Ruapehu WorX (RwX) was officially launched on Monday as the Ngāti Rangi team welcomed six new members to their new start-up company.
The pōwhiri welcoming local crew members Chris Winter, Gordon Cribb, Suraya Richards-Hollands, Leighton Richards, Matt Mareikura and Dean Spry was held at Te Pae Tata - the Ruapehu Tech Hub.
Operational director Kemp Dryden said the ceremony was a landmark moment for Ruapehu.
"Today marked a significant milestone for RwX," he said.
"One of the company's key principles is 'local jobs for local people' and we are pleased this has been realised today. This pōwhiri is the culmination of significant effort to date and we're extremely proud of the fact that five of the new team are descendants of the Ruapehu rohe.
"All of the team had been adversely affected by Covid-19 in some way, so to be able to permanently employ this local crew here at home is especially meaningful for all of us."
He said Ngāti Rangi continues to acknowledge Ruapehu District Council (RDC), Te Puni Kōkiri (Ministry of Māori Development) and others who have shown their support in the start-up phase.
The relationships are founded on principles of partnership as outlined in the Ngāti Rangi Treaty settlement deed, Rukutia Te Mana.
"Ruapehu WorX aims to be the 'preferred partner of choice', and this partnership approach is already being demonstrated in the first contracts secured through RDC. Positive discussions are also being held with other government agencies as well as the wider business community."
The initial focus of the company is for cycleways and walkway track, trail building and maintenance, pivoting to pest and weed control management under the Jobs for Nature initiative. One of the long-term goals is to branch out into open space asset management.
Ruapehu WorX pou hautū (general manager) Paul Carr said he is especially excited by this aspect.
"There is a great opportunity to be active kaitiaki of our special places under the majestic gaze of Koro Ruapehu," Carr said.
"Our mission statement 'Hāpaitia Te Ora – uplifting our people and our place' is about more than just the people we will employ, the partnerships we will hold and the contracts we will manage. For us, it's about the holistic wellbeing of our people and place, and we're extremely excited about the opportunity Ruapehu WorX brings. Investing in our local people, while growing our local economy at the same time."
Team leader Chris Winter said there is great energy and enthusiasm within the newly-formed line-up.
"There is a positive energy and vibe amongst the new team. Everyone is keen to get into the mahi and appreciate the opportunity to be working in places that they only knew by name and the stories told to them by their kaumatua. To have the team brought into the
Ngāti Rangi Group whānau in this way sets us all on the right foot, ready to tackle the
opportunities to come."