Ngāti Pūkeko By-Election 2021

Ngāti Pūkeko Trustee By-Election 2021

Eligible for Ngāti Pukeko Hapū members that have been registered with the Hapū for a minimum of 3 years.
Online voting closes at 5pm Saturday 4 December 2021

If you have any questions about your registration please contact
If you have any questions in regards to the voting or need assistance please contact 0800 666 946

Taiohi Moana Free-diving Course

For the 3rd year in a row Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa are offering a free-dive course for Ngāti Awa Rangatahi. 

You will not be disappointed.  Everyone that has completed this 10 day course told us that it more than exceeded their expectations. 

Several of the young people who completed this course have gone on to study Marine Biology and/or are currently doing marine monitoring for their iwi.

Registrations open on 18 October 2021 close on the 19 November 2021.  Limited spaces available.




  • Nominations open at 9am on Tuesday 28 September 2021.
  • Nominations must be received by 5pm on Tuesday 19 October 2021.
  • If there is more than one valid nomination, an election will be held, and voting will close on 4 December 2021.
  • Persons nominated must be registered with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa as a member of Ngāti Pūkeko hapū and be aged 18 years and over.



Any descendant of Ngāti Awa who is not currently registered with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa and who wishes to participate in the by-election can register up to 5pm on Tuesday 19 October 2021 (subject to confirmation from the Whakapapa Committee). Registration forms are available from any of the addresses provided above or e-mail


In the event of more than one nomination being received a by-election will be held. You will be able to cast a vote either by postal or internet voting before the closing date on Saturday 4 December 2021. Ngāti Pūkeko hapū members will be notified in writing if an election is required.

Any enquiries about the nomination process can be directed to the Chief Returning Officer, Warwick Lampp, Ltd, Freephone 0800 666 946 or by email to

Matariki Karakia

Nā Pouroto Ngaropo te karakia
Nā Aorewa Creative i waihanga te pakipumeka (Videography and production by Aorewa Creative)

MEDIA RELEASE – Ōpihi Whanaungakore: Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa has lodged an appeal in the High Court


17 August 2021

In its recent Jurisdictional Decision, the Environment Court dismissed the argument pursued by Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa that the Environment Court has jurisdiction to hear the appeals against the Whakatane District Council’s decision to grant consents to develop land to MMS GP Limited.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa have today lodged an appeal against this decision in the High Court. 

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, alongside Hapū members, are opposed to the consent application which seeks to develop culturally significant land.  Ngāti Awa, consider the subject site at 77 Bunyan Road and the broader areas surrounding the site to be ancestral land of significant cultural value. The consent application was made by MMS GP Ltd which outlined developers’ plans to build 240 residential lots, a retirement village, 13 access lots, eight reserve lots, and seven public road lots.


Leonie Simpson to leave Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa to pursue business opportunity with Whānau


Leonie Simpson to leave Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa to pursue business opportunity with Whānau

After five years as Manahautū (Chief Executive) at Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, Leonie Simpson has decided to step down from her role. Leonie is leaving to pursue a business opportunity in partnership with her husband Arekatera Maihi, at their company Toitu Design.

Toitu fuses Māori art with contemporary design including graphic art, whakairo and tā moko. The business has experienced a period of unprecedented growth in 2020 and 2021 and requires a leader with managerial experience.

During her time with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Leonie has helped Ngāti Awa to respond to a number of life changing events including the Edgecumbe floods of 2017, the Covid-19 pandemic and tragic eruption of Whakaari/White Island on 9 December 2019, with the loss of 22 lives.

“The last five years have been the most defining of my career and life. I have experienced no greater honour than to have been chosen to lead my Iwi and it has been a very humbling and fulfilling experience,” said Leonie.

Speaking about the eruption Leonie said:
“None of us that were present in Whakatāne when Whakaari erupted will ever forget that day. It is part of our personal and Iwi history now. Ngāti Awa responded immediately opening our Marae and comforting the whānau of the victims, and the Whakatāne community. We will never forget the people who lost their lives, their loved ones and those that were hurt. They remain in our thoughts.”

Leonie will leave Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa at the end of this month but will be on hand to provide a thorough handover to her successor. The Board has commenced the search to find a candidate of Leonie’s calibre and will make an announcement about this in due course.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with and been supported by past, present and future leaders of Ngāti Awa, including uncle Joe (Dr Joseph Mason) who passed away last week.”

“His absolute dedication to protecting and enhancing our Iwi rights, his humble leadership, and his unwavering commitment to Ngāti Awa are an inspiration to me. The legacy of uncle Joe and our many leaders means Ngāti Awa are well placed to shape our future, continue to protect the taiao (environment), and develop a workforce centred on our values and identity as Ngāti Awa. I am very grateful for the support I have received from the Iwi, hapū and whānau of Ngāti Awa. Ēhara taku toa i te toa takatahi ēngari he toa takatini e.”

Reflecting on her decision to step down, Leonie said:
“The time is right for me to hand over the reins and for a new leader to emerge. I am confident that my replacement will continue to build on our progress and will be supported by the dedicated team at the Rūnanga that I am very proud to have worked alongside.”
Leonie is looking forward to spending more time with her whānau, husband and daughter and the team at Toitu, “It is an exciting new chapter in our lives and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Tumuaki (Chairman) Joe Harawira said:
“The leadership shown by Leonie over the past five years has been exemplary. She has led the Iwi through a number of extremely challenging and sometimes contentious issues affecting Ngāti Awa during her tenure as Manahautu.

