Huhana Watene.

Tumu Whakarae | National President, Te Hautū Kahurangi
Ngāti Porou

What are my dreams and aspirations for Matariki 2024? To be honest there are so many, but I have reduced it to two specific moemoea (dreams).

I want to acknowledge my hoa Rangatira (husband) Haki Watene and our five kotiro for supporting my dream to be a part of Te Hautū Kahurangi TEU’s Co-Governance structure, the first Union in Aotearoa to do so. Like all amazing kaupapa, this journey has just begun, but much is still to be done and plans are being worked on to ensure this union continues and is on track. Working on the principles of ‘kia tika, kia pono me te tūturu’ (to be just, to have integrity and be legitimate) will guarantee it being sustainable, underpinned by a solid foundation and initiated by membership and staff.

This kaupapa is a difficult one but when the journey is of such importance the whawhai (battle) is worth it. We must draw a line in the sand for our union’s longevity, we must continue the mahi that so many before us started. Tēnei te mihi ki ngā Rangatira tūturu, e te tauheke Huirangi Waikerepuru, e te Whaea Kaa Daniels, e te Whaea Mere Broughton, Alva Kapa, Kukupa Tirikatene-Sullivan, Ekara Lewis, Tangi Stevens and Moana Jackson. In addition, Lee Cooper, Lichelle Kerei, Sharn Riggs, Irena Borens, and of course our Kāhui Kaumātua, Matua Hōne Sadler and Taua Roimata Kerekere.

My second moemoea is: at the end of my term as Te Tumu Whakarae: Māori, Co-National President I will focus on my amazing whānau, travel extensively and participate in new and never experienced experiences – I guess you could call it my “bucket list”. To our leadership, TEU staff, the members and all connected to unionism, I sincerely thank you. And finally, my comrade Julie Douglas Co-National President: Tangata Tiriti. I value your wisdom, your guidance and above all your friendship.

Matariki provides us the opportunity to remember those who have passed, celebrate today’s successes and TEU’s continuing future as a Co-Governed Union.

Providing an illuminating light for the future – Koia!