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Scholarship student on track for future success The Value of Smart Governance TOITŪ TE MANA

Land of Opportunity proves its worth for AWHI honey


AWHI’s newest farmer has generations of experience


Māori heritage could be key to Miss World crown

I went on a personal journey to discover the roots of everything. I have a better understanding of where the connection came from.

We look after nearly 100,000 hectares of Māori land on behalf of over 97,000 owners. But we only have 60% of the contact details for owners that we need. This means that over 30,000 owners are losing a connection to their whenua. We need your help to locate owners so we can invite them to hui, pay them any funds we hold for them, and understand their aspirations for the whenua.

Who is Te Tumu Paeroa We support Māori land owners to protect and enhance their land – for now and generations to come.

What to do next Maintain your connection. If you or your whānau have new contact details, please let us know. 0800 WHENUA tetumupaeroa.co.nz

Whenua is like a thread through time – to my whānau.







Contents ISSUE 8 / 2018





11 UPDATE ON THE SEASON Figures show value of diversification

19 CHANGES TO BETTER SUPPORT ĀTIHAU URI New processes for grant applications

4 LAND OF OPPORTUNITY PROVES ITS WORTH FOR AWHI HONEY Stateside trip brings clarity for next steps 8 NOMINATIONS FOR THE COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT Calling all candidates 9 T  HE VALUE OF SMART GOVERNANCE Board remuneration report recommendations 10 NEW TEAM BRINGS FINANCIAL FIRST Responsive customer service a priority


13 AWHI’S NEWEST FARMER HAS GENERATIONS OF EXPERIENCE Whenua is in Hamish Alexander’s blood 15 WHAEA GIVES CADETS TASTE OF PĀ LIFE ON THE FARM Learning life skills essential for future success 17 6 PLACEMENTS FOR YEAR 1 STUDENTS Apply now to join the Awhiwhenua programme

20 EDUCATION & GENERAL GRANTS Applications now open 22 SCHOLARSHIP STUDENT ON TRACK FOR FUTURE SUCCESS Aaron McGregor is making the most of his opportunity to shine 27 MĀORI HERITAGE COULD BE THE KEY TO MISS WORLD CROWN Jess Tyson is putting Māori culture on a global stage




Editor’s Panui AWHI MAGAZINE Editor Mavis Mullins Deputy Editor Polly Catlin-Maybury Creative Director Sheree Anaru Photography Quentin Bedwell Graphic Design Dave Pope

ĀTIHAU-WHANGANUI INCORPORATION Postal PO Box 4035 Whanganui 4541 Physical 16 Bell Street Whanganui 4500 Ohākune 22 Ayr Street Ohākune 4625 Telephone +64 (6) 348 7213 Fax +64 (6) 348 7482 Email office@atihau.com www.atihau.com

ISTUDIOS MULTIMEDIA LTD Postal PO Box 8383 New Plymouth 4340 Phyisical 77B Devon Street East New Plymouth 4310 Telephone +64 (6) 758 1863 Email info@istudios.co.nz www.istudios.co.nz


Tēnā koutou As an organisation, working out where you want to go and what you want to achieve is one thing – it can be quite another to actually make those plans a reality. As you read through this addition of AWHI Magazine, you will see that we are making really good progress on the strategic objectives we set down for the business. Our market research trip to the USA (see page 4) is one good example of how we are gaining momentum in our objective to take our products to the market with our provenance story. Our delegation learned so much in a short period of time and we now have the information we need to confirm decisions about our next steps. Another goal to be more active in the management of our own accounts and shareholder registers is being realised with a new Finance team now in place - a real strategic win for the organisation. Find out more on page 10. Our succession planning is also proving to be effective with our new Board members settling in well and making valuable contributions to the way our organisation is governed. I am also pleased to read about how our Te Āti Hau Trust-Balance-Deloitte accountancy scholar Aaron McGregor is relishing the opportunity to shine (see page 22).

Te Āti Hau Trust-Balance-Deloitte accounting scholarship recipient Aaron McGregor.

CONTRIBUTORS Aroha Awarau Polly Catlin-Maybury Renee Kiriona-Ritete

On a personal level, travelling to North America enabled me to reconnect with two Kiwi farmers I know from Hawke’s Bay and the Wairarapa who are potentially part of our strategy to put our prime beef on American dinner tables. I am always taken by how loyal New Zealanders are to their country of birth and their efforts to bring our wonderful produce to the world. It is a source of great pride that AWHI is also proving to be an excellent ambassador for Aotearoa on the global stage. Hei konei rā Mavis Mullins Chairperson














Toi tu te whenua

Date: Friday, 7 December 2018 Location: Whanganui Racecourse Full agenda to be published in November.

COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT (CoM) NOMINATIONS CLOSING DATE: 4.00pm on Sunday, 30 September 2018 See Page 8 for details.





CLOSING DATE: Friday, 5 October 2018 See Page 17 for details.


CLOSING DATE: Sunday, 30 September 2018 See Page 20 for details.



Land of opportunity proves its worth for AWHI honey

The sweet taste of mānuka honey produced by ĀtihauWhanganui Incorporation (AWHI) hives could soon be on the lips of American consumers after a successful fact-finding trip across the Pacific.

AWHI Chair Mavis Mullins, Board members Shar Amner and Tiwha Puketapu, CE Andrew Beijeman and Chris Meade from Foundational, strategic marketing partner for AWHI, made the journey to forge connections with retailers and potential trade partners and test the product with shoppers themselves. “We made a strategic commitment to adopt a paddock-to-plate philosophy that means we want to know who the people are that consume our products,” says Mavis. “This tightens the supply chain and enables us to offer a high-quality



proposition to customers rather than churning out product in large quantities for people who remain faceless to us. “In order to be successful in this approach we need to have a deep understanding of our potential markets and ensure we are creating meaningful relationships by telling our story in a way that resonates with these offshore consumers. These were the driving forces behind the trip.” Currently AWHI mānuka honey, which rates highly for taste and quality, achieving a UMF (Unique Mānuka Factor) grading level of

between 5 - 25, is sold through distributors to New Zealand’s domestic market. The high-grade product is also used by partners in specialist areas such as wound care and cell regeneration. To take the product offshore, the development team had to first identify a market that would act as an entry point. Analysis of several potential markets showed that America or China offered the best opportunities to launch AWHI’s own honey brand. Mānuka honey already has an established presence in China’s

health-conscious marketplace where consumers embrace the concept that food can be beneficial on medical grounds as well as nutritional ones. But there are already more than 100 brands in existence there and regulatory restraints could restrict the ability to grow AWHI’s market share. America, however, offered great potential in the size and value of market available to a new product and there are fewer constraints when it comes to importation. Although the recognition of mānuka honey is relatively low, awareness of its beneficial health properties is on the TOITŪ TE MANA


rise, with the market referred to as being in an ‘early adopter stage’. Catching the start of that rising trend was identified as a real opportunity for AWHI and so America became the focus market, with San Francisco as a starting point due to its large number of ethically-aware and open-minded consumers. “At that point we needed to quickly develop a product concept and proposition that would appeal to a highly-educated American audience,” says AWHI’s strategic marketing partner Chris Meade, from Foundational. “When developing the core proposition behind any product, the challenge is to identify what grabs the attention of your potential customer the most. We tested three product concepts and discovered one really stood out.” The three concepts focused on where the honey came from, its raw, unprocessed nature, and the ethical way in which it was collected in just one single harvest each year. “It was very clear that care for bees and ethical farming practices have huge resonance with American consumers,” says Chris. “Against a backdrop of food scares and genuine concerns around the global food system, it is vitally important for people to know how their food has been produced, how the animals 6


have been treated and the land cared for. They want to know who the people are who are putting food into their families’ mouths and, more than that, they want to know do you share the same values as them.” “What we have in New Zealand, rolling green pastures where our animals live, accountability along the food chain and an ingrained knowledge that we are eating good, healthy produce, is just unbelievable to many people in other countries,” says Chris. “We found that the connection AWHI has with its whenua, and their commitment to the way people, land and animals are cared for, held a great deal of significance for our target American consumers.” The story behind Awhi Single Harvest Honey, where the ethical treatment of AWHI bees is demonstrated by collecting honey from hives only once each season, was identified as the best concept to take to consumers. The next step was to actually take it to the market, talk to retailers and consumers and see their reactions. “Taking a product and meeting people face to face enables you to significantly increase your knowledge about viability of your strategic approach in a short period of time,” says Chris. “Remote research and facts and figures are very useful up to a point, but

