Raukawa Trust Board plan­ning big cel­e­bra­tion

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

South Waikato iwi Raukawa will mark the 25th an­niver­sary of the for­ma­tion of the Raukawa Maori Trust Board with cel­e­bra­tions and fes­tiv­i­ties this week­end.

On March 24, 1987 the Raukawa Trust Board was formed and set about driv­ing the cul­tural, so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment for the peo­ple of the iwi.

The board was also de­ter­mined to have a greater say on is­sues that were im­por­tant to its more than 20,000 mem­bers.

The 25-year an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion, to be held at the Toko­roa Me­mo­rial Sports Ground this Satur­day, March 24, marks a pe­riod of mo­men­tous change and growth for the Raukawa iwi.

The day, which will in­clude a range of mu­sic, en­ter­tain­ment, stalls and sports events, will ap­peal to fam­i­lies.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion is now the largest provider of health and so­cial ser­vices in the South Waikato.

It em­ploys more than 70 staff across busi­ness units which deal with en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tives, te reo Maori lan­guage re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion, youth ser­vices, and the ne­go­ti­a­tion of Raukawa Treaty of Wai­tangi Claims.

The Raukawa Trust Board has evolved to what is now the Raukawa Set­tle­ment Trust, which is the par­ent for sub­sidiaries in­clud­ing the Raukawa Char­i­ta­ble Trust and Raukawa Iwi De­vel­op­ment Ltd.

The com­mer­cial arm of the tribe, Raukawa Iwi De­vel­op­ment Ltd, man­ages as­sets and in­vest­ments val­ued at al­most $50 mil­lion.

Raukawa Set­tle­ment Trust Chair­woman Vanessa Eparaima said the 25-year an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion marked a mile­stone for the peo­ple of Raukawa.

‘‘We can ac­knowl­edge and cel­e­brate the in­cred­i­ble work of our whanaunga who had a vi­sion, and the many hun­dreds who fol­lowed this in­spi­ra­tion to help build the vi­brant tribal en­tity that we are to­day.’’

Mrs Eparaima said it was im­por­tant to cel­e­brate the spe­cial day and to ac­knowl­edge the huge progress made by Raukawa.

‘‘We are head­ing into a new phase of our iwi de­vel­op­ment. We are within weeks of con­clud­ing our out­stand­ing Treaty of Wai­tangi Set­tle­ment ne­go­ti­a­tions.

‘‘The con­clu­sion of this im­por­tant work will al­low the iwi to fo­cus all our con­sid­er­able en­ergy and re­sources on fur­ther en­hanc­ing and grow­ing our so­cial cul­tural and eco­nomic ca­pac­ity for our peo­ple.’’



Trust chair­man Ge­orge Ran­gi­tu­tia said the event marked an im­por­tant time to ac­knowl­edge those who be­gan this jour­ney.

‘‘It is a day to cel­e­brate and ac­knowl­edge our lead­ers and all those who sup­ported them to bring us to this point to­day.

‘‘The an­niver­sary is a day for our peo­ple and all in our com­mu­ni­ties to come to­gether and to take part in the events, to cel­e­brate, to en­joy the en­ter­tain­ment and to ac­knowl­edge and share in Raukawatanga.

‘‘ We wel­come our Raukawa whanau, and all in the com­mu­nity to come along and en­joy the day’s events and ac­tiv­i­ties.’’

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