Changes are under way at the Ngāpuhi rūnanga with the resignation of the chief executive and new chairwoman Mere Mangu announcing the start of a full review of the organisation.

Mangu, who took over the role from Sonny Tau when he unexpectedly left in October and was officially appointed to the position in December, said Lorraine Toki handed over her resignation as chief executive at an executive meeting on Monday.

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In a statement Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi-O-Ngāpuhi thanked Toki, who had been chief executive of the organisation since April 2018.

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"We record our appreciation for her service to the rūnanga and Ngāpuhi over many years, and we wish her every success in the future."

Mangu also announced the review into the rūnanga's governance, constitutional, management and financial affairs was under way, and would be undertaken by Wellington barrister Tim Castle.

Mere Mangu, chairwoman of the Ngāpuhi rūnanga. Photo / File
Mere Mangu, chairwoman of the Ngāpuhi rūnanga. Photo / File

Mangu and Ngāpuhi kaumātua Dover Samuels had initially filed court proceedings to get a review into the rūnanga, but that was withdrawn as a result of Ngāpuhi trustees agreeing to support Mangu as chairwoman of the rūnanga through to the next AGM on November 13; and that trustees would support the independent review.

Mangu said she was pleased the review was now under way.

"I really thought about it as being a normal governance process but then it became 'we have touched a nerve here' so it made me determined to dip my toes in, and we owe it to Ngāpuhi," she said.

The review is expected to be completed within three months. It will be a full review of the organisation over the last three years to ensure it is well structured and designed to advance Ngāpuhi.

Meanwhile, a statement also announced the resignation of Leigh Auton, chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee and former chairman of Ngāpuhi Asset Holding Company.

"We are grateful for Auton's years of dedicated service and commitment to Ngāpuhi. We wish him the best in his future endeavours; and as a Ngāpuhi beneficiary we look forward to his continuing interest and support."

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Mangu and the rūnanga will be making new appointments in due course.