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New Trust House boss has ‘X-factor’

New chief executive of Trust House Limited Charles Kaka. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

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New Trust House Limited chief executive Charles Kaka, of Te Arawa and Ngati Manawa, will return to Wairarapa for the job after more than 20 years away.

He takes the helm on Monday, June 29.

“I have a strong connection with the Wairarapa region and know the ‘lay of the land’ having spent my early years in the freezing works, forestry, electricity sectors, and also playing rugby in the region,” Kaka said.

Kaka and his wife Maahi, of Rangitane and Ngati Kahungunu, will put their house in Napier on the market and seek a home in Wairarapa.

Kaka, 60, said he always intended to return to the regions and the timing of the vacancy was “perfect”.

“I wanted to return to support whanau, assist at Papawai Marae and other local marae, and to actively engage with diverse community groups,” he said.

“I believe I understand the challenges faced by Wairarapa and have had the experience of spending a period of my formative years living in the ‘Cameron Estate’.”

At 17 years old, he moved from Murupara to Masterton and lived with his sister.

Trust board chairman Jock Kershaw said he was delighted to announce the appointment.

“The board wanted someone with that special X-factor to shape the organisation into one that will best fit generations to come, and Charles stood out as having those unique set of skills and qualities,” Kershaw said.

Kaka brings 20 years of executive management experience from across New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific.

Most recently, he was chief executive of Unison Contracting Services Limited, a position he held for 13 years. Unison owns and manages assets worth $600 million and delivers various services across Hawke’s Bay, the Central North Island, and Otago.

The trust engaged a Wellington recruitment agency to assist it with the appointment.

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