Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated farewell President Ngahiwi Tomoana, welcome Bayden Barber

New board at the pōhiri with new president Bayden Barber standing.

Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated held a pōhiri held at the Waipatu Marae on Friday, to bid farewell to alumni and welcome new members to iwi’s board of directors.

This was followed by their first iwi board hui which took place at the office of Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated.

It was a great day and appropriately held at Waipatu Marae where in the past all newly elected board members were welcomed to the council.

However, this day was different with a new Chairman welcomed to the Board, replacing the only Chairman Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated has had since its inception in 1996. It was a special day for outgoing Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana and the new Chairman Bayden Barber.

Since the proclamation of the results of the iwi elections on April 26, these events were to take place on May 20, but were postponed because the new president and his family were affected by Covid-19 that week, and Tomoana left for Australia on May 21. The three-week delay that seemed to start slowly actually arrived in a hurry and was over in a flash.

Tomoana has been recognized for his long standing as an iwi leader for his people at home and in national and international iwi development forums.

The past month has seen many opportunities to reflect on what lies ahead. Tomoana leaves big shoes to fill but he also shows great confidence in the new president and wishes him luck with his future endeavours.

It is only fitting that the pōhiri took place at this time of the year as we head towards the Matariki Maramataka. Matariki is a time for new things, a time to refocus, reevaluate, re-energize and restart with our minds set on the path forward, with new views of the future and things to come.

Other new board members include Eruera Beattie who resides in Kirikiriroa and replaces Owen Purcell representing the Northern Taurahere. Thompson Hokianga will replace Wairoa Rogers and represent Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga. Jenishavorne Waipuka arrives as the new alternate for Kahungunu ki Wairarapa’s representative, Melissa Ihaka.

Change is always good. What is difficult in change are the new challenges that come with change. Like Covid-19 and the many changes we have accepted as people to stay safe and healthy, these challenges are opportunities to make us stronger.

Happy Matariki everyone!

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