping away at all there is to be done,” Mr Gilbert said. “This new entity will allow our people to build a solid foundation for the work that lies ahead.”

In planning and preparing for the launch of this subsidiary trust, it had been an honour to witness kotahitanga in action – Māori and the Crown coming together for the common good of the whānau, hapū and iwi of the district.

“I want to mihi to all the people and organisations who have helped Uenuku Charitable Trust move toward this exciting initiative, which we view as a critical platform or incubator for growing alliances and partnerships, and generating strategies that will help drive the social and cultural aspirations of Uenuku, Tamakana and Tamahaki,” Mr Gilbert said.

“At the centre of this launch is a value that strikes to the heart of Uenuku, Tamakana and Tamahaki. That is the care and respect of our cultural repositories, the caretakers of our marae, the leaders of our whānau and the teachers of our mokopuna – the ones who walk before us, our kuia and koroua.

“All these people bring to this effort inter-generational and expert knowledge. While remembering that tangata whenua – who know our communities best – must be in the driver’s seat, we know that when we work together we collectively create a pool of understanding, skill and expertise that I have no doubt will make remarkable things happen in our communities.

“I acknowledge us all for responding to the karanga of those who have gone before us with what we think is a game-changing initiative that:

• Will build and strengthen our social and cultural health and wellbeing;

• Will bring together Māori and non-Māori to generate and implement social and cultural initiatives;

• Will begin to address some of the social and cultural concerns, issues and challenges facing our people;

• Will advance the hopes and dreams of our whānau, hapū and iwi;

• Will honour our tūpuna and create a foundation for our mokopuna.

“This is a milestone initiative that all of us can be proud of, and as a tribal authority we are excited about the changes and the difference this new entity has the potential to make for our people.”

ends


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