Ngāti Porou welcomes Baby Neve and $200k govt funds

By Talisa Kupenga

Ngāti Porou has received $200,000 from the government for a business case to improve health services in the region.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met today with Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Porou (TRONPNui), she says the region has some of the country's worst health outcomes.

Ngāti Porou welcomed the PM's family and government officials but baby Neve stole the show, receiving a special blessing.

TRONPNui Chairman Selwyn Parata says, "The offer by one of our elders to have baby Neve christened here at home was no doubt a surprise, but the offer is there and they both have the final say."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says, "Well, Neve- she's technically half Ngāti Porou."

It's the PM's first visit for the annual government-iwi meeting, where Ngāti Porou and the sitting government talk business, aspirations and issues facing the region.

Parata says it’s about “better outcomes for families, the land and our people."

The iwi has secured $200,000 to improve health outcomes.

Ardern says, "Health outcomes here- your life expectancy here is worse and we need to acknowledge that."

Conservation and the environment were also discussed. 

Locals have voiced concerns about myrtle rust and use of 1080 poison in the Raukumara ranges.

Department of Conservation spokesperson Joe Harawira says, "It is not being severely used at this time, but that is an issue under discussion between Ngāti Porou and Te Whānau a Apanui."

Other topics covered included forestry, water, Whānau Ora and Oranga Tamariki.