“We have a clear sense that we are on the right path and what our next steps need to be now.” Mavis Mullins

nothing beats actually taking your concept to the market and asking ‘Does this product appeal to you, and why?’ There’s nothing more effective than seeing a potential customer’s reaction – good or bad – with your own eyes.” The delegation held face-toface meetings with smallchain supermarket owners and independent retailers as well as actually venturing onto the shop floor to speak with consumers themselves. The AWHI product proposition was met with a very positive response and the team achieved some significant learning outcomes about what the next steps should be. “We came away with a much better understanding of how the market works over there and an improved awareness of the perception people have of us and our product, as well as what people are actually looking for,” said Mavis. “We have a clear sense that we are on the right path and what our next steps need to be now.” Since the team’s return, a retailer

who represents one of the most ethically advanced stores in San Francisco has made contact, which is an exciting development. “Although we have challenges ahead of us, particularly around proving the authenticity of our story and the credibility of our product, I am confident that we will achieve our goal to take our honey direct to

market.” says Andrew Beijeman, CE of AWHI. “I am hoping that jars displaying our own distinct brand will be on US shelves within the next 12 months.” The intention is to bring the honey to market in San Francisco and develop the brand’s presence there before rolling out into similar markets throughout the US, such

as Los Angeles, Portland and New York. “All the evidence is there that we are on the right path,” says Chris. “We have a great product with a great story and the right people with the right knowledge to look strategically at how we are going to make this happen. This is an exciting time for AWHI.”

Delivering quality livestock logistics He mea whakamana te mahi ki te taha o Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation Proud of our partnership with Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation


0800 385 4248












Toi tu te whenua

Nominations for the Committee of Management are now open, and close at 4.00pm on Sunday, 30 September 2018. Tiwha Puketapu and Keria Ponga are retiring by rotation and are eligible for re-election. The Committee of Management is elected by shareholders and is responsible for setting the strategic direction for the incorporation. It is also responsible for monitoring how the strategy is being implemented. Nomination forms are available online from the Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation website: atihau.com/news or can be requested by email to: keri@atihau.com Nominations must be in writing and signed by both the supporting shareholder and the candidate. The candidate must include a recent digital photo (300 dpi minimum) and a summary resume/CV explaining why they are seeking election and their relevant skills and expertise.

All nominations must be received by 4.00pm on Sunday, 30 September 2018 at the Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation office. Office Location: 16 Bell Street, Whanganui Postal Address: PO Box 4035, Whanganui 4541 Email: keri@atihau.com





The Value of Smart Governance Recognising the contribution Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation (AWHI) governance makes to the organisation is the subject of an independent report from the global professional services entity, Deloitte. The report was requested by Andrew Beijeman, CE of AWHI, who said it was important to ensure that remuneration to Board members reflected the responsibilities they held and were consistent with other organisations across the agribusiness sector as well as other Māori entities. “Board remuneration has not been increased in more than a decade and the role has changed a great deal in that time,” he says. “We expect our Board members to bring their skills and intellect to bear on many different aspects of the business and rely on them to make important decisions that directly influence the future success of the organisation.” “This report enables us to review remuneration amounts and make a recommendation to shareholders at the Annual General Meeting at the end of the year.” The report considered the number

and length of meetings members were expected to attend, and the amount of preparation required for such meetings along with any time spent travelling. The depth and breadth of members’ responsibilities, duties such as representing AWHI at industry events, hosting of national and sector visitors and contribution to the four sub-committees and/or project teams (such as the recent trip to the USA) was also examined. Comparisons were made with other organisations of a similar size and amounts benchmarked against dimensional data such as revenue, asset levels and employee numbers, as well as industry guidelines and recommendations. The analysis concluded that the current remuneration levels of board members did not currently sit at the fair market rate identified in the report.

The issue of a chairperson premium was also considered. These are paid as a percentage of the base board member fee to acknowledge the significantly increased responsibilities and time commitment required. Currently the chairperson’s premium sits at 80% of the board base rate, and it was recommended that it remain at that level. “This report has enabled the management team to clarify the opinion that the remuneration for Board members should be increased,” says Andrew. “We intend to follow the advice we have been given and recommend that shareholders agree a rate of $32,000 per annum (up from $25,000) with an 80% premium for the chair.” Shareholders will get a chance to vote on this recommendation at the upcoming AGM.

Increase in governance responsibilities since the last remuneration review.

Total Equity ($) Diversification

(% of revenue outside of Sheep and Beef)

Shareholder numbers Succession Collaborations Gross Revenue ($) Operating EBITDA ($)









Associate Director Independent Audit & Risk Member


Te Hou Farms






Shareholder distributions ($)



Charitable donations ($)



“This report enables us to review remuneration amounts and make a recommendation to shareholders at the Annual General Meeting at the end of the year.” Andrew Beijeman



