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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Learning to fish

Ok so to recap – since 2009 Ngati Awa have lost $5.2 million in two separate investments.

Now fast forward to the present day and in the last year seven people were made redundant from their jobs with Te Runanga o Ngati Awa, the chief executive role changed hands three times, our asset base has dropped from $111m to $110m and the return on our assets was 2 per-cent.

Not exactly a glowing annual report really and at the AGM our leaders tried to put the poor performance down to the tough economic times.
They said it’s to do with the GFC, that’s Global Fiscal Crisis to those fortunate enough to not have heard the term before, and that America is about to hit the financial “Cliff”. They said the recession has taken its toll and businesses are struggling all across the world. They said they have been here since the beginning and if someone else thinks they can do a better job then let them.

Well, let’s be honest now that is simply rhetoric used to confuse people. What I really want to know is what is going on in Te Runanga o Ngati Awa?
This week I sent the chief executive of the runanga and its financial, Enid Rātahi-Pryor, an email. I thought if I was going to talk about the runanga in such a public forum then I should at least seek the opinion of our leaders.

I wanted to start with the chief executive because she was the one that made the bold statement that the role of NAGHL, the financial arm of the runanga, was to create wealth not jobs.
Her response to my email outlined a plan to attend as many hapu meetings that she could “in an effort to help decipher and demystify Runanga information and accounts”.

She said she was putting a request forward to attend the my own hapu meeting at Wairaka Marae, to be held next month, via the representative in an effort to respond to concerns expressed in this blog.
“I will have written responses and reference documents to all of the questions that you seek answers to below for presentation at any hapu hui of the 22 hapu of Ngati Awa.  By the end of February a full response to all of your questions will be made available to the hapu representatives for dissemination to hapu members,” she said.

And while Mrs Ratahi-Pryor must be commended for her desire to attend the hapu meetings and provide answers, her response made it clear I would not have the information for this blog post.

So, in preparation, I scanned the internet and the annual reports to see what information I could find in regards to the role of the runanga and its financial arm. And to be honest there was very little to be found.

On the runanga’s website it quotes chairman Te Kei Merito outlining the tribe’s aspirational goals.
“We have achieved much over the past years, however there is still much to do – we need to continue to build on the legacy left by our tipuna, and past leaders. Vision Ngāti Awa is an important part of this process. This project collates all the different aspirations and visions of ngā uri o Ngāti Awa into one unified vision.”

But haven’t we heard all of this before, the aspirational goals have long since been identified, what I really want to know is how are we going to achieve it.
And therein lays the problem. As far as I can see the roles of each organisation do not seem to be clearly labelled and there do not seem to be any obvious plans about how we are going to grow the iwi. I could not find any mention of business plans, or of a social development strategy and it seems that our leaders are more concerned about where their offices are to be located than they are about future development.

If we do not have clear strategies and plans going forward we will starve the economic growth of the iwi. Simply put if we do not invest in development, we will not grow and if we do not grow, we will not be able to sustain our people.
At the moment the increase in our assets since we signed the treaty settlement has been mostly natural. Think increasing land values, bonds and fixed-term interest accounts.

And this concerns me because the runanga’s goal shouldn’t just be about money, numbers or asset values, it should be about the well-being of our people.
We should be using our tribal assets to grow our economic base with an eye to providing jobs for our Ngati Awa uri so that they can live in our tribal rohe.

It is as the old adage says: Give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed for a lifetime.

What we need is ideas to create wealth and build jobs at the same time, not investments in whimsical golf courses or forays into internet technology.
This will come if we can develop strategies that suit us as a people and I am hoping that Mrs Rātahi-Pryor will come to the Ngati Hokopu hui next month armed with some ideas on how we can do this.

Next week I will talk about the Mataatua Wharenui and almost $200,000 spent on consultants to investigate an option of putting in a gondola from behind Te Manuka Tutahi marae to Kapu-te-Rangi.


  1. Kia Kaha Karla!
    I too would like to see jobs for our rohe

    Cheryl Toa

  2. Kia ora Karla ka pai to korero,

    (And this concerns me because the runanga’s goal shouldn’t just be about money, numbers or asset values, it should be about the well-being of our people.
    We should be using our tribal assets to grow our economic base with an eye to providing jobs for our Ngati Awa uri so that they can live in our tribal rohe.

    It is as the old adage says: Give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed for a lifetime.

    What we need is ideas to create wealth and build jobs at the same time, not investments in whimsical golf courses or forays into internet technology.)

    Nicely put Karla I do so agree the Runanga should not be ALL about making money, but as you say, about caring for and ensuring the wellbeing of the people. And how do we do that create jobs, create income that will sustain our people, that in turn will create the money the Runanga so desires. I would say the Runanga's focus on making money is because they have lost/frittered away/squandered/mismanaged/misappropriated so much, that is not rocket science....

