Regional | Ngāpuhi

More than half of jobs to go at Te Rūnanga ā-Iwi o Ngāpuhi

A proposed restructure of the iwi-led organisation to include gutting staff numbers

Te Rūnanga ā-Iwi o Ngāpuhi is to make unprecedented changes to its structure, with rūnanga staff feeling the brunt of the proposed changes.

A consultation document leaked to Te Ao Māori News finds Te Rūnanga ā-Iwi o Ngāpuhi has been running at a loss of, on average, $500,000 a year. To cover future losses, the rūnanga is proposing a complete reduction of staff numbers, from the current 19 positions to only six.

Positions under threat include the chief executive’s office, governance and support, natural resources, and hapū development.

Under the proposed structure, a tumu whakarae (general manager engagement and strategy) will sit under the current board, with two niho whakarae (strategic managers) and an administration executive with two part-time positions.

The Ngāpuhi Rūnanga Group, of which the rūnanga is the parent organisation, has subsidiaries including Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services, Te Hau Ora o Ngāpuhi and the Ngāpuhi Asset Holding Company, among others.

According to the document, back-office functions, which include finance, HR, fleet management, health and safety and IT, would be devolved to and spread across its subsidiaries.

In a public statement, rūnanga chair Mane Tahere announced potential restructuring changes.

“Te Rūnanga ā-Iwi o Ngāpuhi board have made the difficult decision after many months of deliberation. This move is not a complete surprise to many, as last November a possible restructure was on the table then but was diverted when the board approved a top-up contribution from its reserves.”

However, Tahere says the rūnanga cannot sustain the current structure any longer and a bold intervention has to be made, which the board supports 100%.

“I mihi to our operations team for many years of hard work and dedication. I now sympathise with the prospect of job loss among our Rūnanga whānau. The consistent dwindling of fisheries revenue compounded by the current global financial hardship is the reason for this major restructure.”