Wednesday 9 November 2022

E ngā uri o Ngāti Whātua Ngā Rima o Kaipara, tēnā koutou katoa.

Ko Māhuhu ki te rangi tōku waka
Ko Tauwhare tōku maunga
Ko Kaipara tōku awa
Ko Waitematā tōku moana
Ko Uruamo/Povey tōku whānau
Ko Te Taoū tōku hapū
Ko Rewiti, raua ko Ōrākei, ko Haranui ōku marae
Ko Ngāti Whātua tōku Iwi
Ko Julia Steenson ahau.

I am writing to you as acting Chief Executive for Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara Development Trust, while the Chief Executive, Sarah Īhāia-Chapman is currently on leave.

Many of you will have heard rumours or been told different things by different people about which Trustees are currently leading Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara (NMWK). Sadly, this is a continuation of years of conflict and power plays that prevent NMWK from focusing on its most important duty – to directly improve the day-to-day lives of our whānau. This is what our people deserve and should expect; not serious and prolonged dysfunction.  On 3 May 2022 through proper process, the Trust Board unanimously passed a special resolution to appoint a Commissioner. This was done as a practical solution to address years of dysfunction and to ensure our collective efforts are focused where they should be ...serving you, the beneficiaries of NMWK.

Some trustees appear to no longer be committed to appointing the Commissioner, choosing not to stand by that binding agreement and questioning its need. Their subsequent actions have been without appropriate process and authority.

As a result, today an application has been filed with the High Court to seek confirmation that the decision in May 2022 by the Trustees to complete a process to appoint a Commissioner is valid and must be followed.

This is not a decision made lightly. We have sought the wise counsel of our kaumātua representatives from the five marae. They have been guiding us to ensure tikanga is at the forefront of this decision. They understand that the relationship between trustees is broken, that talking and mediation has repeatedly failed, and that the Trust is unable to function for the good of the beneficiaries.

As I write this, the words of a kaumātua are with me:

“Meanwhile, the little girl waits with rats running past her.”

The journey for ngā uri o Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara to thrive is all that matters. We must break this stalemate through the appointment of a Commissioner, and end the ongoing actions of self-interest that have prevented progress being made.

We desperately need NMWK to be working properly for the immediate benefit of all our whānau, hapū, Iwi and our five marae, and for the long term sustenance and mauri of our mokopuna and whenua.

Ngā mihi nui e te whānau for your support and patience while we continue to work through this. I will keep you updated throughout.

Ngā manaakitanga

Julia Steenson
Manahautū | Chief Executive (Acting)
Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara Development Trust

NB: To find out more about this, please click here to go to go to our Frequently Asked Questions page.

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