The Whenua Is Thriving And So Are The People

Dec. 7, 2022, 7:06 p.m.

Te Aupōuri have been working hard, reviving their whenua, creating solid business strategies across their assets and creating future pathways for their people across many sectors. 

Te Rūnanga Nui o Te Aupōuri overarches smaller subsidiaries such as Te Aupōuri Iwi Development Trust, Te Aupōuri Commercial Development LTD and Te Aupōuri Fisheries Development LTD and each division act as vehicles to sustain future growth for the iwi. 

The iwi are proving that they can effectively utilise Māori assets in ways that are consistent with te ao Māori. They showcased their efforts by holding a farm and whenua tour recently for whānau to participate in. The tour ended with their new nursery, named Komako Nursery, being blessed.

Matire Murray, who shares whakapapa to Te Aupōuri through her father, the late Thomas Kahiti Murray, her Paraone line though whaea tupuna Merata, and also the Natanahira line through Te Ikanui, shared a positive response to the tour;

“I had an awesome day yesterday on the Farm Tour. If they decide to have another, I highly recommend. It was enlightening to see how huge it is and all the hard work put into the land. The progress & passion shared from Nick Nattrass and Dave Ratu was very informative. 

Our bus driver drove through them lanes like a boss haha! Nga mihi to our bus tour guide Penetaui Kleskovic. Hirikia Murray, Uncle Heta Conrad's personal uber driver. Peter-Lucas Jones Mariameno Kapa Kingi Tui Kapa who made this day happen, & anyone else I may have missed out. 

Had an awesome time with our kaumatua Uncle Joe Everitt Uncle Robert & Aunty Didi Grace Kaaka Uncle Winiata Brown Aunty Mickey Wi. My cuzzies Lesley Herewini Roselin Laban Tracey Witana Bernie Kapa Nicky Conrad. Our packed lunches were delicious. The blessing of Komako dedicated to Clock Pako at Te Kao Kura. The presentation of the Potahi Papakainga (Progress Project) & to finish it off with a delicious kai. Nga mihi nunui Renee Ratu. See you all soon for our AGM at Potahi Marae.”

Another whānau member, Rosalin Laban detailed on Facebook;

“We totally agree with you Matire the tour was awesome and the passion displayed by the farm Managers made us feel our assets are in safe hands. They are an inspiration to all so to everyone that made it happen. Ngā Mihi.”

Tautīnei spoke to Penetaui Kleskovich about the day;

“It was awesome to be able to show our whānau what we have been busy working on. We work really hard to create solutions. Aspects such as employment opportunities, looking after our whenua, generating revenue from our whenua via viable business opportunities and raising a resilient rangatahi by keeping them connected and learning how to sustain the future for the people,” said Kleskovich.

The nursery was named after Raniera Henare Pako, also known as Uncle Clock, and the nursery is located at Te Kao kura. He was the son of Suzie Harawira and Henare Pako. Pako married Kiritokia Wiki. 

Lesley Herewini described how the rain fell right at karakia time and showed the wāanau that the tūpuna were definitely watching over the blessing.

Komako Nursery is in dedication to Raniera Henare Pako, known as ‘Uncle Clock’ to Aupōuri whanau. Karakia and waiata was shared with tamariki from Te Kura o Te Kao while a fine mist-like rain fell, truly blessing this special occasion.

After exploring all stops, we ended our day back at Pōtahi Marae where whānau were given an overview of papakāinga developments followed by delicious kai and kōrero,” detailed the Te Aupōuri Facebook page.

Te Rūnanga Nui o Te Aupōuri have an extensive range of skills across their trusteeship and board. Peter-Lucas Jones holds the role of Heamana for Te Rūnanga Nui o Te Aupōuri and Mariameno Kapa-Kingi is the Tumu Whakarae. Penetaui Kleskovich is the Operations Manager and the iwi is going from strength to strength as their whenua becomes vibrant and the people are working on the soil to which they belong.

The iwi also owns 22 homes on Pōtahi Road in Te Kao which are available for registered iwi members to rent through Ray White. The fisheries and commercial divisions are doing equally well and the recent partnership with Sealord is another notch in the iwi’s belt as iwi rangatahi and whānau have been able to take up employment and training opportunities in Motueka, Nelson.

“The past few years have been extraordinary times. Collaboration with iwi members, neighbouring iwi and other stakeholders enabled the Rūnanga to implement a successful Covid response for Te Aupōuri, and our business is performing well despite global challenges. It is fair to say that we are experiencing economic, market and geopolitical events that have not been seen in quite some time,” detailed Peter-Lucas Jones.

The future is a thriving one as the iwi continue to innovate and maintain homeostasis within the whenua, the new nursery, the moana - and therefore, the people. 


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