  3. Nga mihi nga mihi nga mihi. Tino tautokohia nga korero a Karla ahua koretake ke hia nga mahi a te rungana o ngati awa. Tau ke nga rangatira o te rungana e whakakuaretanga a ta ratou iwi tangata o ngati awa. Kei te tino hiahia nga rangatira o te rungana Kia whakamomonahia a ratou tohungatana. karekau a te rungana e tino hiahia Kia whakamomonahia a ratou ake tangata "kei reira matou e putu ana" koina ta ratou ake whakaaro kare ratou e tino hiahia Kia awhi mai te tangata, tamariki ranei. tino tangi atu te nakau Kua whakarongo atu ki enei tu momo ahuatanga a te rungana. Tino he tenei kaupapa tino he!

  4. All of this is very typical of someone who knows very little about Ngati Awa. Sounds also like someone who has not been around very long and who has had little to do with iwi and hapu. Back to when we had nothing. When everything was voluntary. Back to when we had no wananga, no radio, no settlement, no NASH. You see, what you don't seem to acknowledge is that through all of these entities Ngati Awa now employs more people than the mill at Kawerau. Most in the wananga and NASH, many but not all are Ngati Awa. I challenge you to find any iwi with our sized settlement who employs more than Ngati Awa does. Let me tell you now they do not exist. Tuhoe settlement will be three times ours, do you really think even for them they can make the slightest dent into their unemployment? All of the plans and strategies you speak of have been out there for years. It's actually a requirement of the charter to have annual and 5 years plans done. They may not say what you would like them to say but they are there. They go for consultation with hapu. The CEOs make themselves available to hapu. Sounds as if you might need a new delegate? It's election year this year. I mean our Ngati Hokopu relation Leonie Simpson was central to the drafting and implementation of the Development Ngati Awa Strategy. About our reo. Our tikanga. The marae tool kit, the community education programmes through the wananga, the promotion of our language and culture through the wananga and radio; the waiata DVDs, the grants and scholarships the list goes on. Much more to do? Of course. It's also naive to view the iwi authority as the brown WINZ and DSW. Many critics come and go. Look at Rihi Vercoe, totally against the runanga and the settlement yet first in the queue to get iwi funding from DNA and what was the result? Nothing much. Hokowhitu voted against the settlement kept their hapu grant and are still taking iwi money. Hemi Hireme another one. What did any of them ever achieve for their hapu let alone the iwi? They had all the answers for us but no follow through. The people never supported them so they fade away or sell out.

    1. "All of this is very typical of someone who knows very little about Ngati Awa"

      Sounds like you work for the runanga...

      Like Karla said, the Runanga are not very transparent when it comes to how they are going to achieve anything. I say, take the veil down and let us see what's really on the agenda. Before it's too late.

  5. He rawe katoa ngā kōrero o runga rā, ahakoa ka pēnei, ka pēna ngā whakaaro kua puta, ko te mea nui, ka tukuna ngā kōrero hei āta wherawhera mā tātou. Mā te kaha whakawhiti o ngā kōrero me ngā whakaaro pēnei, ka marama pai ai kia kite ai hoki tātou me pehea tātou e anga whakamua ki ngā wawata o Ko Ngāti Awa Te Toki.

    Te mea hoki, hei paku maumaharatanga mā tātou e tuku korero nei ki tēnei whārangi, me werohia pea ki te take anake, ehara ki te tangata. Mēnā ka tuhia e koe te ingoa o tetahi tangata, me waiho hoki koe i tōu ake ingoa kia mohio ai taua tangata nō wai aua korero i timata ake. He whakaaro noa iho.

    This is all good korero and congratulations to my cousin Karla for being brave enough to start the ball rolling with her blog which has been the catalyst to all of this discussion. It's no secret that there are some major issues within our runanga and everyone will have a differing perspective on where the root of the problems lie. What is needed is for discussion like this to take place so that the iwi are informed as to all of the 'facts' - regardless of what you believe. Eventually the runanga will have to clarify and from the real facts, the people can make a decision on how we move forward.

    While the korero is good and we have every right to challenge (or applaud) the actions of the runanga, we can't let it slip into slagging off each other personally, or trying to discredit one another's hapū. We need to keep focus on the issues of accountability, transparency of the runanga and its effectiveness in providing for our people. I also think if you are going to mention someone's name, you should have the pōro to leave yours, it only seems fair that they know who is saying stuff about them.....

    While it's great that Ngāti Awa have established entities such as NASH, TWOAwa, SunFM etc that provide employment for some of the iwi, they are all, in some way, funded by the Government. NASH as an iwi social and health services delivery organisation lives on Government hand outs, the radio station wouldn't survive without Māngai Pāho and similar funding and I wonder how much revenue TWOAwa derives from the Ministry of Education. Now I am not knocking any of these organisations because they all play incredibly important roles in the lives of many Ngāti Awa.

    What I am saying is that we can't rely on winning Government contracts to grow the prospects of Ngāti Awa. How can we be in control of the destiny of our own iwi if we receive the bulk of our income from the Government? What happens next time there are funding cuts?

