New co-chair for Waikato River Authority

The Waikato River Authority has a new iwi co-chair with the election of Tipa Mahuta.

Ms Mahuta, a Waikato-Tainui appointee, replaces long standing Authority board member Roger Pikia (Te Arawa River Iwi Trust) who has been in the co-chair role for the past two years.

There was unanimous support for Tipa Mahuta’s election which is made by the five river iwi appointees to the Waikato River Authority. The Crown co-chair (Paula Southgate) was previously appointed by the Minister for the Environment according to legislation.

Tipa Mahuta says she is delighted to have the unanimous support of river iwi to take on the co-chair role and acknowledges the contribution of Roger Pikia and all those who have served on the board and for what has been achieved in the past ten years.

“Me mau tonu tataou ki te ohaaki i waihotia mai‘ Tooku Awa Koiora”. The importance of the awa to Waikato cannot be overstated, to have such a key role in restoring and protecting the Waikato River is very humbling. More than ever before we now have the opportunity for the communities of the river to come together to ensure the wellbeing of the river for future generations.”

The new co-chair election was made at the Waikato River Authority Annual General Meeting today, which also marked the ten year anniversary for the Authority. In ten years of funding river clean-up projects, the Waikato River has funded more than 360 projects with $56 million.