Marama Cook to receive 2020 Raewyn Good Study Award

Marama Rose Cook of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi receives this award for Māori and Pasifika social science research, supporting her Master’s degree project: ‘Ngā Ewe Whakawhenua: A Collation of Vital Voices – a Ngāti Awa Perspective’.

Read more here.

Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa welcome new staff

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa welcome eleven new staff at Te Mānuka Tūtahi

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa welcomes eleven new staff today at Te Mānuka Tūtahi Marae. The new staff are a Programme Manager for new projects, and ten staff employed in Korehāhā Whakahau, the first Iwi led Predator Free 2050 project in Aotearoa.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Manahautū Leonie Simpson says “These new positions are our commitment to social, cultural and economic outcomes for Ngāti Awa whānau and the Iwi. The Programme Manager will be responsible for leading our new projects associated with our Provincial Growth Fund projects, and the Korehāhā Whakahau staff will eradicate possums from 4700ha of land within the Ngāti Awa rohe including Whakatāne, Ōhope, and Ōhiwa Harbour”.

Programme Manager, Alieta Waitoa joins Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa to lead a small project team dedicated to delivering a range of new Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa projects funded by the Provincial Growth Fund, including Te Ara Mahi (Workforce Development and a new Technical Training Centre), Army Hall Redevelopment, Water ways protection, and our Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme. Alieta was previously the National Procurement Manager at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa based in Te Awamutu.

The Korehāhā Whakahau staff have either been previously unemployed or lost their jobs through the impacts of Covid-19 and are part of the Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Iwi workforce programme. This programme is building transferable skills, focussed on our values and aspirations. For Korehāhā Whakahau, this is practically implementing kaitiakitanga in our rohe, employing whānau, and growing our collective Iwi capacity and capability. Korehāhā Whakahau will use new trap technology without the use of any toxins.

Korehāhā Whakahau Kaiarahi Simon Harris says “Receiving this job has made my manawa so happy. Hapū of Ngāti Awa have been protecting our whenua as kaitiaki nō muri mai anō; this is a continuation of that work and I am extremely privileged to be paid to be an active kaitiaki”.

Korehāhā Whakahau is funded through Predator Free and Kaimahi for Nature and has created 16 new jobs in total. New staff are descendants of Ngai Taiwhakaea, Ngai Te Rangihouhiri, Ngāti Hokopū, Ngāti Pūkeko, Ngāti Hāmua, Ngai Tamaoki, Ngai Tamapare, Te Pahipoto, Ngāi Tamawera, Ngā Maihi, Ngāti Rangataua, Warahoe, Wharepaia and Ngāti Hikakino.

For enquiries please contact:

Ngāti Awa marae receive renovations funding


Ngāti Awa marae receive renovations funding

A funding application made by twelve Ngāti Awa marae for marae renovations, supported by Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, has been successful. The applicants will receive $4.8m to renovate and upgrade their marae facilities. The funding was approved by government prior to the 17 October election.

Alf Morrison, Chair of Uirāroa Marae Trustees said “Being able to upgrade our marae and working for the benefit of our hapū is really great. Employing our people and doing the marae up means our people and our marae get direct instant results”.

The Marae Renovation funding will create employment for Ngāti Awa people and suppliers and local tradesmen and women.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Manahautū Leonie Simpson says “The application was pulled together quickly, and marae were very engaged and responsive. Marae and hapū are very capable of leading development like this, and the funding accelerates their ability to do so”.

The twelve Ngāti Awa marae to receive funding are: Puawairua, Te Hokowhitu a Tu, Pukeko, Uiraroa, Tuteao, Tuariki, Pupuaruhe, Rangataua, Rewatu, Ruaihona, Te Rangihouhiri (Whakatāne and Te Teko) and Motiti island (Ruakopiha and Te Hihi Taua).   Other Ngāti Awa marae to receive funding include Te Whare o Toroa, Te Paroa and Te Mapou.