    What we need is solid investment into acquiring or developing profitable private enterprises that either bring jobs to the iwi, or bring the money for the runanga to create jobs. NAGHL seem to be trying, but over $5 million of iwi investment lost in 5 years tells me they are either completely incompetent or they are too preoccupied with frying bigger kahawai for themselves in their own private endeavours.

    Can anyone honestly tell me why, that after 5 years of investment resulting in $5 million of lost iwi money for a return of no jobs, we shouldn't be looking for change?

    Instead, we just made one of them the CE of TRONA? WTF??

    1. If we were like other tribes around us with no radio, no wananga, no NASH, no iwi authority. Would we be better off? Look around us. Don't think so. What about the 300 plus who are employed by Ngati Awa through those entities. And I'd rather Maori for Maori. Change comes through many activities not just one or two. By all means make money if you can and grow your business. More power to you and I hope it succeeds we need more business people who are a success and to role model. Definitely. But above you contradict yourself by saying we should not let ourselves fall into personal attacks and you do the same in your last sentence. We had an open process for CEO. Many applied and several were shortlisted. They were interviewed and presented. The Runanga delegates elected by their hapu through a democratic process voted OVERWHELMING for Enid. It wasn't even close. The margin was over two to one. The delegates are elected by hapu to make decisions. They did so through a process. Charlie Bluett and Joe Mason voted against Enid as did Gina O'Brien and Ngahuia Brown. Then they did not want their "no" votes recorded. The rest of the delegates voted for Enid. Charlie Elliot who detests Enid was first to put his hand up. Everyone else followed after he voted. Materoa was absent. Enid's resume was vastly superior to all other applicants as was her experience. She is far from perfect. Who is? But she is having to deal with the mess of over expenditure created by past CEOs. Hers was one of the lone voices questioning and challenging the CEO and head of NAGHL to the point where the past and present chairmen Hirini and Kei would get so exasperated by her that they would ban her from asking questions. The Gonet was a classic example where Enid was asking all of the quesitons and not getting the answers. Few other deleagtes supported her. We were there listening to her ask all of the time. So you need to look at these facts too before people blame Enid for all the problems of the iwi. Which are not as great as some make out. Sites like this are good for discussion provided they deal with fact and do not descend into personal attacks.

  6. With the exception of the wānanga, the creation of the types of entities you mention are fairly typical of all post-settlement iwi and are by no means unique to Ngāti Awa. An iwi radio station is nothing unique, most iwi (even those who haven't settled) will have some form of Government funded health and social service delivery entity working with their people. Very few iwi would lack a tribal authority these days.

    But you may have missed my point? All of these entities, barring the tribal authority, are heavily reliant on Government funding of some description. How will Ngāti Awa ever be a truly independent iwi if all our entities operate primarily on Government handouts?

    However, I do agree with some of your korero. You have raised an issue that I think lies at the very heart of the problem. A powerful few, who have nothing more than mana-munching & personal gain on their minds, have made themselves all powerful and no one, including the few board members who actually question things, can stand against them. This would explain what you say happened to the current CE in her capacity as a NAGHL board member? Basically, she was ignored too?

    So what did she do? She did as most of the current representatives do and stayed silent while bad things happened. Bad people are allowed to do bad things when good people do nothing. If you are weak enough to be silenced when you are fighting for your hapū and iwi, you should GET OFF THE BOARD!!

    You quickly point out how easily board members are run over but suddenly you have supreme confidence that the process used to appoint the current CE allowed the 22 reps to freely make the decision? Given how powerless you say they are, can you honestly believe that to be true?

    I feel sorry for most of our reps. Only a select few are actually calling the shots and these people are likely same people that can lose $5.6 million dollars of iwi money without getting sacked (it’s hard to sack yourself!). If I were them, I would want to make it certain that the new CE was implicated somehow in the losses, and weak enough to be influenced, so their reign can continue.

    The current CE is the perfect choice. She was on the NAGHL board, so is implicated, and has a history of being able to be ignored and silenced – if what you say is true. Then all they had to do is get the 22 reps to sign off. oo easy.

    And just to clarify, I am not personally attacking Enid, I am merely explaining why I think in a professional capacity as CE of TRONA, she is definitely not the right pick for the job. If what you say above is true, she has a history of being influenced by those imbeciles on the "power team" and will allow herself to be ignored when the heat goes on.

    What I will say about Enid Rātahi-Pryor, the person, is that she is very bolshy and doesn't like to be ignored. I actually find it hard to believe that she would have been silenced if she really wanted to be heard.

    Whether she was a weak and ineffective board member who was silenced while millions were squandered, or whether she herself supported the bad decision making directly - she is implicated in the whole mess and, as such, shouldn't be rewarded by being made Manahautu of TRONA.

    We don't know who is actually in the "power team" because they are yet to be made accountable. They need to put their hand up and resign - don't just offer, fall on the sword and walk.

