Ohakune-based iwi Ngati Rangi have announced the results of their inaugural election, the first since the establishment of their post-settlement governance entity, Te Tōtarahoe o Paerangi Trust.
The seven trustees, five elected via postal vote and two appointed by Te Kāhui o Paerangi, the Ngāti Rangi rūnanga (board), will serve a dual role as trustees of both the post-settlement entity, as well as Ngati Rangi's charitable body, Ngā Waihua o Paerangi Trust.
Ngati Rangi chief executive Hoani Ponga said the election was a momentous stage in the journey of the iwi.
"As an iwi, we want to ensure that Ngāti Rangi uri exists vibrantly for the next thousand years and beyond," he said. "The decisions we make today we hope will inspire the younger generation.
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"More importantly, we will be courageous in our endeavours to create a legacy that our old people can be proud of."
The seven new trustees bring a "dynamic mix of skills and experience" to the table, and will play a significant role in shaping the direction of the iwi.
The successful elected trustees are Sarah Bell, Tomairangi Mareikura, Sarah Reo, Deborah Te Riaki and Rāwiri Tinirau. Whetu Moataane and Whakataumatatanga Mareikura were appointed by Te Kāhui o Paerangi.
"We're excited to have the new trustees in place to continue the next phase of development as a post settlement iwi," Ponga said.
"The incoming trustees will play a pivotal role in driving Ngati Rangi's strategic direction – to grow our capability to new heights, care wholeheartedly for the environment, and support our marae and communities."
The iwi represents around 2500 registered members. They are based at the western and southern foot of Mt Ruapehu, with areas of interest including Ohakune and Waiouru, and borders Raetihi.
In July last year, Ngati Rangi Claims Settlement Bill passed its third reading. The bill gave effect to the deed of settlement known as Te Rukutia Te Mana, signed in 2018 by the Crown and Ngāti Rangi.