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    Te Aka Pūkenga cadets welcomed

    Local Government-Iwi relationships in the Top of The South have taken an important step forward last week with the official launch of a cadetship program to be run across Nelson City, Tasman and Marlborough District Councils, and supported by the eight Te Tauihu iwi.   

    Funded by tranche one of Central Government’s Better Off Funding, three cadetships have been established under the Te Aka Pūkenga programme - a new initiative collectively formed by ngā iwi ō Te Tauihu and the three local Councils. 

    The goal for these roles is to help to increase iwi capacity by giving cadets exposure and experience working within councils and iwi organisations across the rohe. 
    Kelly Hayes (Tasman) and Rangi Anderson (Nelson) are the first to take on this challenge.  

    On Monday March 18, the two wāhine started their term with a pōwhiri at Nelson's Whakatū Marae to welcome them into their new positions. 
    Marlborough District Council has also appointed their cadet and they will commence their role in April. 

    “Personally, it means a lot to me working with Te Kaunihera o Whakatū as well as the local iwi – helping to make a change for everyone and making a difference for āpōpō (tomorrow)” said Rangi (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngai te Rangi, Ngāti Te Ranginui).  

    Having previously worked part-time at Tasman District Council, Kelly (Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō) said she was excited to return and strengthen the connections she had already made. 

    Tasman District Council Chief Executive Leonie Rae said she was delighted to welcome Kelly to our team. 

    “This cadetship will provide Kelly with a wonderful opportunity to grow her understanding of the Council and the work that we do to provide intergenerational benefit to our region. In turn, Kelly will provide us an opportunity to grow the all-important relationship we have with Te Tauihu iwi.” 

    Tasman District Council Kaihautū Hononga Renee Thomas said “the Te Aka Pūkenga initiative is one that has been given to us by our Te Tiriti Partners.” 
    “The mutually beneficial outcomes are aimed at building capacity and capability for whānau, hapū and iwi, as well as strengthening our reciprocal relationship with ngā iwi ō Te Tauihu.” 

    “Kelly will bring another layer of experience and knowledge to council, and I hope that she gets to spend time with many people across the community while on this 12-month program. 

    The role of Kaituitui Ahurea who will liaise with Tasman and Nelson Councils for management of events leading up to Te Matatini in 2027 has also been filled - with Huia Rentoul (Te Arawa) welcomed at Monday’s pōwhiri. 

    Coming from an events background which includes running her own business, Huia said the role offered hononga (connection) to Te Ao Māori and had put her in a position “where I’m meant to be.” 

    “It’s connecting to who I am and aligning everything I love and making it my job – I feel like everything I’ve done in my space has led me to be here.”

    Richard Liddicoat

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    Te Aka Pūkenga cadets welcomed