Linda Te Aho has announced that she is stepping down as chair of Te Arataura, the executive board for Te Whakakitenga o Waikato.
Linda has been in the position for some 18 months and has helped spearhead the organisation’s response through the extraordinary challenges of COVID-19, the Board of Inquiry process to protect the Waikato River, and has drawn upon her legal expertise to support Waikato Tainui’s responses to the massive law reform programme proposed by the Government.
“During our term we have navigated through the storms of COVID. We have successfully advocated for the establishment of Maaori wards, and we continue on our journey of embracing opportunities in housing, hauora, and our own approach to caring for our vulnerable tamariki and mokopuna.
Heading into the final year of our term, it seemed timely to consider how I might prioritise my time and energy. That said, I will remain on Te Arataura as an executive member and support the leadership transition. The mahi continues,” said Linda.
“It has been an honour to serve and advocate for our people during one of the most trying times in our modern history,” she said.
“I have discussed my decision with the King, and I want to acknowledge his support and guidance during my time as chair. It has been a privilege to represent Kiingitanga values that continue to guide our direction as an Iwi towards our long term vision of mana motuhake and the outcomes set out in Whakatupuranga 2050.”
As the Kaahui Ariki representative on Te Arataura, Ngira Simmonds is now tasked with seeking a new chair for the Executive Board. With the 2022-23 budget considerations looming it is envisaged that Te Arataura will meet in the next week or so to consider the matter further.
Linda’s passion for justice and advocacy remains firm, “I am committed to continuing the legacy of the many leaders that have gone before, and I wish the board and the new Chair every success as we continue to progress our many important kaupapa.”