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Chartered accountant Jaydene Kana has been welcomed to Hamilton City Council as a Maangai Maaori representative.

Maangai Maaori were added to Council’s governance structure in 2018 to represent iwi (Waikato-Tainui) and maataa waka (other Maaori and Pacific people living in Hamilton).

There are five Maaori representatives who sit on various Council committees, independently recommended to Council by Waikato-Tainui and Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa.

Maangai Kana (Te Kooraha marae) will sit on the Finance and Strategic Risk and Assurance Committees. After her inaugural meetings for both committees were held virtually due to COVID-19, Council is looking forward to welcoming Maangai Kana in-person at the earliest opportunity.

“I am proud to be a Maangai Maaori for Waikato-Tainui and am honoured to serve my iwi as well as ngaa taangata o Kirikiriroa (the people of Hamilton),” she said.

Maangai Kana is an experienced chartered accountant who has served in a variety of iwi, not-for-profit, public sector and private sector governance and leadership roles. She was born in Hamilton Kirikiriroa, but her career has taken her around New Zealand and the world, including eight years with the United Nations in Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon and the USA.

In 2011, Maangai Kana returned home to the Waikato and is currently based in Hamilton, working for Te Mahau – Te Tai Whenua, part of Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga (Ministry of Education).

Maangai Kana’s governance experience includes representing Te Kooraha Marae (Tahaaroa) at Te Whakakitenga o Waikato and the boards of Community Law Waikato, Volunteering Waikato and Volunteering New Zealand. She is also a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committees of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa (New Zealand Law Society).

In September, she was selected to the Superdiversity Institute as a Diverse, Board-ready Chair and Director. This initiative was a step towards ensuring New Zealand board tables reflect the country’s superdiverse talent and perform better.

Mayor Paula Southgate said Kana’s skills, governance experience and Maaori perspective would be invaluable to Council.

“She will make an outstanding contribution and we welcome Jaydene very warmly.”

Maangai Kana replaces Hemi Rau who resigned from the Maangai Maaori position earlier in the year.

Waikato-Tainui and the maataa waka authority, Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa, under the signed kawenata with Council, are seeking through Maangai Maaori to ensure: ‘He painga moo ngaa miro katoa I raro I te mana o te kaihanga – All peoples are valued, respected and flourish under the authority of the creator’.

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