“I have appreciated her patience with me, whilst settling into the role of Tumuaki and I applaud and support Leonie’s decision to pursue further career options and to spend more time with her whānau.

“The challenge has been laid. Who will pick up the manuka, to continue the legacy that has been created through her wonderful leadership and guidance?

“Ma te atua koutou ko to whanau e manaaki e tiaki a nga tau kei te haere ake.”

For more information please contact Bianca Ruakere on 021 453 189 or email

Ngāti Awa wins right to appeal water bottling decision


Ngāti Awa wins right to appeal water bottling decision

Te Runanga o Ngāti Awa (Ngāti Awa) has won the right to appeal a High Court judgment dismissing its appeal from the Environment Court.

Ngāti Awa went to the Court of Appeal to seek the right to challenge that ruling.

The Environment Court majority’s decision was to grant Creswell New Zealand Limited (Creswell), the right to extract 1.1 billion cubic metres of water annually from the Otākiri aquifer, for water bottling.

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, that Ngāti Awa would not be able to carry out their roles as kaitiaki and that the proposal was inconsistent with the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Leonie Simpson, Manahautū (CEO), Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa says: “This is an encouraging decision because we’ve won the right to be heard. 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.

“Today is a step forward, but the fight is by no means over, and we shouldn’t have to do this as kaitiaki and tangata whenua of Aotearoa. We are really concerned about the continuing allocation of freshwater rights in our country. Successive governments have failed to address the issue, but the time is now right for it to do so as part of the freshwater policy review and RMA reforms.

“There is also the serious issue of pollution. We’ve just had evidence that the Bay of Plenty coastline is contaminated by millions of small plastic particles, which are then absorbed by kai moana and which people eat. Many of these particles come from plastic drink bottles. And if Creswell get the green light they could be producing up to 1,800 single use bottles per minute. If that’s allowed to proceed, central and local government authorities here would seriously need to look at themselves in the mirror.”

For more information please contact Bianca Ruakere on 021 453 189 or email:

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:

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, that Ngāti Awa would not be able to carry out their roles as kaitiaki and that the proposal was inconsistent with the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Water is an inherited treasure. Once it has been removed from our rohe our wai will never return.

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. The company website is:




E tangi hotuhotu ana te iwi, i te matenga o tō tātau Kōroua, Pāpā, a Dr Joseph Hohepa Te Pepeha Mason, i te Ōturu o Takurua. Ka pūkatokato te Iwi o Ngāti Awa, otirā te motu whānui, nā te hinganga o te tōtara nui, o te poutokomanawa o Ngāti Pūkeko, i te wā hākerekere ko tenei.

The passing of Dr Mason is a devastating loss to Ngāti Awa. We mourn a dedicated and devoted servant to the survival and prosperity of the Iwi, whom for the greater part of seven decades has served his tribal and wider communities generously and faithfully. His efforts over the years have ensured the survival of critical anchor points, scaffolding the cultural landscape of the Iwi, for the benefit of current and future generations. 

Renowned as a holder of customary knowledge, Dr Mason was an active member of Te Kāhui Kaumātua, the principal advisory body for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa. He was highly regarded as a custodian of hapū whakapapa, waiata, and the history of Ngāti Awa.  

As the longest serving board member of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, a former Secretary, General Manager and Chairman of this entity and its predecessors, his customary knowledge and wisdom informed the Treaty settlement process for Ngāti Awa and preserved our cultural narratives and traditions in many forms, including our Settlement legislation. 

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, and Ngāti Awa are indebted to the legacy Dr Mason imparted and the integrity he led with. 

We extend our condolences to the whānau whom he is survived by, his wife Erina (Bunty), his son, Joseph, daughters Eneta and Waana, and his mokopuna.  

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa offices will be closed for the duration of the tangihanga, from Monday the 26th of July, to Wednesday the 28th of July. For any urgent inquiries, please contact  

E te Rangatira, e te Pāpā, ka kore mātau, ko te mātinitini i te mata o te whenua, e warewaretia koe. Ka tirohia ki te Rangi, ki te huinga o ngā kahurangi, ki tō nohoanga i te poho o te Matua Nui i Rangi, ki reira tonu koe e tīaho mai ai ki tō Iwi e.

Karanga & Whaikōrero Wānanga Tuarua

Karanga & Whaikōrero Wānanga Tuarua

Learners and newcomers welcome!

Rā: Rāhoroi, 28 Ākuhata 2021
Wā: 8.30am – 4.30pm
Wāhi: Rangihouhiri Marae, 30b Thornton Road, Whakatāne

Our kaiako are highly knowledgeable and are willing to share their tips and more importantly provide a safe and friendly environment to practice your learnings. Register your details in the form provided below to learn more about this kaupapa.

Whakatūpato/Cautionary advice: Email us asap as a courtesy to the caterers and the organizers if something comes up and you cannot make it please. Those people who take the time to register will have priority over walk-ins to receive any resources that the pouaka may want to share.

Registrations close Rātapu, 19 Ākuhata 2021

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