[Soraya_Peke-Mason.JPG] Rangitīkei woman Soraya Peke-Mason has local authority, business and land use experience behind her. Photo / supplied
Soraya Peke-Mason doesn't exactly call herself a greenie but she does think environmental sustainability and farm profitability can walk hand in hand.
After two weeks thinking about it, she's excited to stand for one of the two Rangitīkei-Manawaū seats on Horizons Regional Council. She's been encouraged to do so and it seems to her that people are looking for a change.
Peke-Mason will have some spare capacity. After 12 years as a Rangitīkei councillor she's not standing again. She expects her role preparing Ngāti Rangi for a post-settlement future to end soon, and she's nearly finished a Masters in Business Administration.
Peke-Mason has a range of experience with natural resource use. She's been involved with the honey sector, is a shareholder in the Atihau Whanganui Incorporation, whose Ohotu Station won a stewardship award last year, and is deputy director of the 6000ha Ngaporo-Waimarino Forest.
Through her Ngāti Apa affiliations she also has an interest in Te Hou Farm at Parewanui.
On the business side, she's been self-employed with her Land Trust Management Services business since 2000. It has a contract with a Taihape trust that owns 5000ha of pristine bush on the edge of the Ruahine Range.
"The biodiversity on that land is quite precious. DoC works closely with us around pest control management," she said.
She sees an opportunity for Horizons to enter into joint ventures with stakeholders.
"We know that the Māori economy is worth $50 billion, and a lot of iwi in the region have settled."
The challenges for Horizons include improving water quality, and she would look to scientific research and innovation for solutions.
"I know Horizons is already doing some really good work in that space."
She's not sure whether she will stand for Ngāti Rangi's post-settlement governance entity, Te Tōtarahoe o Paerangi.
"I might stay on, for continuity purposes. But it's important for me to make opportunities available for our next generation and we have got some great young professionals coming through," she said.