National | Ngāti Rangi

New pou ārahi Helen Leahy hopes Ngāti Rangi 'exists in 1000 years'

Helen Leahy has been appointed pou ārahi of the Ruapehu-based iwi Ngāti Rangi entities Ngā Waihua o Paerangi and Te Tōtarahoe o Paerangi.

Leahy (Ngāti Rangi) was based in the South Island for seven years as chief executive of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, the Whānau Ora commissioning agency. She resigned when her partner was appointed pou whirinaki with Ngāti Rangi, and the relocation of their whānau to their homeland at the base of Ruapehu.

She also worked as a ministerial and policy adviser while being the acting chief of staff of the Māori Party over 25 years.

During the pandemic, she was also on the Covid-19 Māori Monitoring Group, the independent panel for Understanding Policing Delivery and the Energy Hardship expert panel.

Announcing the appointment, Ngāti Rangi chair Whetu Moataane told the NZ Herald his board was "confident that Helen will be able to lead Ngāti Rangi during the next phase of our journey".

Leahy said she was "so impressed by the legacy of Ngāti Rangi leadership and love that has culminated in such a powerful vision for uri".

"The strategic aspiration of the iwi is kia mura ai te ora o Ngāti Rangi ki tua o te 1000 tau: that Ngāti Rangi continues to vibrantly exist in 1000 years.”

“This is an audacious goal, one that will guide my thinking and influence my actions. I feel greatly privileged by the opportunity to serve whānau in this way."