    Because we don’t know, forums like this allow for posts to anonymously name and shame some of our reps – as you have done above. By publically outing those people in your post, you may not only incorrectly implicated them with the blame but you have made a series of personal attacks that you say you are so against. And still no name from you?

    You have a lot of really good korero and seem to have a lot of 'facts' to contribute to painting a clearer picture of exactly what is going on at the rūnanga.

    Unfortunately, your words lack substance until you put a name to them e hoa.

    1. The "imbeciles" as you call them appointed you too. Talk about selective and not very credible.

  7. As the partner of a current board member I prefer to stay as I am thanks otherwise the information flow I get access to will stop. So I don't agree with you that giving a name means substance. We'll have to disagree on that. There would be retaliation against my partner. That is the real world we live in. Sad but true. The reps are there because that's who their hapu selected. End of story. If you don't like it, challenge your rep. It's not for you to tell any hapu other than your own who to pick and what they should do. That's how tauiwi behave, telling us what to do and how we should do it. Right or wrong hapu have their own mana to chose their reps. If you get on, good on you. Then you might see how hard it is.

    Show me any iwi not reliant on government for their social programmes in one form or another. They don't exist. Not even Waikato or Ngai Tahu are free of accessing government contracts for social health and education services. The richest iwi without settlement assets like Ngati Tuwharetoa all access government funding for these services. We're entitled to under article 3. I am a fan of by Maori for Maori. And I don't want our hard earned raupatu money being used to fund what the government should be paying for. I don't see that as a crime or undesirable. I think you miss the point. I prefer our own people dealing with our issues via government contracts than how it used to be, by Pakehas.

    As for Enid, out of the candidates up for selection she was clearly the best. That's why the board picked her. Sad to say Leonie was never going to be up to it. She's never be CEO of anything before. The role is not a plaything for would be CEOs to learn. I know you supported her no doubt with the hope that your contract might be renewed. I can understand that. You were on a very lucrative contract. I wish I had that kind of money so it's no wonder you were upset when the money tap was turned off. I would be too. By the way, was your role advertised or put up for tender or were you one of those select few appointed without a process? Integrity comes from being transparent and having robust processes. Can you tell the people what you were paid with our iwi money?

    I think that's what makes me question your motives here, and your cousin. That's just my opinion and I know you won't agree, pai tena. It's a free country.

    If it was up to me the settlement should be given to hapu like happened in Ngati Ranginui. The amount of money that has been wasted over the years on the Runanga structure is crazy.

    1. I wondered when the question into my own professional relationship with the rūnanga would come. It's no secret that my own company Mauriora Marketing & PR Ltd was engaged by the runanga to deliver PROFESSIONAL services around the development of the visitor experience at Mataatua Wharenui.

      When I was disengaged in June, the product we had delivered was of utmost quality and potential - this was endorsed by a number of senior Māori and mainstream tourism officials that came to the launch. Some of the best heads in Māori tourism applauded Ngāti Awa for what we had created, acclaimed the quality of the product and acknowledged its potential, if managed PROFESSIONALLY, to stand with the very best in the industry.

      So there it is, a $1 million tourism investment endorsed as ready to take on the best - by the best - and what does the new CE do? Tells 8,000 Beacon readers she is going to close it down? -

      This is where I had 2 choices - I could either say nothing and carry on working with the runanga which would mean more "lucrative" contracts, or, I could stand by my work and tell the CE (and the board) she was making a mistake - when you have engaged a very talented (and well paid) group of individuals to build you a $1 million tourism product and they leave you the marketing tools to ensure its success - you can't ignore it, do your own thing and them blame them when it doesn't work. Pretty amateur thinking for someone you say is so qualified to lead the iwi.

      After two unrelated clients stopped me in the street asking what we had got wrong after reading the new CE's comments, I knew what I had to do. I knew that it would put me offside with the CE and would probably end my chances of working with TRONA but I had to publicly defend the product we had delivered and the reputation of my own company. Most of all I wanted to point out that if they followed the strategy, they would have got, and would be getting a lot more punters.

      So this was published ( and accompanied by some words from our noble CE advising that I should "let it go"? What, like she and the rest of the board did with Bernie Capital and GONet? Just add another mill’ to the $5.6 million already lost?

      This article ( was published in the very next issue announcing the Gold award winning success of the HIKO: Legends Carved In Light display at the 2012 New Zealand Best Design Awards proving, once and for all, that the product the project team delivered was absolutely world-class.

      NEK MINNIT, the CE had pulled a complete turnaround and the visitor experience was back on again. She obviously realised how ridiculous her ill thought out idea to abandon the gold award winning visitor experience was and suddenly there was plenty of money for advertising, more staff, billboards and the like. However, instead of following the strategy left by the experts, they seem intent on guessing their own way through it using their own vast tourism knowledge. The results will eventually speak for themselves.

