First permanent Industry Stakeholder Group Chair appointed

Ngahiwi Tomoana (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hawea, Ngāti Hori and Samoa) has been appointed as the first permanent Chair of the Hanga-Aro-Rau Industry Stakeholder Group (ISG).

Hanga-Aro-Rau Workforce Development Council represents and is the voice of the manufacturing, engineering and logistics industries in New Zealand, ensuring that industry voice is heard across Government. The ISG holds an essential advisory role to Hanga-Aro-Rau which is the only WDC to have an industry-led advisory group guiding its strategy. They provide guidance and feedback on the organisation’s strategic direction and performance, and advice and information from an industry perspective.

Hanga-Aro-Rau Chief Executive Phil Alexander-Crawford praised the appointment of Mr Tomoana.

“Ngahiwi is a really strong advocate for industry as well as the importance to NZ INC of our ever-increasing Māori and Pacific workforce. We have a really balanced group that is another way that we ensure industry is heard and the needed changes are made.”

Our ISG membership traverses the wide range of our 70+ sectors. It is energised to have his leadership on board and together, the ISG will help Hanga-Aro-Rau to continue to raise up the voices and needs of our industries and ensure the vocational education system fits industry needs now and in the future.”

Mr Tomoana has been involved in hapū and iwi development most of his life. He was the longest-serving Chair of any iwi, serving the Board of Ngāti Kahungunu for 26 years. He was also the Chair of Te Pou Tahua, an Iwi Chairs Group focused on International Trade and Economic Development within the wider National Iwi Chairs Forum.

Mr Tomoana holds a number of key strategic positions that include: Kaihautū of Te Aratini; Co-Chair of Te Hurumanu, a partnership group that works alongside the Chief Executive and Senior Leadership Team of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Forum Member of the NZ Police Commissioner’s Māori Focus Forum; Chief Ombudsman Board; Taumata Whakapumau – Wai 262; Chair of Te Wānanga Whare Tapere o Takitimu, Trustee member on the Heretaunga Tamatea Settlement Trust and Co-Chair of the Māori Extreme Weather Science Response Panel.

Previous he was also the Chair of the Māori Economic Development Advisory Board, Board Member for the Pacific Cooperation Foundation, and Executive Board Member for the New Zealand China Council, Deputy Chair of the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and Chair of the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Māori Relationship Board to name a few.

Mr Tomoana said: “I relish the dual task of raising up Kiwi industry while raising up Māori, Pacific people and other underserved groups Māori have a long, vibrant history of significant contribution to New Zealand business success. From the recent research undertaken by Hanga-Aro-Rau [insert hyperlink] into the workforce challenges of the manufacturing, engineering and logistics industries, it’s clear there is a massive opportunity to grow a sustainable local labour force by developing strong Māori and Pacific workforces, rather than our traditional reliance on immigration.”

Mr Tomoana also has an extensive background in the seafood industry. He has previously been a Director and the Chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana Trust and Deputy Chair of the Wai Māori Trust, a division of Te Ohu Kaimoana.

Mr Alexander-Crawford said one of the critical requirements of the ISG Chair role is to be independent of the industries Hanga-Aro-Rau serves.

The appointment process was led by interim ISG Chair, Matua Turi Ngatai (Ngaiterangi, Ngāti Ranginui), and unanimously endorsed by members of the cross-sector ISG. Mr Alexander-Crawford paid tribute to Matua Turi’s leadership and guidance steering the ISG since its inception in May 2022.

“Matua Turi has led our ISG with strength, humility, and humour during his tenure in the interim Chair role. With his knowledge of industry and the employment outcomes vocational education needs to deliver, he has ensured we are set up for the future. We are a dynamic organisation that knows that change is constant and indeed is needed to deliver for our industries. As part of that continuous journey, we look forward to strong guidance and direction from our ISG and Council ” he said.

The ISG Chair appointment is for a two-year term and Mr Tomoana commenced in the role from September 2023.

Pictured: newly appointed ISG Chair Ngahiwi Tomoana (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hawea, Ngāti Hori and Samoa).