Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa appoints Tūwhakairiora O’Brien as new Board Chair
It was a changing of the guard at Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa (TRONA) on Friday (Friday 17, 2023) with the appointment of Tūwhakairiora O’Brien as Chair and Manurere Glen as Deputy Chair.
Mr O’Brien is currently the representative for the Ngāti Awa hapū Te Pahipoto on the TRONA board, and he was also elected to the Whakatāne District Council at the last election.
Ms Glen represents the Ngāi Te Rangihouhiri II hapū on the board and is a ECE Service Manager at Te Tohu Ora o Ngāti Awa.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Chief Executive Reuben Araroa said the election of the Chairman and Deputy Chair demonstrated the tribe’s leadership succession plan in action with Mr O’Brien having already served six years as Deputy Chair and nine as a board member and Ms Glen already serving 12 years on the Board and sub committees to become the first female to take a leadership position for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa.
“Succession is one of the greatest challenges organisations will face so I am proud to see the growth in leadership capability within the Rūnanga,” said Mr Araroa.
“With the election, the duo now joins a legacy of leadership and service, following in the footsteps of Te Hau Paul, Tā Hirini Moko Mead, Dr Te Kei Merito, Dr Hohepa Mason and Joe Harawira, with Pouroto Ngaropo who has served as Deputy Chairman. We acknowledge their contributions and remember those leaders who are no longer with us who left an enduring legacy of inspiration that will help guide our Rūnanga into the future.
“I want to also acknowledge the outgoing Chair Joe Harawira who led Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa during some of the most challenging years our iwi and Aotearoa has faced. He was an exceptional leader who has the ability to make people of all walks of life feel secure in times of doubt and uncertainty. We wish Joe well and we are confident he will continue to carry the mana of Ngāti Awa within his new endeavors.
The two leaders join Dr Jim Mather, who was elected as the new chairman to the tribe’s financial arm, Ngāti Awa Group Holdings, at meeting last year.