This whakatauki refers to the strength of Ngāti Awa that arises from the collective aspirations of its people and the unity of its hapū. The ongoing support and tireless efforts of Ngāti Awa Kaumātua have been integral to the success of the Rūnanga since its inception in 1980.
Today, the Rūnanga is governed by a Charter that outlines how the Rūnanga will operate, including the establishment of the Kāhui Kaumātua (Elders Council). The role of Te Kāhui Kaumātua is to protect the Mauri of Ngāti Awa.
The Kāhui Kaumātua meets regularly and provides advice to the Rūnanga on issues relating to the tikanga, kawa, korero and reo of Ngāti Awa. Each hapū appoints a member to the Kāhui Kaumātua that provides regular updates at monthly Rūnanga meetings. The Rūnanga is also able to call upon the Kāhui Kaumātua to resolve disputes relating to issues of tikanga. Each hapū appoints a member to the Kāhui.
© TE RŪNANGA O NGĀTI AWA 2009