Uenuku FairhallTK14 Trustee
Tēnā koutou katoa! I am a member of Ngāti Rangiwewehi and Waitaha being a descendant of Te Kapaiwaho. My wife, Aroha (née Pirihi from Ngāti Hinemihi) and I have three children and two mokopuna. We are all involved in Māori take in one way or another.
My administrative experience included the establishment of the partial immersion unit at Western Heights High School, as well as the spearheading the founding of the kura kaupapa Māori at Te Koutu, first as chairperson and later as principal. At 65 I am now retired, but as a licensed translator, I continue to do translation work on a contract basis. Along with my wife and daughter, I also teach marae-based te reo classes.
My personal interests are whakapapa, tribal history, composing lyrics and writing short stories in Māori.
Complaining about the lack of representation of Ngāti Rangiwewehi on the Trust saw me nominated by Mihi Pene, and endorsed by Tata Simpkins as a trustee, alongside Anaru Bidois and Arthur Warren. Being a trustee has been both rewarding and frustrating. Rewarding because of the involvement with land that was so important to our history. Frustrating because of the obstacles to realising its potential without compromising environmental and cultural considerations.
As a Trust we are poised to make real progress in the current context, as long as we don’t rush to commit our heritage to something our mokopuna will decry us for. Whatever we choose to do with our land will need to set a high standard that is innovative, reflective of our shared past and respectful of the land itself. Toitū te whenua, whatungarongaro te tangata.