Long-standing Ngati Kahungunu iwi chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana will have at least two challengers for his position in triennial iwi elections for which nominations close tomorrow.

Names of those who are nominated for chairman and the iwi's board won't be released until after nominations close at midday, but they include Tomoana and former Maungaharuru Tangiitu trust general manager Shayne Walker, who launched his bid with a Shayne Walker - Chair for Change Facebook page on March 6.

The election covers 10 positions, including board members representing each of the six district authorities based in Wairoa, Te Whanganui a Orotu (Napier), Heretaunga (Hastings), Tamatea (Central Hawke's Bay), Tamaki Nui a Rua (Dannevirke) and Wairarapa.

While voting starts with the distribution of papers to registered members from April 1, those who have not registered have until April 23 to get the formalities done to be eligible to vote.


The election, run by Election Services, closes at noon on April 30 with results expected to be declared later that day.

A former freezing worker who has been involved in marae and iwi politics since he was a teenager, Tomoana, 64, has been the only chairman in the almost 23 years of Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated.

He was first elected in 1996 as a new board resumed control of iwi affairs after the political demise of 1988-established Te Runanganui o Ngati Kahungunu.

At the last election in 2016 he was re-elected for a seventh term, wit a substantial majority over two other candidates.

Ngati Kahungunu is the third largest iwi, with more than 31,000 registered members, its asset holding company reporting equity of almost $70 million at the end of the last financial year, in June 2018.