May 15, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Waikato-Tainui appoints Wahine to head tribal administration

3 min read

Te Arataura Chair Tukoroirangi Morgan today announced the appointment of Parekawhiaa McLean (Ngati Mahanga, Ngati Patupo, Ngati Apakura, Ngati Koroki) as the new Chief Executive Officer of the tribes administrative arm, Waikato Tainui Te Kauhanganui Incorporated.

Mr Morgan said there had been high interest in the CEO position and the board had deliberated long and hard on the type of CEO it believed was needed to lead the tribal administration into its next phase of development.

As could be imagined for an appointment of this magnitude and importance to the future of this tribe, Te Arataura went through an extremely rigorous selection process, requiring both shortlisted candidates to present to the board.

Both Parekawhiaa and Clint Rickards were extremely passionate about the future of the tribe the extremely high calibre of both applicants gave an insight into the astounding wealth of skills available and willing to work for our people in what they see, is a new and exciting era of economic, environmental and social development for Maaori. We were excited that the final choice fell to both Parekawhia and Clint who are of Waikato Tainui.

Our people deserve quality and the appointment of Ms McLean, is just that.

Mr Morgan says the commercial side of Waikato-Tainui is achieving outstanding success including the opening of the second stage of Te Awa and the prospect of a groundbreaking business initiative on the horizon. He says the CEO appointment is about building a strong and cohesive tribal administration to ensure the benefits of those economic activities can be applied to the achievement of Whakatupuranga 2050 the tribes 50 year blueprint for the economic, cultural and social advancement of Waikato-Tainui.

We also required someone with some insight into how the Treaty partnership with the Crown is developing and what that means for us and our members as we move into an exciting post-settlement era.

Parekawhia is a tremendously talented individual and recently played a key role in bringing our vision for Whaanau Ora to fruition and ensuring we were one of the 25 successful providers announced last week.

We will be looking to her to ensure that Whaanau Ora and all that it represents for the future of this tribe delivers on its kaupapa and results in genuine improvements in the quality of life led by all who live in the Waikato.

On behalf of Te Arataura, Te Kauhanganui and Waikato-Tainui tribal beneficiaries, I want to extend a deep debt of gratitude to Joyce Paekau who stepped into the chief executive role in an acting capacity, nearly 12 months ago.

Joyce has provided steadiness and calm, determined leadership and we acknowledge, once again, her tireless and self-less lifetime contribution to the advancement of Waikato-Tainui, Mr Morgan said.

Ms McLean is honoured to be given the opportunity to lead the tribal administration at this exciting time in its history, and looks forward to working with Te Arataura and Te Kauhanganui to deliver on their objectives.

I want to spend some time working with staff and coming to grips with the wide range of activities undertaken on behalf of tribal beneficiaries. Ultimately, we all want the same thing: a strong tribal administration committed to delivering the benefits of our economic activities to the grassroots of this tribe and ensuring future generations can also reap the rewards of economic confidence and prosperity, said Ms McLean.

Fifty four candidates were considered for the CEO role with an external agency appointed to create a short-list.

Ms McLean is currently on the board of Mighty River Power and is a director of Mauriora ki te Ao, a strategy and policy advice consultancy. She has held a number of government sector positions with high level experience in Health, Maaori Development, the Environment, State Services, Politics, Government and Cabinet.

Ms McLean affiliates to Te Papa-o-Rotu and Te Kaharoa-Aramiro Marae. She was born and brought up in Whatawhata. In 1988 she left the Waikato to live and work in Wellington, returning home in 2008 and now living in Raglan-Whaingaroa.

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