There are twenty two hapū of Ngāti Awa, and nineteen marae.

For more information:

Ngāti Awa to host one year anniversary event to remember the victims of Whakaari.

Whakaari He Rā Maumahara Anniversary

We can confirm that Te Rūnanga of Ngāti Awa (Ngāti Awa) in co-operation with local and national government will host the official remembrance event to mark the first anniversary of the Whakaari/White Island eruption on 9 December, 2019. The event will take place at Te Mānuka Tūtahi Marae, 105 Muriwai Drive, Whakatāne on the afternoon of Wednesday 9th December, 2020. Exact timing and a programme is still being confirmed.

In planning this event we have been speaking with whānau that were most directly impacted by the tragedy. These include the survivors and the families who lost loved ones. The feedback we have received so far is that some whānau would like to participate in an event whereas others would prefer to observe. We are keeping their wishes at the centre of our planning and working towards a small-scale event that is respectful of the families wishes and at the same time provides an appropriate commemoration for the victims.

We have also decided in the interest of public safety to observe Covid-19 Level 2 restrictions even if  New Zealand is at Level 1. This means that we will limit the numbers inside the Mataatua Wharenui to 50 visitors, and the public gathering to 100 people. We will be encouraging attendees to wear masks or face coverings and will ensure social distancing is observed. We will review this decision as the day approaches ensuring that the health and safety of the public is at the forefront of our decision making.

We appreciate that with international borders likely to be closed overseas survivors and the families of victims are unlikely to be able to attend. To ensure that they can participate virtually, the event will be livestreamed and we are inviting these people to provide pre-recorded video content should they wish to. Ngāti Awa will work with its government partners and the local community to provide a larger and more inclusive commemoration event at a future date when travel is not restricted and when we are confident that that Covid-19 virus does not pose a serious risk.

Detailed plans for the event on 9 December are still being finalised and will be published in due course. In the meantime we would encourage you to check the Ngāti Awa website: where we will providing updates.


For further information please contact Tui McDonald on 027 252 7017.

Te Kūpenga o Taramainuku photographic exhibition by Ngāti Awa artist Simone Magner 26/09/20 at 3.00 pm

Te Kupenga o Taramainuku is a photographic exhibition by Ngāti Awa artist Simone Magner.  Te Kupenga o Taramainuku pā in Te Teko was once the hub of Rangitaiki.  In September 1865 Rangitaiki was invaded by Government Forces and their allies where a siege took place only weeks later.  Simone is an uri of Hetaraka Te Tawhero who was a witness to events that led to siege.

Event Name: Te Kūpenga o Taramainuku photographic exhibition by Ngāti Awa artist Simone Magner
Date: 26/09/20
Time: 3.00 pm
Location: Whakatāne Community Board Gallery, Te Kōputu a te Whanga a Toi (Whakatāne Library and Exhibition Centre)

He taonga te wai – Water is an inherited treasure

Ngāti Awa Iwi and hapū leaders, kaumātua and rangatahi have united at the High Court in Rotorua today to fight a proposal by Creswell New Zealand Limited (Creswell), to extract 1.1 billion litres of water per year from the Awaiti Canal Aquifer in Otakiri for water bottling. Ngāti Awa is progressing this appeal through Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa.

Creswell is a subsidiary of Chinese soft drinks giant Ngonfu Spring, headquartered in Hangzhou, China. Otakiri is a small rural settlement a short distance from Whakatāne and within the Ngāti Awa rohe.

Ngāti Awa first opposed the Creswell proposal in 2018, concerned that the proposal would have irrevocable and negative effects on te mauri o te wai, and that Ngāti Awa would not be able to carry out their roles as kaitiaki for a resource once it has been removed. This argument was summed up by Ngāti Awa pukenga and former Rūnanga Chair Dr. Hohepa Mason when he described it as: “too much water, to be sold, too far away”.

