Justin Tipa is the newly elected kaiwhakahaere [chairman] of Te Rūnanga Ngāi Tahu.
His appointment follows last week’s election at a tribal hui at Arahura Marae near Hokitika.
Tipa, who has represented Te Rūnanga o Moeraki on the tribal council for the past two years, replaces Lisa Tumahai, who stepped down after seven years in the role.
“I am humbled by the support I have received throughout the motu and understand the weight of expectation that comes with these roles,” Tipa said.
“I will always acknowledge our pakeke and kaumātua who have sacrificed much to build our tribal strengths. I do not underestimate the mahi ahead to continue to move our iwi forward.”
Tipa grew up in Te Kohurau in the Waitaki Valley and was appointed the representative for Moeraki in 2021.
He joins the Te Rūnanga with a strong background in language and culture revitalisation and is a passionate practitioner of traditional karakia, supporting many Kāi Tahu marae to grow capacity on the paepae.
Parents to four boys, Justin and his partner Ana reside on the pā at Moeraki, where he was chair of Te Rūnanga o Moeraki from 2019 onwards.
Tipa is also an executive member of Kāi Tahu ki Tuawhenua, who represent the seven papatipu rūnaka of the QDLC region.
With a background in manufacturing, education and most recently working as head of Māori for Fonterra, Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest company, he brings a wealth of experience in navigating complex issues with multiple stakeholders.
Tipa is committed to being a voice for whānau and hapū of Moeraki and has a keen focus on succession planning.
The vote for the kaiwhakahaere tuarua [deputy chairperson] was drawn and will be decided at the rūnanga’s next formal meeting in early 2024.