      Now being made to look stupid in the local rag must have been a massive blow to her ego and I assume that it is why she then immediately cancelled a small contract I still had with TRONA, tried her absolute hardest to have me removed from the Moutohora kuia harvest and has blocked NATIVConnectioNZ offer to give TRONA $36,400 per annum for 1 hour a day at the wharenui at every post.

      If I was at all worried about the preservation of any contracts I receive from TRONA, do you think I would have challenged the CE’s ludicrous decision to abandon the visitor experience, let alone do it in the media?

      The fact that the new CE was so willing to abandon a $1 million investment after ignoring the marketing strategy shows she is grossly incompetent and has the same carefree attitude towards iwi money that has lead to the $5.6 million, or shall we now say $6.6 million, loss over the last 5 years.

      If I wanted a spot at the trough, I would have shut my mouth.

    2. You are entitled to your point of view definitely, like all of us. Isn't it a fact that your projected visitor numbers never materialised? Isn't it a fact that without the help of Pouroto Ngaropo the launch would have been a failure with barely 100 in attendance? Isn't it a fact that despite all of this you, like all of the other consultants, have been paid tens of thousands of dollars of our money despite there being no outcomes? Don't get me wrong, you are not the worst of them, not by a long shot. Only the tiny tip of a very large iceberg. Many others have been given our money with no real outcomes for the iwi. Look at the money wasted on the Australian Architects who then went bankrupt? All of the money wasted on the gondola proposal that was NEVER going to be realistic. But we still don't have a decent ablution block?! We pay consultants and lawyers but they don't get the resource consent right and so no one can stay over in the wharenui? Now where is the accountability for all of that?

      From your comments you obviously have a personal issue, like many others, with Enid, despite your earlier denials. I repeat Enid was the best candidate and that's why the Runanga confirmed her by such a huge margin. Like all successful people she has her critics.

      Isn't it a fact that the Runanga was going to make more losses thanks to the incompetence of the previous CEOs hiring too many staff and contractors and consultants that the iwi could not afford? Isn't it a fact that Enid has made cuts to reduce the deficits like any responsible manager would which will result in the deficit being reduced?

      Isn't it the role of NAGHL to deal with business proposals like yours? Isn't it a fact that the Runanga passed a resolution handing control of financial matters to do with the wharenui over to NAGHL? Isn't Wira the chairman and Graham Pryor the management director? Isn't Joe Mason a director too? He was quiet at the AGM as a NAGHL director. How is it that you have not been equally critical of them? Remember the Runanga endorsed the cutbacks implemented by Jeremy, Tiaki, Murray and Enid on two separate occasions and ordered Enid to reduce the deficit. Shouldn't you be critical of the board members too?

      Isn't it also fact that the McBurnie failure and Gonet were top billing at the 2011 AGM at the wharenui and that neither you nor the other critics from 2012 said a word? I notice you still have not said how much you have been paid.

      ALL payments to consultants, contractors and employees should be detailed in the accounts including the names, the amounts, what they were contracted to do and what were the outcomes. The Runanga should publish this information dating back to the time of the settlement in 2005. That is then true transparency. Anything else is just secret payments to a select few disguised as "commercially sensitive" or "confidential". How can that be right? It is the money of the hapu after all. We have a right to know what is being done with our money.

    3. It’s probably easier if I answer your questions individually:

      1) Projections
      You can’t expect to achieve the consultants' projections if you don’t follow the marketing strategy that was left by the consultants as a master plan to establishing the Mataatua brand in the tourism marketplace. Like any projections, they are a forecast of what the outcome will be if a specific direction is followed i.e. If you do x + y, then you will get an outcome of z. If you choose to ignore the strategy, make crucial changes to the brand and start guessing your way through, then you can’t moan when you don’t get z. It’s pretty simple really.

    4. 2) The Launch and Pouroto
      The purpose of the June 16 major launch of the visitor experience was to engage the tourism industry at a national and international level. Crucial to this was securing attendance from senior Māori and mainstream tourism influencers so they could see for themselves the supreme quality of the new experience that had been developed in Whakatane. The following list of people were personally invited by myself as part of a 10 member official industry delegation:

      Former deputy Prime Minister and current Toi-EDA Chair Sir Michael Cullen

      Senior representatives from:

      Tourism Bay of Plenty - (CE)
      Auckland Travel Tourism and Economic Developmen
      Te Puia
      Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
      New Zealand Maori Tourism Council
      Te Taru White (Former Te Puia CE and Kaihautu Te Papa Tongarewa)

      The original plan was to formerly launch the experience, run the delegation and other guests through it and then divert the official group to a smaller launch function that would be limited to them, the 22 hapu reps and other relevant Ngāti Awa leaders. The purpose of the function was to create an opportunity for the industry experts to share their praise and acknowledgement of the obvious potential the product has to be an iconic New Zealand attraction. It would also have been a great opportunity for any runanga reps who were unfamiliar with the tourism landscape to be able to ask questions and seek clarity from the delegation as an easy way to school up on what the critical success factors were.

