Our History

Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga has been on a journey for many years. This hīkoi has seen us start out slow, grow and develop to where we are now. We invite you to learn more about our origins.

The Hīkoi

As part of a national Māori renaissance, triggered in the 1970's by Māori rights protests and land marches, the strategic view of Heretaunga whānui was that government services for Māori were better delivered by Māori for Māori.

The devolution of Government services in the late 1980's, early 1990's resulted in a new Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi structure aimed at building capacity and capability, develop proactive initiatives and opportunities addressing Māori needs and aspirations.

The vision for the future of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga was formed through the drive of its founding members and key kaumatua of the time such as Wi Te Tau Huata, Eru Smith, Eparaima Rawiri Kamau, Ringahora Ybel Huata, Ruruhira Robyn, Te Okanga Huata and Numia August.

The organisation now known as Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Trust was incorporated in its original structure on the 19th day of September 1985 and was the first legally formed Taiwhenua within Ngāti Kahungunu.

Small Steps

In 1988 the Trust functioned through Rūnanga based on key areas of the Trust's objects.  Each Rūnanga had three members and nominated one to the Taiwhenua Executive.  In 1992 restructuring took place and dispensed with the election of Rūnanga Boards and instead developed a 'management group' including a chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary and treasurer to function as a 'coordinating committee' on three main areas, namely Kete Huruhuru (Economic Development), Kete Wānanga (Education), and Kete Whānau (Social Development).  The 1992 Board included: Ngahiwi Tomoana (Chairperson), Alayna Watene (Vice-Chair, Coordinator), Bob Timu (Secretary), Marei Apatu (Treasurer), Waipa Te Rito (Coordinator), and Manu Vercoe (Coordinator).

In the 1990's the first steps of Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga were taken from a converted tractor shed with marae based MACCESS courses.   With a view to the future, the organisation took a Mana Enterprise loan and invested in shares.  Dividends from the shares formed Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga's capital base.

Growth continued throughout the decade with more services being delivered from multiple sites in Heretaunga, the purchase of the future Heretaunga Park property and the establishment of a medical and dental centre at Portsmouth Road.

In 1997 Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Kahungunu became Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated and undertook a constitutional review resulting in each Taiwhenua aligning their own trust deeds and constitutions to the Iwi structure, resulting in Marae/ Hapū and Mataa Waka representation on Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Board of Trustees.

Giant Strides

Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga wanted to ensure Heretaunga hapū were maximising access to all opportunities; therefore mandated members from all Heretaunga Marae were elected to the Te Haaro Board of Trustees, the new governance model resulting from a trust deed review in 2000.

With leaps and bounds Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga services grew exponentially from the year 2000 onwards.   With over 150 staff and a centralised base at Heretaunga Park Community Complex, we deliver a broad range of 'wrap-around' services to all corners of Heretaunga, from Marae to urban centres, pēpe to kaumatua, those in need and those who choose kaupapa Māori services.

The Hīkoi Continues

In preparation for the coming decade and beyond in 2009/2010 we entered strategic partnerships for community development, consolidated existing services, built capability for new services, and invested in staff capacity to support Māori aspirations and continue to uphold our mission 'Mauri ora ki te mana Māori o Heretaunga'.


Quick Links

Peka Peka Enhancement Project


Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga approached Hawkes Bay Regional Council to see if there was an environmental enhancement project that we could be a view

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