New team brings financial first The 2018/2019 Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation (AWHI) financial reports will signal a significant first for the organisation as they will have been managed and produced by a dedicated in-house finance team. But the Finance and Administration team will not just be responsible for reports and balance sheets, according to Finance Manager, Brenton Barker. A strong professional in-house team will also enable the business to react to challenges and seize opportunities with more strategic focus than ever before. “The benefit of having your finance function within the organisation is that we are so much closer to the coalface,” he says. “We all work with scarce resources on a daily basis but having information at our fingertips enables us to make informed decisions. Our team has its finger firmly on the pulse and by driving technology and people-smart systems we are enabling future goals to be successfully achieved.” AWHI has worked in partnership with Balance accountants for more 10


than 30 years and the relationship has always been a positive one. “We really appreciate the work that Balance has done but having an in-house finance function has always been an aspiration for us,” says Andrew Beijeman, CE of the Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation. “It is not only cost-effective but will also bring a better level of service as the team will be living and breathing the business every day. They will be our people, working for the benefit of our whānau.” Brenton, who hails from Adelaide, brings more than 20 years of experience to the role, having worked extensively across Australia and, memorably, Papua New Guinea. He is passionate about building skills and experience in the community and has recruited the rest of the team locally.

Above: The new in-house Finance and Administration team (l-r) Keryn Coogan, Chiquita Albert, Andrea Coogan and Brenton Barker.

“Providing opportunities for people to develop professionally and gain vital experience as they progress along their chosen career path not only helps them personally but brings valuable skills into the local community.” he says. “This helps the community itself to grow and prosper which is good for everyone.” The team took over handling all finances on July 1 and have hit the ground running, with Brenton eager to build trust and understanding with all stakeholders involved in the business by getting out from behind the account books and going on to farms to be able to fully understand the challenges managers face. “Our role here is not to impede the mahi that is being done, but to support and enable it,” says Brenton. “We want to ensure that we can support the Board and management team in their strategic goals by adopting a proactive and forwardthinking approach for all aspects of the business. Customer service is paramount.”

Season’s results show a steady ship The financial report for the 2017/2018 season will be a positive one, showing that the organisation achieved budgeted results which, once the dust settles on the final accounts, will be on par with, or slightly ahead of last year.


Lamb prices up since last year


Capital Investment More hives. As ever, the weather had an impact on the bottom line with high levels of rainfall during the summer months proving beneficial for grass growth, leading to good livestock production. This was complemented by increased market prices for red meat. Lamb prices were up with an average of $109 per head achieved compared to the last season average lamb price of $92 per head.

says Andrew Beijeman, CE of AWHI. “It is important to view our performance from a wider viewpoint in order to get a realistic picture of how the organisation has fared overall.” “Our forecasted results are encouraging, showing that we are commensurate with last year’s performance.”

Unfortunately, wet weather did not favour bee activity and so honey yields were considerably reduced compared to the 2016/2017 season. Only 57 tonnes of honey was harvested from Ātihau-Whangaui Incorporation’s (AWHI’s) hives this season compared to the 82 tonnes gathered last season.

The season’s figures also show a successfully managed $3m capital spend with investment made into more hives for the honey side of the business, fencing and other development on the sheep and beef stations and new Awhiwhenua buildings to house second-year cadets.

“This shows the importance of having several strings to your farming bow; the honey and the farming business are a great diversification strategy for us,”

A full 2017/2018 financial report will be included in the Annual Report, which will be released in time for the Annual General Meeting at the end of the calendar year.

More fencing. Development on sheep and beef stations. Awhiwhenua Cadets.



Wet weather sees honey yields down



Smarter together

Proud to be growing with Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation






Together, through research projects like the Primary Growth Partnership, we’re finding smarter ways to reduce environmental impacts while optimising value from the land.


Smarter farming is about finding a better way, by working together to find the right solution, for the right place at the right time.





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0800 100 123 ravensdown.co.nz Smarter farming for a better New Zealand®

AWHI’s newest farmer has generations of experience Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation’s (AWHI’s) newest farm manager is also the organisation’s youngest - although he has been working the land since he could walk.



At only 26-years-old, Hamish Alexander became the youngest farmer to manage any of the seven stations in the AWHI estate when he took over the 5,720-hectare Te Pā sheep and beef farm earlier this year. But already the third-generation farmer is thinking about those to come who will be responsible for AWHI’s mana whenua. “I have two main values or aspirations that I want to achieve in this role,” says Hamish. “I want the AWHI whānau to know that I will take care of their land, as if it were my own, and that I will do everything I can to leave it in a better state than when I first started working it.” “Leaving a legacy of clean and healthy land for the next generation is really important to me.” “I also want them to know that I am passionate about doing all I can to maximise the returns to them through optimising production and passing on what knowledge of farming I can to their young ones.” Hamish is the second person in his whānau to take up a position of responsibility in AWHI. The first was his koro, Noel Bates, who was an original committee member for the organisation. “I was only eight-years-old when he died but I remember him always being passionate about the land and his people, so for me to be able to work land for people who are part of my larger family makes this role extra special for me,” says Hamish. Prior to taking up the reins at Te Pā, Hamish worked as a stock manager at both Pohuetai Station in Dannevirke and then at AWHI’s Tohunga Station. “I learned a lot at Pohuetai but I was forever getting itchy feet wanting to get back closer to home, to the mountain, to where I am from and 14


