I went because I wanted to know the answers to several questions I had and to hear what our leaders had to say about a couple of key decisions they have made in the last year or so.
Since returning to live in my hometown of Whakatane I have been saddened by several people’s stories about their experiences within and with the runanga
In the past people from Waikato have often asked me if I would be so intrusive when it came to my own iwi and now I am finally able to answer that question with this honest answer: yes I am because I believe that to achieve collective success people must always demand accountability and transparency from their leaders.
Reports were given by the new chief executive Enid Rātahi-Pryor, TRONA chairman Mr Merito, Ngati Awa Group Holdings Ltd chairman Sir Wira Gardiner but, in my opinion, the most interesting point of the meeting was when TRONA accountant Murray Haines was asked how much had the runanga had received from the sale of GoNet.
And perhaps this would make sense if Ngati Awa was a two-bit player but we are an organisation with $110m worth of assets. We are a proud people with a history of entrepreneurship and creativity. We have a host of people within our iwi with skills and qualities that could have helped provide a better solution than simply giving away an investment of $1.9m for free.