Yesterday, Ngāti Tama trustees and poumahi held a small pōwhiri to welcome Hēmi Sundgren (Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa, Atiawa ki Whakarongatai, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Rangatahi) to the role of Te Pouwhakahaere.

Trust Chair Butch Little said “we are excited to be welcoming Hēmi and his whānau to Ngāti Tama. Hēmi and I first connected at the National Iwi Chairs. He is very a very capable and accomplished iwi leader and we look forward to seeing him guide Ngāti Tama forward.

Sundgren is a well-known contemporary artist and carver and has some strong Taranaki connections.

Sundgren was the transition manager for Te Āti Awa from 2014 and was instrumental in establishing their post governance settlement entity. In 2016 Sundgren was installed as pouwhakahaere/CE where he developed their commercial and financial interests into the solid financial entity they are today.

In 2019, Sundgren oversaw the development of the Ka Uruora programme under Te Āti Awa and Taranaki iwi. Last year Ngāti Tama learned more about the programme which includes a whānau savings programme, financial education and housing programme to support whānau to become homeowners.

Chairman Butch says “Hēmi will bring valuable insight not only to our commercial aspirations but also our whānau aspirations in housing, health, education, taiao and te reo me ōna tikanga”.

Since moving on from Te Āti Awa in 2020, Sundgren moved into the public sector as Pou Ārahi – Māori at Tourism New Zealand before accepting the role as Te Pouwhakahaere at Ngāti Tama and moving to Te Tauihu with his whānau.

To reduce the risk of covid-19 transmission, a small pōwhiri was held at the office, however, over the coming months, Sundgren will meet with Ngāti Tama whānau, trustees, directors, Te Tauihu iwi, and entities as he settles into the role.

Nau mai ki te whānau o Ngāti Tama