Wally Stone elected unopposed as rep for Rapaki Rununga

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Businessman Wally Stone has been elected unopposed as Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu representative for Te Hapu o Ngati Wheke (Rapaki Runanga).

Rapaki Runanga chairman Kopa Lee said the runanga was grateful to have someone with Mr Stones considerable skills and track-record to follow on from departing representative and former Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation (NTHC) and TRoNT deputy chairman Donald Couch.

Mr Couch resigned from his representative roles last month.

Donald has represented Rapaki Whanui with commitment and ability over the past decade. His representation on senior Ngai Tahu positions has been a source of real pride for many within our Rapaki Whanui and I thank him for his service to our hapu and iwi. Mr Lee said.

The strong past performance and firm commitment to working for the best interests of the Rapaki whanui and the Ngai Tahu iwi, coupled with an impressive track-record in the public and private sector made Mr Stone the obvious choice to take over the representative role, he said.

Wally is a man who carries himself with quite dignity and humility. He is a man who has not sought out iwi and hapu representation, but rather is someone who has accepted the challenge when it has been made. This marks him out as a man guided by the honoured traditions of iwi and hapu leadership.

In what have been very tough economic times, it is essential we have the best commercial minds who also share a commitment to unity and a focus of meeting the needs of the people among the 18 leaders of TRoNT. We are pleased we have a person with Wallys considerable track record to carry our expectations forward, Mr Lee said.

Mr Stone said he was honoured to be chosen to work for the people of Rapaki Runanga.

I am humbled to again be called to serve my people. It is a task I take seriously and I will be guided by what is best for the people of Rapaki and all Ngai Tahu. We are an iwi with so much potential and opportunity. I am excited by the prospect of ensuring our potential as a people are achieved, and I am committed to working with my fellow TRoNT representatives to ensure we can do the very best for our people.

Brief Profile: Wally Stone

Mr Stone has held a number of senior positions in both profit and non-profit organisations. Previous senior roles include, Chairman and founding director and former Chief Executive of Whale Watch Kaikoura, Former chairman New Zealand Tourism board, former Independent Director and Chairman NTHC, executive chairman Kaikoura Investment Trust, Commissioner for the Maori Employment and Training Commission, and Trustee for Asia New Zealand. He has also fulfilled senior Government advisory and co-ordination roles.

Mr Stone was invited to become a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management (FNZIM) in 2003 and the following year was awarded an ONZM Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

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