Pictured: Kiriana Burrows.
“I would like to see Ngāti Maru prosper in all of the aspirations created by our iwi. This includes our self-identity, our Marae, our stories, health, education, reconnecting with our whānau, the whenua, tikanga, kawa, the environment and globally.”
Meet Kiriana Burrows, Rūnanga Trustree, Ngāti Maru (Ngāti Teika), māma of two daughters, and an educationalist who has spent the past 15 years teaching our tamariki in the Kaupapa Maori Bilingual unit at Waitara East School.
With an undeniable passion for the environment and kaitiakitanga, it’s important to her that the whenua, environment, historic sites, cultural heritage, reserves, native plants, birds, animals, insects and our ecosystems are being protected and taken care of.
For Ngāti Maru, Kiriana believes that as a people the iwi needs those with the best skills and experience, along with the right drive, integrity and commitment to move the iwi into the future.
One of the best contributions one can make, she says, “is to ensure that the decisions made are in the very best interests of our iwi, to secure a positive future for Ngāti Maru, our tamariki and the future generations.”
She enjoys working with others to achieve set goals. “Relationships built on mutual respect and transparency is key to success. Working as a team, sharing expertise, knowledge and decision making for the benefit of the iwi.”
She believes that the key areas of focus for the runanga include engaging and communicating with those they represent, developing relationships to enhance opportunities for whanau, continue researching Maru whakapapa and history, negotiations with the crown and increasing the number of whanau who are registered with the rūnanga.