where I was raised,” says Hamish. Hamish grew up on a farm in Waiouru, where he could be found helping his father ‘as soon as I could walk,’ he recalls. “I’ve always loved farming. There was nothing else in the world that I dreamed of doing.” “Here at Te Pā we have the most amazing land with hidden flats, plateaus and terraces that can’t be seen from the road. I am truly blessed to be here.” Hamish’s unwavering love for farming lead him to graduate with a Bachelor in Commerce and Agriculture, majoring in

“Leaving a legacy of clean and healthy land for the next generation is really important to me.” Hamish Alexander

farm management, from Lincoln University. And while the newest addition to the AWHI whānau has new ideas, he likes to maintain a high level of common sense. “There will be plenty of opportunity to try new things but I don’t like to over complicate matters, if it’s not necessary. Sometimes sticking to the basics is best.”

Whaea gives cadets taste of pā life on the farm Olive Hawira recalls a time when farms were the pā for many whānau. >> TOITŪ TE WHENUA


“I was raised on a farm in the Parapara, so for my whānau it was our pā,” says Olive. “It was the place we’d come together at in good and bad times – for Christmas, tangi, birthdays and weddings. A place where everyone pulled their weight and got rewarded.”

rangatahi with some planning and teaching another how to best clean an oven and peel a potato.

The opening of the Awhiwhenua whare at Te Pā Station last year would not have been complete without someone like Olive to teach life skills to the six rangatahi who live there as part of their farming cadetships.

“Dear, your knife needs sharpening because those peels are too thick,” she directs. “And after you’ve sharpened that knife, you and I will sit down and do some planning for the rest of the week.”

“They live here for a year and it is my job to make sure by the time they leave, they know how to cook, clean and manage a whare by themselves, because that’s what they’ll need to do when they work on a farm.” Having worked in early childhood for more than 40 years, Olive is well aware of the need to develop good relationships with the rangatahi. “Making the connection with them and realising that each of them have their own unique personalities and strengths, is key to enhancing their life skills,” she says. “Yes, I’m their whaea when they are in this whare, but it is my job to ensure they are capable of living independently next year.” And to prove her point, the Ohākune grandmother of six has been talking while helping one Left: Whaea Olive ensures cadets learn life skills alongside farming ones on the Awhiwhenua programme. Right: Whaea Olive shares a laugh with Awhiwhenua cadet Kate Price. TOITŪ TE WHENUA

Olive Hawira

“And that’s a tikanga I try to pass on in my work with rangatahi on this whenua and in this whare.”

“The rangatahi here call me ‘Whaea’, she says proudly.


“...it is my job to ensure they are capable of living independently next year.”

Olive’s whakapapa is such that there is not one part of the region she does not connect to. “Dad’s Mum was from Ngāti Rangi and Ngā Wairiki and his dad was from Ngāti Rangi also. My Mum was from Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi, Patutokotoko and Ngāti Tū.” Olive, who is also a shareholder in AWHI, believes more shareholders and beneficiaries need to take advantage of the Awhiwhenua farming cadetship programme. “These cadetships and this whare were created to give our young ones and whānau the opportunity to get involved in farming - to manaaki the whenua, to manage it, to really get involved in AWHI core business and future.” “They also need to know that farming isn’t just for men. Some of the wāhine who have been through this programme have been the best at it.” “I would like to see more of our shareholders urge their mokopuna to consider this programme because it’ll open so many doors for them in this industry and there’s nothing better than seeing our own whānau run the land, like we do at our pā.”





Year One, NZ Level 3 Certificate in Farm Systems and Vehicles, Machinery and Infrastructure

The Awhiwhenua agricultural training course is now seeking six applicants to join the 2019 intake.

Do you have a passion for agriculture and strong interest in learning the practical and theoretical elements of sheep and beef farming within a unique and supportive environment? Awhiwhenua has six placements available for the 2019 intake commencing January. Tauira will gain practical learning experience on the whenua based mainly at Te Pā Station, at Karioi, and study towards the achievement of Year One, NZ Level 3 Certificate in Farm Systems and Vehicles, Machinery and Infrastructure.

AWHI is committed to providing young Māori men and women who aspire to become the new breed of managers and stakeholders that the sheep, beef and dairy industry need. Shareholders and descendants of the original owners of Ātihau-Whanganui lands are encouraged to apply.