      With that plan set, I left for meetings in Auckland on the Wednesday before the launch and left the Deputy Chairperson with 2 invitations to make – one to the Whakatane District Council and one to National MP for East Cape Anne Tolley. I advised I had taken care of the rest of the invitations.

      Imagine my surprise when I was sent a revised list on Friday that suddenly had grown from a tight delegation of 10 –15 regional and international tourism authorities to now include 40 other local Whakatāne based contacts. The Deputy Chair had taken upon himself to extend the list with members of the local community but in his efforts, had destroyed the plan for the experts to be able to talk one on one Ngati Awa leaders. Suddenly every local that the Deputy Chairperson knows was also on the function list with none of them working in tourism related fields.

      Pou knows he made a mistake and, although he had the best intentions and thought that having 50 anybodies is better than having 10 influencers, he admitted that he had made a mistake, killed the plan and he later apologised.

      So, with the above in mind, can you tell me how Pouroto stopped the launch from being a failure?

    5. 3) OK since the value of my historical contracts with TRONA seem of so much interest to you, I am happy to disclose those details. I charged the runanga $80+GST/ph – a discounted rate that i have not raised since I was awarded my first TRONA contract in 2009. I was contracted to work 36 hours per week for a period of around 12 months. You can do the math but the total consultancy fees that were paid to me over that period would have been close to $150,000.

      Before you start your “see people that’s where all our money is going” rant, we need to remember that my company was contracted by the runanga as a consultant, not an employee. The reason an organisation hires consultants is invariably to assist on a workstream where they do not have sufficient internal capability or expertise to succesfully undertake the project themselves. If you want to build a succesful tourism product, you need people that have a proven history in the game. The consulting team put together a fantastic product that won a prestigious national award in it’s first 3 months.

      When you mention tens of thousands of dollars wasted on contractors with no outcomes, you may be right. When I first was first contracted to work on the wharenui experience, I was told a number of times that there would be room in the $7 million total budget to design, develop & deliver the visitor experience, fund the complete implementation of the marketing & brand development strategy and provide some operating capital while until the experience gains traction in the marketplace.

      However, despite the fact that the the visitor experience development came in on budget, there was no money for anything – the $7 million had been blown. From March 2012, the brakes had gone on so bad that from then to the June 16 launch, I was only authorised to book 2 sets of local newspaper ads – one for the local launch in March and one for the national launch in June. Surprise, surprise when we placed these ads, we had solid visitation. It’s incredibly hard to sell a secret and that’s effectively the scenario you are left dealing with, without any real financial and strategic commitment to marketing and advertising.

      So where did the money go? I put the cost of the development of the tourism experience at approximately $1 million, so that must mean that the actual build of the complex cost $6 million, no? I know the restorative carvers and the weavers weren’t on big money so I would say you are absolutely right, a lot of contractors must have made loads of money from the $6 million blowout.

      In terms of outcomes, I am immensly proud of the product that we built. Everything from the brand, to HIKO, to the collateral and the website was world class and could have been paying its own way immediately, and within 2-3 years be making a sizeable contribution to the ongoing costs of the complex which are now burdening the iwi. We left TRONA with something that generates a revenue - that is proven. It could be doing much better but even though it is currently being run by complete amateurs who have no tourism, marketing or visitor industry experience, it is still making an earn. How can you call that a “no outcome”?

    6. 4) It's nothing personal, she just doesn't have what it takes and its already plain to see.

      The current CE is not the right person for CE job, and my reasons are simple:

      1) The first reason is she should have been sacked, along with rest of the NAGHL board when they bundled Bernie Capital and GoNet. I notice everyone is keen to stick the boot into Jeremy but the NAGHL board would have HAD TO sign off on those investments at some stage. The buck stops with the NAGHL board, they are the GOVERNORS paid thousands per year to oversee the commercial activity of runanga. If that board loses millions in bad investments, they should all be sacked for gross negligence. If what should have happened, actually happened, would Enid be such an outstanding candidate, knowing she had been sacked from the NAGHL board for her part in blowing $5.6 million of our settlement money.

      2) After coming into the position being hailed as the solution to TRONA’s operational overspending in a time when some of the runanga’s most loyal staff had been sacked to help reduce the organisations expenditure, among the first things she did was acquire a new TRONA provided vehicle. What was wrong with the green Ford Jeremy used to drive?

      This sends a seriously conflicting message – “we are so broke we have to lay off long serving staff, but we can still afford a new $60,000+ vehicle for me to drive around”. If our iwi was cracking it and there was plenty getting through to the bottom, but when the new CE gets a new car after being part of a NAGHL board that has lost $5.6 million in 5 years, we’ll that’s just troughin’ it.

