Te Kahu o Taonui and Te Mātāwai are pleased to announce the appointment of Aperahama Edwards (Ngātiwai) to the role of Tai Tokerau Chair and Spokesman to the National Te Kāhui-ā-Iwi o Te Mātāwai, a Crown Entity charged with the responsibility to support whānau, hapū iwi and communities to identify, pursue and fulfil their own Te Reo aspirations through focussed investment, research, and leadership to support the revitalisation of Te Reo Rangatira.
Harry Burkhardt, Chair of Te Kahu o Taonui says: “We are at an exciting tipping point to build on and strengthen localised Te Reo Māori initiatives that can ensure Te Reo can flourish across Te Tai Tokerau. Aperahama is a fine exponent of the language, and I am certain that with his leadership we will be able to see the exponential growth of kaupapa and investments that will increase Te Reo being spoken, seen and used in our region, especially within whānau households and on our marae taumata where it is needed most”.
The role for Tai Tokerau Representative to Te Mātāwai and Regional Chair was advertised and facilitated by Te Kahu o Taonui on behalf of the 16 Iwi of the Te Tai Tokerau Cluster supported by Te Mātāwai. The appointments panel had representatives from the 16 Iwi, and they interviewed 5 skilled candidates for the role. Burkhardt also noted the depth of talent and capability of the applicants and believes "with this level of depth the future of our reo is assured".
Edwards comes to the role as Chair of Ngātiwai Trust Board, and member of Te Pae Motuhake o Te Tai Tokerau. He has a proven track record in Te Reo leadership in his kainga and across the region. He says: “I am very humbled, as a product of my collective hapū and iwi of the North this is a significant responsibility. I look forward to the opportunity to listen to the voices of our people to strengthen current community-centred initiatives as well as using innovation and our own traditions to support language learning, fluency and excellence across Te Taitokerau”.
Te Kahu o Taonui acknowledges the outgoing Chairman Waihoroi Shortland for his significant work and commitment in steering the region's language activities to date and helping to support the intergenerational transmission of Te Reo o Te Taitokerau at a regional and national level.