Former Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor, Raewyn Bennett, joins Te Kotahitanga o Te Arawa Trust as its new Trustee, representing Ngāti Pikiao.
Raewyn brings to the Trust extensive experience in governance, having chaired the Regional Council’s Strategic Policy committee for 6 years. and marine studies, as well as a passion for environmental issues.
She fills the seat left vacant by the passing of former Trustee Willie Emery, in April.
“Willie and I would speak about the important role he played on the Trust representing Ngāti Pikiao and I hope to continue and add to his legacy.
“I have full confidence and faith in the commercial arm of the Trust, Te Arawa Fisheries. For me, I have always felt an obligation to look after the sea and this role is a way to continue that. You cannot take without giving back.
“I am from Maketū, where there is a strong history of connection with the moana, having been a fishing community.
“Being the centre of moana for the region, you can’t help but develop a sense of kaitiakitanga for the sea. The health of the moana is important for te ao.”
Raewyn says it is also important to make sure “we’re doing our best for the next generation”.
“We need to help create pathways for more Te Arawa marine scientists, encouraging and preparing the next generation to continue the mahi in this area.”
Te Arawa Fisheries Chief Executive Chris Karamea Insley says he is encouraged by what Raewyn brings to the Trust table.
“Raewyn’s strong stance on environmental issues and the importance she places on the role of science and research in the industry will be valuable additions to our Trust.”