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Uenuku iwi calls for whānau to bring skills home

Uenuku iwi calls for whānau to bring skills home

Uenuku people are being called upon to return home to the Waimarino rohe on the central plateau with skills, determination and energy to support the drive to uplift the iwi.

It is nearly a year since a hui-ā-iwi called for a new tribal entity to be established as “a fresh start”, and to provide a collective voice for Uenuku whānau, hapū, marae and descendants of Uenuku.

At Mangamingi Pā between Raetihi and Ohakune on 1 February 2014, a series of resolutions was passed to establish a legal entity that would have the capacity and ability to represent all Uenuku uri (descendants). As a result, Uenuku Charitable Trust (UCT) was legally registered on 3 April 2014 under the kaupapa: To elevate the mana motuhake o Uenuku.

UCT chair Aiden Gilbert says the organisation has come a long way in a short time.

“When you look back to this time last year, you have to be amazed at the extent and pace of the mahi required by our interim trustees to progress the interests of Uenuku to this point – but in reality the mahi has only just begun, and another big year lies ahead.

“UCT has developed key strategies to uplift the iwi and support the vision Maranga Mai, Uenuku (Rise Up, Uenuku). Our Strategic Plan, Uenuku 2020, encompasses the hopes of our iwi, from cultural revitalisation to economic development and environmental management (and this can be viewed on our website www.uenuku.iwi.nz).

“We are determined and well-positioned to make a genuine difference in our communities, and committed to working to realise the needs and aspirations of our people. We need all hands on deck to achieve this. And so we are calling for Uenuku uri to come home, to bring their expertise and knowledge back to us, to give of themselves so that together we can work to strengthen our iwi.”

Mr Gilbert said UCT is heading into an intensive phase of Treaty Settlement work and at the same time will continue the push to advance whānau, hapū and iwi development. Skills are needed in business and management, finance, law, environmental management, social and health services, operations and administration, IT and other areas.

UCT’s structure was developed to ensure all Uenuku marae, hapū and uri have the opportunity to participate fully in iwi business through mandated representation on the Board of Trustees. There are 38 places on the Board, with strong kaumātua presence and seats for hapū, marae, rangatahi, uri and claimants.
“Our processes have been open to whānau and hapū to contribute, and we are guided by a set of core values and principles based on tika, pono and aroha,” Mr Gilbert said. “Our structure encourages hapū to meet regularly, and this is where we see whānau enabled to participate in decision making about issues that have a direct impact on their lives.
“We are also committed to strengthening our networks with other hapū, iwi, Government and NGO for the benefit of Uenuku people and our whanaunga from neighbouring iwi.”
UCT is representing Uenuku interests across the board, including the Te Awa Tupua Whanganui river settlement, Tongariro National Park and Taurewa Forest settlements, the Ruapehu District Māori Council, DOC and Ruapehu District Council working groups. It is working with organisations such as Ruapehu Alpine Lifts and Ruapehu Whānau Transformation Project, and is formalising partnerships with groups including major Māori land trusts.

“Progress of this nature has been a long time coming for Uenuku. But as we steer the waka we know that the ripples that have faced us will become waves sometimes – waves that will need everyone paddling together as one.
“Mā te kotahi o te waihoe ka tae tō tātou waka ki uta.”

For more information and to register on the iwi register, go to www.uenuku.iwi.nz

Ends

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