Applicants must be 17 years old or over and have passed NCEA Level 2 Maths and English. For further information please contact the office on 06 385 8469.

Applications close Friday 5 October 2018. Tel: 06 385 8469



Helping grow the country

Proud to partner with AWHI and share your vision Te Oranga i Roto I nga Kaitiaki Prosperity Through Guardianship At PGG Wrightson we are acutely aware of our responsibilities to assist landowners to be guardians of their land and people, by providing support, products and services that align to the common goals of the view that “Our Land Sustains Our People� as primary producers of Aotearoa.

> Rural Supplies

> Livestock

> Fruitfed Supplies

> Wool

> Finance

> Water

> Insurance

> Seed and Grain

> Real Estate

> Training

Left: Te Āti Hau Trust Chair, Keria Ponga

On the sporting front, changes have been made that mean school teams can no longer apply for grants.

Changes to better support Ātihau uri Update on grants, education and scholarship programme. The desire to make it easier for shareholders and their beneficiaries to get pūtea to where it is needed has driven a change to the grants and scholarship programme run by Te Āti Hau Trust. The changes affect general grants, including those for marae and kaumātua, as well as education grants and scholarships from secondary school to tertiary. “We are moving toward a more streamlined process when it comes

to applying for and distributing grants that will make it easier for our people. It also recognises the mana of our marae and kaumātua to determine what is important to them,” says Trust chairwoman Keria Ponga. “There is now no set criteria for our marae and kaumātua. Our trust is now leaving it up to them to determine what their priorities are. This change is about us respecting that our people know what is best for them.”

“We want to put the focus back on the student rather than the school, so our children who are representing their region competing at an international or national level can still get support from us as a child or mokopuna of a shareholder rather than as a student at a particular school,” explains Keria. Traditionally, the Trust has required groups taking part in the annual Hui Aranga and organising the annual Pākaitore Day celebrations to submit an application. Under the new changes, those groups will no longer need to submit formal applications every year. This can add up to a lot of paperwork and mahi at both ends of the application process. “Because we know who these groups are and when these events are held, we now ask that you write to the Trust advising that your rōpū is travelling to the Hui Aranga outside your rohe, noting the number attending,” says Keria. “Likewise, with the Pākaitore celebrations organisers, we ask that they write to the Trust advising that the event is going ahead.” Changes to the education grants TOITŪ TE TANGATA


and scholarships consist of two new developments that relate to timing and paperwork. All education categories and funding amounts have been maintained. There will now be three opportunities, rather than two, throughout the 2019 calendar year for students to apply for grants and scholarships. The deadlines are now on 31 March, 31 May and 31 August. “The new deadlines bring the timing into line with both study semesters and our trust’s financial year,” says Keria. The other change in education grants affects Year 10 and 11 secondary school students who will no longer have to complete an application form for their second year of study. Instead of reapplying

“There will now be three opportunities, rather than two, throughout the 2019 calendar year for students to apply for grants and scholarships.”

Keria Ponga

to the Trust for support, they only need to submit written confirmation from the secondary school that they are still enrolled.

looking at ways to improve the

While still in early stages, the Trust is also setting up an alumni group to ensure it stays connected with shareholders and beneficiaries who have received education grant support.

possibility of online applications.

grants and scholarship programme. This includes bringing the secretary role in-house as well as the

“Giving our people and staff the ability to apply online is something we are looking at, as this is likely to make the process even easier and faster.”

“It is important that we share in their journey and that we consider opportunities to support others.”

Bringing the secretary role in-house is another step toward streamlining

Keria said the Trust is continually

the ability to help those who require it.

EDUCATION & GENERAL GRANTS Te Āti Hau Trust invite applications for Education and General Grants Closing Date

30 September 2018 PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU MAY ONLY APPLY ONCE WITHIN A CALENDAR YEAR. To apply, download the appropriate application form from the Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation website (Te Āti Hau Trust page) or follow the link: goo.gl/ekFclV. Complete and attach all the required supporting documentation, as noted on the application form. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Print and sign the application form then submit either by mail or email to: Te Āti Hau Trust, PO Box 4035, Whanganui 4541


Eligibility relationship of applicant to Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation For details, please contact the Whanganui office on 06 348 7213 between 8:30am and 4:00pm weekdays or email office@atihau.com

www.atihau.com/te-ati-hau-trust 20


Is your career connected to the land?

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Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation and Ravensdown scholarship applicants must be sons or daughters of Ātihau-Whanganui shareholders.




You may also be offered paid holiday work if a position with Ravensdown is available.


