Te Mata Park Trust is pleased to announce the appointment of Waiora Rogers to the Park Trust Board, following an amendment to the Trust Deed earlier this year. This change ensures ongoing mana whenua representation on the Board.
“We are delighted to welcome Waiora to the Board and look forward to facilitating & incorporating mana whenua views and values throughout management of the Park,’’ comments Mike Devonshire, Chairman of Te Mata Park Trust.
“We are extremely proud of this milestone, and we look forward to having the advice, wisdom, and knowledge of mana whenua around our Board table.”
The Trust Deed (which was established in 1927) was amended through the High Court earlier this year, ensuring that one person of mana whenua descent be appointed by Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, on the recommendation of the Trust’s mana whenua roopu.
‘’The appointee will hold the position for three years and is eligible for reappointment for one further term,’’ adds Mr. Devonshire.
Waiora Rogers has extensive governance experience, including serving on the Boards of Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga and Ngati Kahungunu Iwi, and brings both unique and complementary skills to the Board table.
“It will be a privilege and an honour to serve on the Board for the ongoing preservation of our Park that is much loved by many,” comments Ms. Rogers.
The appointment is also endorsed by Marei Apatu, Te Kaihautū at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga. ‘’As a mana whenua, Waiora brings a historical connection to this regional icon, Te Matā, Te Karanemanema o Te Mata o Rongokako, for the first time in 94 years. Waiora descends from the bloodline rangatira ancestress, Winipere Rotohenga and tipuna Te Rehunga. As a regular recreational user of the Te Mata Park, Waiora is recognised as a Kaumatua athlete completing many marathons and Iron Maori events, and this makes Waiora the ideal person for this important relationship.’’
Also in agreement, direct descendant of the founders of the Park and long serving Trust Board member Bruno Chambers, says it will be great to welcome Waiora to the Trust Board and have Maori representation going forward. ‘’The Te Mata Park Trust Deed is approaching 100 years old, and while it has been a visionary document protecting the park for future generations, it is good to see it amended. I look forward to the cultural input and protection of our beloved peak, that the inclusion of mana whenua will bring.’’
Ngahiwi Tomoana, Chair of Ngati Kahungunu also voiced his strong support for the appointment. ‘’I have 100% support for Waiora Rogers. She is a 4th generation direct descendant of Winipere Rotohenga who was captured and taken prisoner during the 1830 musket raids by Waikato iwi. Waiora will bring tangata whenua views to the Board as a marae, Taiwhenua and an Iwi board member.’’
In recent years, the Board have promoted and fostered positive progress in many aspects of the Park, including strengthening relationships with mana whenua.
Chair of the Mana Whenua Roopu and Te Mata Park Trustee, Councillor Bayden Barber expressed his support of this ongoing relationship. “Having a mana whenua representative on the Trust is a major step in the right direction. Waiora has already contributed much to the Mana Whenua Roopu so we are very excited to have her input working alongside our Trustees.”
Mike Devonshire reiterated the significance of this milestone. ‘’It is essential to have a Trustee of mana whenua descent, to acknowledge and facilitate compliance with the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi – partnership, participation and protection. As a taonga for tangata whenua, it is a natural progression to include mana whenua on the Trust Board.’’
“This is an incredibly exciting time for the Park. We wish to build on recent exciting developments and further cement Te Mata Park as an outstanding asset for all of Hawke’s Bay to enjoy.”