Leonie Simpson, Manahautū (CEO), Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa says: “He taonga te wai – water is an inherited treasure. Once it has been removed from our rohe our wai will never return. As kaitiaki and mana whenua we have a responsibility to act when decisions impact the natural resources within our rohe.

“In relation to the Creswell proposal this amounts to excessive amounts of our taonga being exported offshore and the impact this has on te mauri o te wai and our ability to be kaitiaki.

“We are also concerned about the wider allocation of freshwater rights in Aotearoa. Many of these consents are historical and are being bought up by investors all over New Zealand, who are simply attracted by the very high profits they can make. Allocation just keeps moving without any qualitative assessment on whether this is an appropriate use of water.”

Joe Harawira, Tumuaki (Chairman), Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa says: “We are focused on developing projects and businesses that are sustainable and create long-term meaningful opportunities for our Ngāti Awa people. Creswell plans to take a vital, scarce and precious resource forever.

“The benefits of the water, and the vast majority of the profits, will be enjoyed overseas. We cannot stand by and allow this project to progress unimpeded to the denigration of te mauri o te wai and our role as kaitiaki.”

The Creswell proposal includes plans to develop a manufacturing plant on site in Otakiri with the capacity to produce 1,800 single use plastic bottles per minute. Much of the water is destined to be exported to China, where artisanal New Zealand spring water sells at a premium.

Ngāti Awa are also concerned about water quality within their rohe. Residents of Whakatāne drink water with an E rating, the lowest acceptable level for human consumption in New Zealand, while residents living in Murupara and Kawerau also suffer from a poor-quality drinking water[1]

Ngāti Awa are determined that the views of New Zealanders who are overwhelmingly opposed to water bottling for bulk exports are not ignored. They have recently called upon the Whakatāne District Council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to back an initiative supporting a moratorium on applications to take water for bulk export and for councils to take a more holistic view of the potential effects of the current industry.

“Successive governments have failed to address the very real issue of water rights in Aotearoa. It is only fair that government work with Iwi and hapū as partners to address the issues of water quality, allocation and broader issues that impact our environment. In a country impacted by severe drought and water shortages it is nothing short of negligent to give this taonga away.

“To allow this project to progress will be a terrible mistake and not lead to positive outcomes for our mokopuna (future generations).” added Leonie Simpson.


For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Bianca Ruakere: 021 453189

Notes to Editors:

Ngāti Awa are the descendants of Te Tini o Toi, the original inhabitants of the Eastern Bay of Plenty region, and the people who arrived on the Mataatua waka. Today Ngāti Awa represent 22 hapū and have 19 marae. For more information please visit the website:

Nongfu Spring is China’s largest supplier of packaged water and ranks as one of the top 20 beverage companies in China. They were founded in 1996 and are headquartered in Hangzhou, Zheijang Province, China. Creswell New Zealand Limited are a subsidiary of Nongfu Spring. For more information please visit the website:

[1] Source: ESR/Drinking Water for New Zealand:

First Iwi-led Predator Free 2050 project gets go ahead

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa has welcomed the announcement and funding of its Korehāhā Whakahau predator eradication project.

Funding was confirmed today by the Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at Te Mānuka Tūtahi Marae in Whākatane.

The $5.6 million-dollar project will be led and delivered by Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa. Initial funders include Predator Free 2050 Limited, providing $2.4m through the Provincial Growth Fund, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Awa Group Holdings and Department of Conservation.

The project will benefit from $2.5 million announced today from the Department of Conservation’s Jobs for Nature programme, which will also support other, yet-to-be announced Ngāti Awa taiao projects.

Korehaha Whakahau initial aim is to get rid of predators, starting with possums, across a 4,700ha area covering Whakatāne and Ōhōpe, benefitting biodiversity and boosting regional development and tourism. Exact boundaries are still being determined at this early stage of the project.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Manahautū, Leonie Simpson, says the project will connect Ngāti Awa people with the taiao, support kaitiakitanga amongst the Iwi and help them to reach their aspirations to care for and restore the taiao.

