Te Pou Tupua

Te pou o te whakatupua
Te pou o te whakatawhito
Te pou o Ranginui e tū nei!

The celestial post
The ancient post
The pillar of universal order!

Te Pou Tupua is the face and voice of Te Awa Tupua and will uphold Tupua te Kawa.

Te Awa Tupua as a legal person requires a human agent that can take steps to act on behalf and in the name of Te Awa Tupua to uphold its status and protect its health and wellbeing.

The settlement establishes the position of Te Pou Tupua to perform this role and act as the human face of Te Awa Tupua.

Te Pou Tupua is a single role, held by two persons. The appointment is made jointly by both the iwi with interests in the Whanganui River (including Whanganui Iwi) and by the Crown, symbolising not only the Treaty partnership between Iwi and the Crown, but also the Crown’s ongoing responsibility to uphold Te Awa Tupua.

The functions of Te Pou Tupua include:

  • acting and speaking on behalf of Te Awa Tupua;
  • upholding the status of Te Awa Tupua and Tupua te Kawa;
  • promoting and protecting the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua; Te Awa Tupua as a legal person will require a human agent that can take steps to act on behalf and in the name of Te Awa Tupua to uphold its status and protect its health and wellbeing.
  • exercising the landowner functions in relation to any land vested in Te Awa Tupua; and
  • administering Te Korotete o Te Awa Tupua (the Te Awa Tupua putea).

Te Pou Tupua are required to act in the interests of Te Awa Tupua, consistently with Tupua te Kawa, and for no other purpose.

The role of Te Pou Tupua is to represent and advocate for the interests of the River, not represent its appointors. However, Te Pou Tupua are also be required to recognise the inalienable interconnection between the iwi and hapū of the Whanganui River and Te Awa Tupua. As such Te Pou Tupua must develop appropriate mechanisms for engaging with and reporting to the iwi and hapū of the River on matters relating to Te Awa Tupua.

Te Pou Tupua

In November 2017 Turama Hawira and Dame Tariana Turia were officially inaugurated into the joint role of Te Pou Tupua at a ceremony at Ngāpuwaiwaha marae, Taumarunui.

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Turama Hawira
Te Pou Tupua

Poukōrero Turama Hawira is an experienced cultural advisor and a trustee and director of several hapū and iwi trusts.

He has chaired the Ngā Rauru Iwi post-settlement governance entity, currently serves as a director of Morikaunui Incorporation and presented research and advice on behalf of hapū and iwi claimants of the wider Whanganui-Ruapehu District to both the National Park Inquiry and Whanganui District Inquiry of the Waitangi Tribunal, WAI 903. 

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Kahurangi (Dame) Tariana Turia
Te Pou Tupua

Since leaving Parliament in 2014, former Maori Party leader Dame Tariana has been chair of the Parihaka Settlement Trust, Pou of Te Pou Matakana, Pou Arahi for the Accident Compensation Corporation, and Assessor for both Te Putahitanga o te Waipounamu and Tipu Ora. She is an Honorary Fellow of the New Zealand College of General Practitioners and is on the Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board.   She has received the Luther Terry Award for outstanding leadership and tobacco reform (American Cancer Society, 2015); been made a Life-member of CCS Disability Action and is the first Māori woman to receive the highest leadership award of the Sir Peter Blake Trust, the Blake meda

Advisors to Te Pou Tupua

Te Pou Tupua are supported by Te Karewao, an advisory committee comprising three members - one appointed by Whanganui Iwi, one appointed by other iwi with interests in the Whanganui River and one appointed by local authorities. An additional person may also be appointed to Te Karewao from the iwi and hapū with interests in a particular part of the Whanganui River when Te Pou Tupua requires advice in relation to a matter affecting a discrete part of the River.

The role of Te Karewao is to advise and support Te Pou Tupua in the exercise of its functions. Te Pou Tupua may also delegate functions to Te Karewao.

Te Karewao

Annette Main
Te Karewao - Appointed by Local Authorities

Annette was the Mayor of Whanganui during a fairly tumultuous time.

Her six years in the role included guiding the community through the process to correct the spelling of the district, confirming the rebuild of a failed wastewater plant, regaining a positive reputation and stimulating growth, and leading the region's mayors during that time, through the process of initial understanding of the proposed Te Awa Tupua legislation.

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Wiari Rauhina
Te Karewao - Appointed by other Iwi with Interests in the Whanganui River

Nō Ngati Tuwharetoa raua ko Ngati Raukawa Wiari was born and raised in Taumarunui and educated at Tipene Kura and Wellington Polytechnic. 

Wiari has worked in Enviromental Health and as a Building Inspector for the Councils of Taumarunui, Waimarino, Ohakune and Raetihi. 

He has also been a Social Worker working for the Social Welfare Department, holding managerial roles.  

In May 2018, Wiari was elected as Chairman for Te Kotahitanga o Ngati Tuwharetoa. 

Te Pou Tupua Website

To head directly to the website of Te Pou Tupua click here.


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