We are now inviting applications for the Ātihau-Ravensdown scholarship for the 2019 university year. For more information see our website.





Toi tu te whenua

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Scholarship student on track for future success Going back to school at the age of 45 could be considered a daunting prospect, but when it comes to Aaron McGregor it’s just another example of his quest to grow and learn every second of his life.



Now 47, the Whanganui father of three chuckles when it is suggested that many people his age would be starting to tick off their successes and planning for retirement, not taking on more challenges. “There’s too much left for me to do in my life yet to start taking things easy!” he says. “I’ve got so much I want to learn and so many things I want to achieve. You’ve got to make every minute count because you never know when your clock will run out.” His aspirational attitude was what caught the eye of Te Āti Hau Trust Board members and Russell Bell, director of the accountants and business solutions firm, Balance, when they were considering applicants for the Te Āti Hau Trust-Balance-Deloitte accounting scholarship, which was awarded for the first time last year. “He really stood out as his application was of the highest quality,” says Russell. “The whole basis of this scholarship was to be able to give uri the opportunity that would help them succeed in the future, for themselves and for the community as a whole. “Aaron was exactly the person we



“Tiwha said ‘We see you as a risk. If we don’t take this opportunity to support you, the risk is that we will lose out’.” Aaron McGregor

were looking for, and he is proving himself again and again. I am sure that he is going to be a major contributor to Māori business in the future, without a doubt.” Aaron was born the youngest of 13 children to his father Kingi Te Ahoaho McGregor, of Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga and mother Raupo April McGregor (nee Mihaka), of Ngā Rauru, Waitōtara, where he was born and grew up. The spoiled favourite of the family, he was given the opportunity to be educated at Hato Paora College in Fielding, a Māori boys’ boarding school from the age of 13. But he hated it and left aged 16, spending the next five years drifting around the country working in various jobs before returning home at 21, to work on the factory floor at

Above: Aaron as a child with his parents Kingi Te Ahoaho McGregor and Raupo April McGregor (nee Mihaka) at Jock McGregor Reunion (1972), Foxton Racecourse. Right: Aaron with Russell Bell, director of accounts and business solutions firm, Balance Chartered Accountants.

the local meatworks. The next eight years, as he worked his way up into middle management, is a cherished time in Aaron’s life because of the relationship he had with his mother. “My mum was the one who told us to never lose our connection with the whenua and researched our connections back to Te Āti Hau,” he remembers. “My parents taught me te reo Māori, their first language, when I was little. When I came home that’s how Mum and I would talk to each other – much to the suspicion of my siblings who didn’t always understand what we were saying. It meant so much to her, to be able to do that. She gave me such a strong foundation. It was such a loss, not only to me and my family, but to our whole iwi, when she died.” Aaron moved on from the meatworks to Masterfoods in Whanganui, where he did various

roles before ending up in the commercial buying team. When the business began to get more automated, Aaron put his hand up for redundancy. “I was a bit cocky and thought I could pick up another job easy as,” he says. But it wasn’t to be the case and the pressure of being out of work saw his relationship with his partner crumble. He stepped up to take the responsibility of caring for their three children, Nick, Marlon and Cheyenne. “It wasn’t easy. I wanted them to have their Dad in their lives as my Dad passed away when I was 8. I also wanted to be a good example to them about working hard, to be successful on their own account.” So he went back to school, studying for a certificate in small business management at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa under the tutelage of Lou Brider, and caught the learning bug. Encouraged by his tutor, Aaron signed up to do a Diploma in Business Management and Accounting at UCOL in Whanganui, which is where he TOITŪ TE TANGATA


found out about the scholarship. Worth $1,000 per year for three years, the scholarship also offers eight weeks’ work experience. “I didn’t think I was in with a chance but thought, well, if you don’t knock on the door, then it’ll never open,” says Aaron. “I was asked to meet with Tiwha Puketapu (former Te Āti Hau Trust chairperson) and Russell Bell to what I thought was an interview. Tiwha said ‘We see you as a risk. If we don’t take this opportunity to support you, the risk is that we will lose out. Congratulations, you have won the scholarship’. No-one has ever said anything like that about me before.” “That statement was really empowering. It really made me see what is possible, and I really want to be able to repay that one day.” The Te Āti Hau Trust-BalanceDeloitte scholarship came as a result of the close historical partnerships 26


the Trust and Balance have held over many years. “Balance also partners with Deloitte so it was logical that they would join as partners for such an important scholarship,” Russell says. “The partnership has been such a success because we share the same priorities and passion for supporting the aspirations of the next generation,” says Hilton Joll, Engagement Partner at Deloitte. “The scholarship gave us the opportunity to really show that in a practical way and giving back is an important part of what we do as a business.” Aaron is relishing the opportunity the scholarship has given him, studying four to five papers each semester (instead of the normal three) while soaking up the experience working at Balance in between study time. “His work ethic is exceptional and

