Community & Environment

A fitting welcome and farewell for Maangai Maaori members

Image caption: Hemi Rau (left) replaces Bella Takiari-Brame (right) as a Maangai Maaori representative on Hamilton City Council’s Finance and Strategic Risk and Assurance committees.

A poowhiri to welcome new Maangai Maaori Hemi Rau and to farewell outgoing Maangai Maaori Bella Takiari-Brame was held yesterday.

Hamilton City Council has appointed Mr Rau as a Maangai Maaori representative on its Finance and Strategic Risk and Assurance committees.

Mayor Paula Southgate welcomed Mr Rau on behalf of all Elected Members.

“I know you are someone who will say exactly what’s on your mind and we welcome that type of approach here,” she said. “We make better decisions when we hear and understand different perspectives.”

“We will be tackling some complex stuff together on behalf of our city and I’m looking forward to working with you again. Welcome to you and to all those who have come to support you here today.”

Educated at the University of Waikato, Mr Rau’s governance experience includes being an executive member of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato (Te Arataura), a trustee and committee member of Te Kotahitanga Marae and a tribal representative of the Joint Management Committees of Hamilton City Council and Waikato Regional Council.

Maangai Maaori, which means ‘The voice of Maaori’, were added to the Council’s governance structure in 2018 to represent iwi (Waikato-Tainui) and maatawaka (other Maaori who live in Hamilton).

Nominated by Waikato-Tainui and Mana Whenua, Mr Rau joins four fellow Maaori representatives who sit on the other Council committees.


He replaces Bella Takiari-Brame who resigned from the position earlier this year. She was among the first Maangai Maaori appointed by the Council.


Mayor Southgate thanked Bella for the work she had done and said Council was sorry to be losing her. “In your own unique way, you have kept us on track on a range of issues and we are grateful for the time you have put in.”

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