Ngati Rangi Strategic PlanCommunity and Voluntary Sector
E rere kau mai te Awanui; Mai te kahui maunga ki Tangaroa; Ko au te awa ko te awa ko au!
I will always be drawn to Te Kahui Maunga, through our shared whakapapa from Paerangi-i-te-whare toka; Paerangi o te Moungaroa.
As uri of Rangiteauria we are bound together with the descendants of Paerangi, Rangituhia and Uenuku-manawa-wiri.
And so I come today, to honour and to congratulate you, Ngati Rangi, in this significant day, to launch Te Ara ki te Moungaroa.
But I come today with many other hats - as your constituent MP for Te Tai Hauauru; as the Co-leader of the Maori Party, as a Minister in the areas of Community and Voluntary sector; Health; Social Development and Employment; Disability Issues.
Some of you may have heard of a man called Dr Edward de Bono whose claim to fame is his six thinking hats. The theory goes that you can train the brain to think in certain ways - accessing different approaches - like you would put on a red hat, a yellow hat, a green hat.
It's a way of thinking that is extremely familiar to us as tangata whenua; except our hats are often worn simultaneously; each in turn taking on a different priority depending on the time and place.
And so I have looked at Te Ara ki te Moungaroa - and marvelled at all the different hats you wear.
It is so exciting to see the range of strategic challenges being outlined in the plan - health, political, people, environment, governance, operations, business and education.
I want to commend the fourteen marae encompassed within Te Kahui o Paerangi; and Te Totarahoe o Paerangi - the legal entity - for the journey you are embarking on today.
You have set yourself an ambitious plan forward, with milestones for years to come and strategic planning pathways that bring many organisations and agencies along with you, in pursuit of your goals to improve the status of Ngati Rangi uri.
But my eyes are inevitably drawn upwards, to the aspirations and outcomes that you are seeking for your whanau.
And I am inevitably conscious of your descent from the heavens; the energy that landed upon Ruapehu; igniting the fires of life in this land.
This plan is about nurturing that vital spark of life; it is about protecting your mauri; preserving the essence of ihi, wehi, and wana.
Te Ara ki te Moungaroa is about being enraptured with life, the ihi; being in awe of life, the wehi and being in love with life, the wana.
You may be aware that I am absolutely driven by the pathway towards whanau ora.
There is nothing of more importance to me, than the aspiration to restore to all our whanau, a vision of wellbeing.
A vision which is based on the concepts of whanaungatanga; whakapapa; tinana; wairua; mana and mauri.
A vision which is seen in everyday healthy respectful relationships; in families which are strong and safe; and secure in their identity.
It seems so simple to me - and yet you would be amazed how Wellington can make it so complex.
So when I looked at your plan, I did wonder if we might invest in a bus trip to the people of Te Kahui Maunga.
For it seems to me, that the outcomes you desire are about whanau ora. Even just one on its own can stand alone as a worthy aspiration.
- E toitu ana te ora o Ngati Rangi tangata.
- E muramura ana te ahi ka roa o Ngati Rangi.
- E tu ana a Ngati Rangi i runga i tona mana motuhake.
These are all tangible outcomes; challenges that can motivate your every waking move.
It is about knowing what you want - the desire for absolute wellness; the capacity to control your own destiny; for Ngati Rangi to be the epitome of excellence in business.
I was particularly inspired by your determination to harness, focus and unleash the potential of Ngati Rangi uri and its collective.
And I cannot come here without recognising and paying tribute to you all, for two very significant announcements that have occurred in recent days.
As the Associate Minister of Social Development and Employment, I could not be more delighted than to congratulate Ngati Rangi for being the first in Aotearoa to take up Community Max.
I am really impressed by the project you have created to keep your rangatahi at home and connected to your marae.
Again, it is an initiative that Mr De Bono would be proud of.
The project has many legs - to keep the home fires burning; to harness the next generation as kaimahi; to manage and sustain your marae as living sites of significance; to create employment; to engage with agencies; to provide opportunities for your young to develop vital skills; and that's just the first week!
The other big news that I am really proud to announce today, is that EECA - the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority - has agreed to sponsor a micro-hydro unit for Mangamingi marae to generate their own power from their waterfall.
This will be the first in the country in recent decades - another national first! What next!
Mangamingi marae was actually the first place to generate power in the whole Waimarino before the government stopped this whanau initiative in the 1940s. So clearly you were sixty years ahead of your time.
The project we are announcing today, came about through a mitigation agreement between Ngati Rangi and Meridian Energy.
As you may be aware, their subsidiary, Righthouse, is performing energy audits for all of your fourteen marae and then identifying ways to help. Hopefully this will extend out to the homes of Ngati Rangi with an insulation project.
These are just two of the exciting initiatives that have arisen out of your determination to exercise your own mana motuhake and rangatiratanga.
Of course there are the Ngati Rangi negotiations and settlement on the horizon which will be an important part of your strategic pathway.
There is your Iwi Health plan; your registration project; your Ngati Rangi Waterways plan. There is the governance review of your marae; relationships with joint venture partners; the strategic challenge of supporting and promoting education pathways to your people.
In short there is a lot to do.
Finally, today, I want to celebrate your successes.
The descendants of Paerangi have spread your wings wide.
You have embraced innovation - invited Horizons; Meridian; WPI Pulp; EECA; Ministry of Social Development- and we hope Te Puni Kokiri will also come to your table.
You have developed your own internal systems and today, we give our collective blessing to a roadmap that can transform and energise leadership across your rohe.
And in doing so I return, as always, to whakapapa, to whanau and to the wonder of te Ao Maori.
As you embark on Te Ara ki te Moungaroa my greatest challenge to you all, is to make sure your wings are truly spread as wide as possible, to embrace all of Ngati Rangi within your reach.
This is your greatest opportunity to welcome home those who may have felt alienated, lonely, or misunderstood.
This is your time to search deep for causes beyond the symptoms of distress; to look at yourselves; to be brave in facing your fears; as you seek the wellbeing of all.
I have every confidence that in your vision for tomorrow, you will take with you those who have passed on, whose legacy we see in the faces of today. We think of our loved ones; we mourn our losses and we know their inspiration and their life example will carry us forward.
I wish you all the courage to stand proud as Ngati Rangi; to do what it takes to achieve absolute wellness; and to bring all the people together in the pathway to your future.