      3) Despite lot’s of talk how she was going to sort out all of these “rogue contractors” that were bleeding the iwi dry, her first appointment was to award the Deputy Chairperson of TRONA a contract reportedly worth $40,000 per annum for 20 hours per week as a Senior Strategic Cultural Advisor. Now no one in the country can dispute Pou’s skill as a cultural advisor, he’d be up there with the best in terms of his ability to act as a liaison for those who need cultural advice. My question is more around why we are contracting someone to give cultural advice to the CE when in the charter it says quite plainly that providing cultural advice to the CE (and the TRONA board) is one of the roles of the paid position of Whakaruruhau.

      If the iwi are paying the Whakaruruhau to perform a number of roles including providing cultural advice to the CE, why do we need to contract another person? Isn’t that $40k that could have been spent more wisely somewhere else given the current financial predicament we find ourselves in? The other thing is the Deputy Chaiperson was on the 5 person panel that interviewed the CE candidates and made the recommendation to the board as to which candidate should, in their opiniion, be given the job. Surprise, surprise Enid gets the job and the Deputy Chair ends up with ANOTHER runanga paid contract to perform a role that the organisation is already paying someone else to deliver. It’s so shady, it’s almost laughable. It’s cronyism at its finest.

      Again, it’s hard to say that Enid is coming in to fix up the problems caused by the ex-CE when she herself has been a director of NAGHL and a hapu rep on TRONA when the hole we are now in was being dug. The CE is ultimately answerable to the TRONA board, they are the governors. If the problem was frivolous over-spending by the former CE, why didn’t the board do something to reign this in when it was happening? The fact that they didn’t makes them liable and responsible for the financial predicament we are in. Jeremy is an easy scapegoat but the reality is, the TRONA board need to accept they are ultimately responsible due to ineffective governance – Enid included.

    7. 4) NAGHL v CE: Who is blocking us?
      Our proposal was submitted to NAGHL and the Runanga as there was some confusion at that stage as to which entity the visitor experience would sit under. After a lot of pushing from our side, we finally got on the NAGHL agenda only to get a call the day before the meeting to say that Enid has had us removed from the agenda and there would be no need to attend.

      All reports that we have received say she is unhappy that she had been made to (or more correctly, made herself) look stupid in the articles published in the Beacon and was blocking our proposal whenever it came up. She also tried a number of times to have me removed from the Moutohora kuia harvest and wouldn’t sign my final invoice off for payment for 3 months and only then after a “pull your head in” from the TRONA Chair. After all of this it became clear to me that the CE was waging a personal vendetta against me, so I emailed her suggesting that, in the interests of doing what is best for the iwi, we should meet, sort any issues out and get on with it so we can start paying the $36,400 per annum to the runanga for 1 hour a day. Enid wouldn’t meet and had “moved on”. These petty and childish antics are hardly the behaviour you’d expect from an effective CE. It sounds more like the bullying style of a CE that has managed to rack up 8 PGs in her last role. Although many at the table can see the validity in our proposal, because it’s money for jam for TRONA, it is being blocked by Enid alone because she refuses to let her own personal issues with me get in the way of something that can be only positive for the iwi.

    8. I wasn’t at the 2011 AGM, I was far too busy Project Managing the visitor experience. Although I had heard about a dud golf course and that GONET was struggling, like so many others in our 19,000 strong iwi, I didn’t know the extent of the loss because the details never get through. We are left to be informed by the reps and half of them get bamboozled by the silver tongues and eyelid-batters so even they don’t realise what is happening until the horse has bolted.

      I agree with you 100% though, there needs to be a whole lot more transparency around who is getting paid what from the runanga. That is the only way to really bring the iwi into the light. I have done so above as i have nothing to hide. I wish I could say the same about you but you, and a whole lot of others, seem to be intent on making the big calls from beneath the convenient, yet very cowardly, veil of anonymity.

    9. Will reply in full shortly I have been out of NZ. Needless to say I disagree with much of your response. One point as for cronyism, who were all of the people surrounding JG when he was CEO and how many of those consultants got engaged and paid without a transparent and robust process? Especially our carpet layer. Or the former cultural consultant? Or the consultants engaged to assist with restructuring who never did anything and sent it a bill? or the ridiculous gondola consultants? Or the architects from Australia who went bankrupt? This is the culture of extravagance, lack of due process, conflicts of interest, failure to report that has been so endemic in the Runanga. That there is now going to be a truly "independent" audit is long overdue. What it will show is when your staff have been misleading to the point of dishonesty it is near impossible for governance to unravel the extent of their deviousness especially when you have compliant subordinate staff willing to turn a blind eye to save their own job. Same thing with NAGHL it seems and the conduct of Graham Pryor according to the audit report. Concealing legal advice from fellow directors since it was unfavourable to the contract with the company in which you had an interest. Telling your chairman the board has approved the contract when they hadn't for a contract involving $3.8 million. This is not even cronyism. It's simply dishonesty.

    10. 1. The projections given would never materialise. Show us one independent piece of evidence to show this is what HAS in fact happened.

