September 06, 2017
Turia appointed human face of Whanganui River
Former MP Dame Tariana Turia and educator Turama Hawira have been appointed the first Te Pou Tupua to act as the human face of the Whanganui River.
The role was created under the Whanganui River Settlement, which recognises Te Awa Tupua as a legal person comprising the Whanganui River as an indivisible and living whole from the mountains to the sea, including all of its elements.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson says the three-year appointments were made jointly by the Crown and iwi with interests in the Whanganui River catchment.
Te Pou Tupua will also be responsible for administering a new $30 million contestable fund, Te Korotete, which will be available to support initiatives relating to the environmental enhancement of Te Awa Tupua.
Dame Tariana, of Ngati Apa, Nga Wairiki, Nga Rauru, Tuwharetoa and Whanganui, was a prominent leader and advocate for Whanganui iwi before entering parliament in 1996.
As well as holding a range of ministerial portfolios, she was the co-founder and leader of the Maori Party.
Turama Hawira has provided tikanga and cultural advice to local and central government and private sector organisations, presented research on behalf of hapu and iwi claimants to the Waitangi Tribunal's Whanganui district inquiry, and been a trustee and director of several hapu and iwi trusts and organisations including chairing the Nga Rauru Iwi post settlement governance entity.
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