“This project is our first Iwi workforce development initiative post COVID-19. We will develop a group of kaimahi with transferable skills that not only support their whānau but also enable kaitiakitanga for our hapū and Ngāti Awa now and into the future.

“Our relationships with the taiao will continue beyond the project term and we are aiming for long term outcomes that are intergenerational.”

Ed Chignell Predator Free 2050 Limited Chief Executive says they are excited by the opportunity for new learning as Ngāti Awa brings its knowledge and connections to the Predator Free 2050 kaupapa.

“We will be sharing the latest trapping and detection methodologies to enable the project team to permanently remove possums from the project area and build their capacity in predator control operations.”

The Korehāhā Whakahau project covers both private, public and Ngāti Awa owned land. The funding will enable Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa to employ more people and continue to engage with other landowners to get the operational side of the project underway.

Leonie Simpson says Korehāhā Whakahau is an important part of a kete of mahi that Te Runanga o Ngāti Awa is developing post Whakaari and Covid 19. 

“Our suite of projects, which we have called POUA, encompasses existing and future projects like Kāinga (a new visitor hub at the Whakatāne Army Hall), a new commercial boat harbour led by a Ngāti Awa Lands Trust, riverside revitalisation and other taiao projects. POUA represents, Pou whenua (foundation posts) which signify our commitment to our rohe, our people and our future.

New POUA projects will be announced in the coming months as they are approved.”

Korehāhā Whakahau is the first iwi led ‘path finder’ project to receive Predator Free 2050 Limited funding.

For more information contact:

Michal Akurangi, Taiao Manager at Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa,

Tim Higham, Predator Free 2050 Limited Communication and Business Support Manager,

For more information about Predator Free 2050 Limited and its current projects see

Iwi and Council successfully attract funding for major Whakatāne Regeneration projects



13 March 2020

Iwi and Council successfully attract funding for major Whakatāne Regeneration projects

Te Rāhui Lands Trust, Ngāti Awa Group Holdings Limited, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa and Whakatāne District Council are excited to announce their successful applications to the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

Minister Shane Jones announced today that a contribution of more than $36 million will be made towards three significant projects with wide-reaching benefits for the Whakatāne District.

The development of a new boat harbour, the revitalisation of the town centre and riverfront and the transformation of the Whakatāne Army Hall will go ahead as part of a suite of joint applications under the Whakatāne Regeneration Programme.

The Government’s Provincial Growth Fund has committed a  total of $19.6 million to the boat harbour development, $9.6m to the Riverfront Revitalisation project and $7.6 million to Kāinga, (home, village, residence) the transformation of the Whakatāne Army Hall into a vibrant destination for local, national and international visitors.

Ngāti Awa Group Holdings Limited (NAGHL) Chair Paul Quinn says the community is still recovering from the impact of the Whakaari tragedy and so this announcement is gratefully welcomed.

“This is an important opportunity for NAGHL to work with the Trust and the Council as we find ways to contribute, lift productivity and participate in the regional economy together,” he says.

Whakatāne District Mayor Judy Turner agrees, saying the collaboration represents a defining moment for the region and signals an incredible opportunity for economic development and  transformational uplift across the whole District.

“The benefits of both projects to local business and the community are huge. This is about working in partnership and identifying ways we can realise our long-term aspirations for our people,” says Mayor Turner.

“Whakatāne is home to two of the three largest aluminium boat builders in the country. The investment in a new boat harbour will allow us to deliver the fit-for-purpose infrastructure to drive more growth and employment in the marine and tourism sectors.”

“Transforming the town and riverfront areas will increase private sector investment and create a vibrant town centre for our community to enjoy, as well as supporting Whakatāne on the journey to become a world-class small-town destination for tourists,” she says.

It is estimated that through these two projects a total of 930 jobs could be created by 2050 with at least 450 of those roles operational in the next decade.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Chair Joe Harawira says the Kāinga project will provide a physical ‘heart’ to the Whakatāne town centre and complement the riverside regeneration aspirations.

