Wāhine rangatahi vying for the future of Te Arawa

By Waimanea Nuri

Four rangatahi vying for two positions on Te Tatau o Te Arawa must be chosen by registered Te Arawa members in a board election.

Uri o Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pikiao, Te Waiarangi Merito says she is really passionate in working forequitable outcomes for Māori.

“ I really enjoy being in an aspirational space where I can ask for and want more for my people.”

Tara Sears, a descendant of Te Arawa, says she is motivated to achieve self-sufficiency and wants to establish an environment where Te Arawa whānau may produce kai and achieve self-sufficiency.

“I think back to our tupuna. They knew how to live in harmony with the whenua and Papatuanuku. If we could get back to being self-sufficient as an iwi and growing kai for our people, that would be an awesome thing to achieve.”


Tara Sears is seeking a seat on the board of Te Tatau o Te Arawa. Photo/file

Kahutapeka Ututaonga, Rangatahi o Te Arawa also says her whānau, tamariki and future mokopuna inspire her everyday.

“They are all I think about and if it weren't for them, I wouldn't be here standing to be on the board this year.”

Tumu Whakahaere Jude Pani claims to be at the end of her career. Still, the four rangatahi, who represent the new generation, inspire her to be optimistic about Te Arawa's future.

“I just want them all to succeed and do well and prosper and I know they will. When I was their age, I didn't have a quarter of what they've got. So I'm really excited for our rangatahi.”

Ngāti Whakaue descendant, Maringi James says if rangatahi really want it, they should go for it!

“Ki te hiahia koe kia haere mo tetehi turu, mahia, kaua e amaimai, kaua e awangawanga. Mehemea e hiahia ana koe kia rangona tō reo- Mahia.”

“Do not be hesitant to apply for a position on the board if you desire one. Put in the effort, if you want your voice to be heard.”