Kia ora,

My name is Richard Parata and responsible for setting up this website. In June 2006 I resigned as a Director Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation (NTHC), the commercial arm of the tribe, along with other Directors and the Chief Executive; my six year as a Director was due to end on 31 July but I resigned in June 06 so that I could speak out. There is a little more about me and my involvement in Ngai Tahu at the bottom of this page.

I had become increasingly concerned about Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu (TRoNT)- the elected, political, tribal council and its executive office. I sat at the TRoNT table from 1991- 98 representing my marae, Kati Huirapa at Puketeraki. I was involved, with others, in developing the structure that was put in place post the tribal settlement with the government. I think I can speak with a reasonable authority about how the organisation should have operated and how it appears to have failed. Apart from Maika Mason, I am the only person to have served on both entities.

As a Director of NTHC I could not speak about my concerns. But I can now.

My aim is see better democracy and accountability in the tribe. Your views are very important on these issues. Let me know what you think.

A place to start is a summary of my views in “ Urgent Changes Needed in Ngai Tahu Representation” published in “The Press” 17 Oct 06. The article is condensed. But there are threads that I expand on. “ Ngai Tahu Democracy” and “Resignations and Implications

The Press followed up with two other pieces on 28 Oct 06 “Solomon Hits Out at Ngai Tahu Rift” and “ Rumblings at Ngai Tahu head office

Some people have asked why I could not resolve issues, internally, within the tribe. There are two reasons

  • There is no satisfactory forum. There is the annual Hui a Tau (annual general meeting) but this attended by relatively few and you learn or can contribute little.
  • The tribe has a very skilled and sophisticated communications unit initially set up with the purpose of in forming tribal members and the general public about Ngai Tahu activities; I had a direct responsibility initiating its set up. Unfortunately the skills have been captured by TRoNT executive management and used to “spin” what they think people should know.

Things about me and my involvement with Ngai Tahu

1992 – 1998

• Alternate and subsequently Runaka Representative for Kati Huirapa Runaka on Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu. Chairperson Ngai Tahu Group Management: The then executive arm of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Former Delegate/Director to Te Runaganui Ngai Tahu (The Ngai Tahu Ruling Council) the ruling body prior to the new structure, representing Kati Huirapa Runaka
• The following additional positions were held between 1992 – 1998
Former Chairperson of the Ngai Tahu Transition Committee formed to oversee the transition of the tribe’s assets and liabilities from the Trust Board status to the new corporate structure when the Ngai Tahu Bill was gazetted. Chair of a committee that successfully negotiated a settlement with the tribe’s economic advisors CS First Boston to the satisfaction of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Ngai Tahu Maori Law Centre: Former member of the Board of Management
Former Executive Committee Member of Kati Huirapa Runaka: During this time I lead the Runaka in what was to be the first Taiapure application in the country.

Oct 2000- June 2006
Appointed Director of Ngai Tahu Holding Corporation Ltd: The umbrella arm that incorporates all the commercial interests of Ngai Tahu, currently; property, tourism, fishing, equities/investments, tribal services – includes Ngai Tahu Finance Ltd. Appointed Chair and Director of Ngai Tahu Finance Company

Career: Fourteen years as an officer in the British Army follow by a spell at the London Business School, director, general management and market positions both in New Zealand and abroad.