Kia ora e te whānau,
In our last newsletter we highlighted that the Te Arawa Lakes Trust elections are taking place this year.
These elections are incredibly important for Ngāti Rangitihi as the Lakes Trust is responsible for the sustainable management of Te Arawa’s settlement assets. This includes the region’s 14 lakes, Te Tuapapa o nga wai o Te Arawa (the cultural values framework), the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group, and Fishing Licence allocation.
As Mana Whenua of Lake Tarawera, Lake Rotomahana, Lake Rerewhakaaitu, and Lake Okaro, it is crucial that Ngāti Rangitihi is represented on the Lakes Trust. We have an opportunity to elect three Trustees through a rohe based-electoral system. As members of the Tuhourangi Tipuna Rohe, we elect candidates alongside members of Tuhourangi and Ngāti Tarawhai.
In the last election, all three trustees elected from our Tuhourangi Tipuna rohe were Tuhourangi. While Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust has approached the Lakes Trust about adjusting their election method to allow for a more representative Trustee line-up, they do not wish to change the election system. Our priority as an iwi therefore needs to be identifying and supporting our Ngāti Rangitihi candidates.
I want to encourage all of you to make sure that you are registered to vote during the upcoming elections, and that as an iwi we identify some strong candidates to stand in the Lakes Trust elections. Ngāti Rangitihi has some fantastic and talented people who will be an asset to the Lakes Trust, so let’s work together to make sure they put their names forward, and show our support by voting for them.
Nominations for this year’s Lakes Trust elections will open on Wednesday 5 September and close on Wednesday 26 September. If you’d like more information about the Lakes Trust and the nomination process, please contact the Lakes Trust office on 0508 832 729 or go to www.tearawa.iwi.nz.
This is an exciting time for Ngāti Rangitihi. I look forward to sharing more news about progress we are making in negotiating our Treaty Settlement in the coming months.