“Kāinga will promote and celebrate our unique heritage, culture and stories. This new destination will support iwi, wider community, recreational and commercial activities and create a gathering place for manuhiri (visitors) and locals.”

Te Rāhui Lands Trust Chair Brian Simpson says the Trust will play a lead role in the boat harbour development.

“This is a historical moment for us as we undertake this work in partnership to realise our collective goals,” says Mr Simpson.

“For us, it’s about taking a balanced approach. As kaitiaki we will ensure that the mauri of our whenua and the river will be enhanced by the project while also creating a development that will provide a sustainable solution for the marine sector.  The project will deliver intergenerational outcomes for our owners, hapū and the wider Whakatāne community.”

This announcement secures funding to key catalytic infrastructure projects that are seen as essential to unlocking the Eastern Bay of Plenty’s economic future, says Mayor Judy.

 “It’s an exciting time for the whole Eastern Bay. We are delighted at the opportunity to co-invest with Central Government to accelerate these investment opportunities and the benefits they will bring to our region,” she says.

The project partners look forward to engaging the wider community and seeking specific feedback that will go towards shaping the Whakatāne Regeneration projects within the scope of the funding programme.


Editor notes:

Benefits from boat harbour and riverfront revitalisation projects by numbers:

  • More than 450 jobs by 2030 (direct and indirect)
  • More than 930 new jobs by 2050 (direct and indirect)
  • More than $80m local GDP growth per annum
  • Opportunity to attract $100m private investment in CBD
  • $111m additional GDP contribution by 2050

Hon Shane Jones PGF Funding Announcement

Hon Shane Jones Minister for Regional Economic Development
13 March 2020   Strictly embargoed until 9.40am

Whakatāne to get $36.8m PGF boost
The Government is investing $36.8 million into waterfront and visitor projects that will help transform Whakatāne and the wider eastern Bay of Plenty region, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The investment in three projects, through the Provincial Growth Fund and the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, will help build the local economy, create hundreds of jobs, attract future investment and unlock tourism and cultural and commercial opportunities across the district. The investment will support the development of a new commercial boat harbour, revitalisation of the riverfront and town centre, and the development of a new visitor hub and cultural centre. “These projects are part of the Whakatāne Regeneration Programme jointly developed by Whakatāne District Council and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa to boost their marine and tourism sectors,” Shane Jones said. I’m particularly pleased to make this announcement of Government support for this town and region following the recent Whaakari/White Island tragedy. We back our regions in times of need.” The Boat Harbour Development project will receive a $19.6m PGF investment made up of an equity stake loan and grant. The Whakatāne Riverfront Revitalisation project will receive a $9.6m loan and the Ngāti Awa Kāinga project will receive a $7.6m investment via a Crown equity stake in the development. “ The harbour development will give commercial users in Whakatāne better facilities that will increase the economic returns of the wharf as a critical asset for the local community.“ To be situated on a 10.9ha block of Māori freehold land, it will address the need for more berths and offer better protection from the dynamic river environment,” Shane Jones said.“ The Riverfront Revitalisation programme is a vital part of the overall regeneration programme that seeks to establish a world-class, small town destination. It includes a significant upgrade to the riverfront promenade and the remediation and improved accessibility of the existing town wharf.“ The Kāinga project will see the Whakatāne Army Hall transformed into a visitor hub that will be the focal point for cultural and historical storytelling, retail, and a space for training, meetings and civic events.“ I’m confident these developments will create a sense of vibrancy and optimism in the community, create 453 new direct and indirect jobs by 2030 and provide permanent benefits for the town and the region,” Shane Jones said. Notes to editors: Funding from the Provincial Growth Fund is approved in principle and announced, after which contracts are negotiated. Some funding may depend on completion of business cases. Payments are made once agreed milestones are met. These are set as part of contract negotiations, and differ from project to project.