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Papawai host mayors final meeting

By Hayley Gastmeier
[email protected]

South Wairarapa Mayor Adrienne Staples was allowed to break protocol and speak at the council’s final meeting hosted by Papawai Marae.

Yesterday morning, Kuia Amiria Te Whaiti called the mayor, councillors and members of the public onto the marae with a karanga.

Inside the wharenui a whakatau was performed, and usually a male would respond.

 Kaumatua Tom Hemi and South Wairarapa Mayor Adrienne Staples hongi on the wharenui. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

Kaumatua Tom Hemi and South Wairarapa Mayor Adrienne Staples hongi on the wharenui. PHOTOS/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

Mrs Staples, who is standing down after 12 years at the helm, addressed the assembled kaumatua and kuia in te reo Maori before shifting back to English.

“Council and iwi have had a cordial, respectful and positive relationship in South Wairarapa for a very long time, and that has meant a lot to us,” she said.

“Now as we look to the Treaty settlements, it is an extremely exciting time for South Wairarapa.

“We are looking at the most exciting chance for investment and growth, not only for iwi but for the whole of the Wairarapa, that we have seen in a very long time.”

She said “iwi would once again be masters of their own destiny”.

After her fourth term was up, Mrs Staples said she hoped to continue her good relationship with Wairarapa iwi.

South Wairarapa District Council then sang a waiata.

Paora Ammunson, out-going chairman of Papawai Marae, thanked Mrs Staples for her leadership and councillors for their service to Greytown.

He thanked SWDC for endorsing the Maori Standing Committee, “a model which better served our purposes” over having unelected iwi representatives on council.

Mrs Staples then handed Mr Ammunson a letter revealing a gift.

He acknowledged SWDC for the koha – a red climbing frame and see-saw to be removed from Martinborough playground and delivered to Papawai Marae.

Chairman of Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Nelson Rangi gave a karakia then iwi and councillors exchanged hongi, before SWDC’s final meeting of the triennium was held.

It had been outgoing councillor David Montgomerie’s idea to hold it at the marae.

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