      2. Pouroto denies your version of events.

      3. You speak of cronyism. Was your contract tendered publicly? If not, why not?

      4. We'll simply have to disagree. The vast majority of the Runanga endorsed Enid. Five people voted against her out of 22. Sounds pretty personal to me your comments. If not Enid then who? Leonie? Tony Olsen? Just not credible. That's why they failed. Have they been picked up by other corporates in a CEO role? Gee, wonder why not?

      Love your work, by the way. Especially the recent doco on Maori TV. Great item.

  8. PS I wish you well in your business and I hope it prospers. The iwi need more successful business people.

  9. And no I do not believe the power gang, which is not the CEO by a long shot, do what they do for mana munching. It's far worse and more dangerous than that. They act as they do because they genuinely believe that they know what's best. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  10. P.S I will encourage you again to leave your name. As the partner of a current board member, you are obviously privy to a lot of information that the rest of the iwi isn't.

    However, board members are meant to be leaders committed 100% to serving their hapu and iwi without fair of being retaliated against. If your partner was worth his salt on the board, he/she wouldn't worry about petty retaliation. After all, if all that you say is true then your partner will be all good - ma wai hei whakahē i te pono me te tika? That may be what is wrong with the board, they are too scared to speak out against what is obviously wrong, for fear of retaliation from someone else, so nothing gets challenged even when they know it will eventually be detrimental to the iwi.

    You obviously know that there is content in your korero that would incite some form of retaliation or retribution so for the sake of the 21 reps and their partners, don't you think you should end any incorrect speculation as to who you are so they aren't wrongfully victimised with the retaliation you speak of?

  11. So what DID you get paid?

  12. As someone new to Ngati Awa I've read this site with interest. I would also like to know where our iwi money is going. I've read the 2012 and 2011 annual reports. They are not that helpful since they lack detail about who gets our money and for what. Anyone who can tell us all what these consultants have been paid in the last financial year broken down by name, contract amount and details of services provided and outcomes achieved.

  13. Far this site is funny as. All you guys need to get a real job. Too much time on your hands! Do something useful and positive. Information is good but this is all spin. Sounds like a lot of rip offs and hang ups as well. No wonder the baldheads rule us.

    Ricky Hart

  14. indeed Ricky, your korero sounds very baldhead to me.Obviously you don't fully understand the kaupapa of this blog. I believe the author should be applauded for her stand against what can only be described as skulduggery and betrayal from those who have been elected to act in the best interests of "the people". I am deeply concerned about what I have read and so I went on a fact checking mission and sadly the facts presented by this author are pretty accurate, which send alarm bells ringing for me. Seems to me that the objectors to this blog are directly(or indirectly) on the pay role of the board and this sort of information being offered to the people, has them running for cover hence the defensive comments. It is time for the hapu's to take a stand and be more proactive in demanding complete and transparent accountability from the decision makers.FYI Ricky, "time on my hands" is something I have very little of because I have a "real job" and I hope your find one soon.


    1. Tena hoki koe anon 230162. Pai tena to korero engari ki au nei kei te tino he tena. Tino nui nga whakaputa mohio i raro i te maru o te kuaretanga. Te nuinga o nga puhaehae, nga harawene. Good on for you for having a "real job". So do I. What you say here is old news to many. It's like with most zealots they think the world and history starts with them. Well it doesn't. Go back to 2005 when the settlement first landed if you want to see some real skulduggery. Then go back to 1980 when the board was first set up and see which hapu got all the funding and access to resources. They also got land that didn't belong to them and sold it. You might be surprised. You may need to check a little closer to home. Our tipuna paid with their lives for the raupatu. Did yours? Or were they in the pay of the Crown then as now?


    2. Another born again know it all. Changed your name too no doubt to a transliteration? Is this another capitalist oppressor paradigm? Betrayal? Look to your delegate who your hapu put in. Make them accountable. No doubt you've not been to a marae meeting since Adam was a Cowboy.

    3. Far from being in the pay of the Runanga many of us who read this site note that it all started from Karla supporting her cousin who had his contract cancelled. Pretty pathetic really. I also attended our Ngati Hokopu meeting with the CEO. it was mostly a joke on our part. No wonder stuff all attend the marae these days. The kuia were right, all these wannabes turning up for a "showdown" which failed to eventuate yet when there is time for mahi at the pa they are not there. Pretty shallow really

  15. Why do you hire someone as CEO whose only experience with $$ is how to spend it, someone elses too I might add. Has she ever used her own $$ to make $? That is the litmus test as any entrepreneur will tell you. Has she ever mentored someone to become a sucessfull business person? NO. just anutha sow with her snout in the trough. As for NASH! Anutha of her creations.....hand picked board........conflicting interests........
    .husband employee/board member/co.director.........rodney hide should have a ball here! Come on nati awa, get your house in order! Sorry, but did I mention her NASH builder did the renovations to their house? Reciepts please!

  16. You sound like a male with domestic violence issues. No self respecting woman would call another a female pig. If you're a female you sound like someone with mental health issues.

    Maybe you're both?