Friday, 24 October 2014
I want to sign off from Tu Mai Te Toki today.
It has been a few months since the last post but as many of you know I have taken up a position at the Whakatane Beacon.
For me there is no better time to do this. I will miss Tu Mai Te Toki. It gave me the forum to introduce myself back to Ngati Awa, in a way that was me.
You may not have always agreed with what I have written but I stand by the factual statements I have made in this blog. And, as always, I encourage you to check it out for yourself.
Go to your marae meetings, go to the runanga meetings, go to every hui you can make because you never know where your skills might be able to be used to help make our people better. Isn’t that all any of us can ask to do?
There is a Te Runanga o Ngati Awa meeting next week and it should be a boomer. Since the last meeting we have seen the official resignation of Sir Wira Gardiner, a scandal involving Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi and the call for three new directors to be appointed to the tribe’s financial arm.
No doubt these will all be on the table for discussion. As a reporter, I have contacted Te Runanga o Ngati Awa to ask whether I can still attend. I tried to meet with the chief executive, Enid Ratahi-Pryor and I had to eventually corner runanga chairman Jo Mason.
He asked if I was Ngati Awa.
“Well then you can come to the meetings.”
That was great news, I hope I can sit in the public gallery as I have always done. I understand the need for confidentiality and would hope that if sensitive matters are going to be discussed that the board members would use the in-committee clause for that issue.
But what is the harm of having me there? What is the harm of sunlight if you are doing your job?
Ngati Awa have achievements that we should be screaming from the roof tops. I hope to be able to write about them for the newspaper but I will not turn a blind eye to the negative even if it means that I have been airing our dirty laundry.
Ngati Awa deserve to know the whole picture and clearly there has been a break-down in the traditional forms of getting iwi news.
I am a journalist who has ethics and a code. I will promise you that I will never sensationalise stories about Maori. I will promise to always present the story as factually as I can without personal opinion or bias.
I promise to be a good reporter. And I promise, always, to be Ngati Awa.I am off to the Ngati Awa Te Toki festival to help out and celebrate but check me out at the Beacon, there is a pay-wall but I can assure you it will be worth the subscription.