he is really adding value to our clients and our team when he spends time with us,” says Russell. “His natural drive to always be working towards the future and embracing change means that the world is his oyster, it really is. I would certainly welcome him as a member of my consulting team.” Aaron is considering the possibility of studying at degree level after completing his Diploma, which would mean that he could then become a certified chartered accountant. “I don’t know for sure where I will end up, but I want to be able to reciprocate all the support I have been given by Te Āti Hau Trust, Balance and Deloitte in some way,” he says. “I want to be able to show others what they have shown me, that anything is possible.”

Image supplied by Anand Kulkarni.

MÄ ori heritage could be the key to Miss World crown Winning the Miss World New Zealand title has proved that Whanganui local, Jess Tyson, has beauty as well as brains. TOITĹŞ TE TANGATA


The 25-year-old journalist is as proud to wear the sash and crown her new role brings as she is of the unwavering support she gets from her iwi, Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi, and her upbringing. ‘I feel really lucky to have grown up in Whanganui because it taught me how to enjoy the small things in life, like spending quality time with my whānau,” she says. Jess is a presenter and online journalist at Māori Television, a dream job, which allows her to juggle her work commitments with her duties as Miss World New Zealand. She joined the broadcaster after a stint at TVNZ, a job she landed after gaining a Bachelor of Communication Studies majoring in journalism at AUT University. “My father, Raymond Tyson, is a shareholder of Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation. I’m grateful because the incorporation helped me throughout my time at university by granting me financial assistance to support my study,” she says. “I get to learn so much about the world through my work because I’m always so up-to-date with what’s happening all over the globe.” Winning her first pageant at 15, Jess has always set her sights on the Miss World New Zealand crown and the chance to represent Aotearoa at the world’s most prestigious beauty contest. “I love Miss World because of its ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ campaign, which is the heart and soul of the pageant. This is a judged category, requiring each national titleholder to work on one charity project, focusing on one of the most pressing issues affecting young people in their country.” “Miss World representatives are women who genuinely care about helping others and I feel that the way 28


“I get to learn so much about the world through my work because I’m always so up-to-date with what’s happening all over the globe.” Jess Tyson

I was brought up really shaped me to be like that.” Jess will travel to China in November to compete at Miss World. Despite the stiff competition, many online blogs predict Jess as one of the favourites to win. “I know these blogs are only predictions and have nothing to do with the actual final judges’ scores, so I don’t take them too seriously. But I do appreciate the enormous support from so many people around the world who choose me and believe that I am a strong contender.” Jess says that her Māori culture will make her stand out from the rest of the competition. She wasn’t raised to speak te reo but studied full-time to learn the language. “It changed my life,” she says. “I fell in love with the language because it taught me so much about where I am from, the history of my whānau and the Māori culture. It is also such a beautiful language with a lot of my favourite Māori phrases unable to be translated into English because they are so unique.” Her job at Māori Television has really helped with her confidence in speaking te reo Māori. “I love telling stories about our Māori people and our achievements. Being able to showcase our people in a positive light and our unique culture through my news stories is so rewarding.” Keria Ponga, chair of the Te Āti

Hau Trust, is pleased Jess has the opportunity to bring Māori language and culture to a world stage. “One of the reasons the Trust was so happy to support Jess in her studies was because of her commitment to te reo Māori. The Trust and I are very proud of the way she is bringing our language to the world’s attention. We wish her every success in China.” In recent times, beauty pageants have come under fire for being irrelevant and exploiting women. Jess says this criticism is unfair and views pageants in a positive light. “Pageants serve a purpose. They provide young woman with ways to build their confidence, become leaders and help others through charity work and community projects.” She says the best part of being a beauty queen is being able to inspire other young women. “It’s important for girls to always be positive and realise that there are so many reasons to love themselves, their own bodies and their life.”

“One of the reasons the Trust was so happy to support Jess in her studies was because of her commitment to te reo Māori. The Trust and I are very proud of the way she is bringing our language to the world’s attention. We wish her every success in China.” Keria Ponga

“It’s important for girls to always be positive and realise that there are so many reasons to love themselves, their own bodies and their life.”


Image supplied by Neil Gussey.

Jess Tyson


16 Bell Street, Whanganui 4500, New Zealand Postal Address PO Box 4035 Whanganui 4541 New Zealand © ĀTIHAU-WHANGANUI INCORPORATION 2018

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AWHI Magazine - Issue 8