E pari mai ana te tai o mihi ki runga i te kiriwai o Tuhourangi me Ngāti Tūwharetoa a Te O Kahurangi Waaka  kua kē ia ki te tūranga tiketike o te Pou Whakahaere o Tumu Whakaata Kiriata! E kore e mimiti te puna o mihi ki a koe e te mareikura o te ao kiriata, hanga whakaata, koia kai a koe e Karen!

Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga (The New Zealand Film Commission – NZFC) has appointed Karen O Kahurangi Waaka-Tibble to the newly-created executive position of Pou Whakahaere.

Waaka-Tibble is a producer with extensive experience in governance, culture, intellectual property rights, iwi and community organisations as well as active involvement in Māori screen issues.

NZFC CEO Annabelle Sheehan, says she is pleased with the appointment as Waaka-Tibble has a wide-range of expertise that will benefit the future of the New Zealand screen industry.

“The span and depth of her experience will be invaluable as we head into the important next phase of Te Rautaki Māori. She has an extraordinary mix of skills and expertise as well as significant connections in the industry and with government.”

As Pou Whakahaere, Waaka-Tibble will be responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of the NZFC’s Te Rautaki Māori strategy announced last month. Te Rautaki brings with it a commitment to three new funding initiatives for the production and development of Māori films. The strategy was created over the past two and a half years in collaboration with Māori screen organisation Ngā Aho Whakaari and the wider Māori film sector.

Waaka-Tibble says she is grateful for the opportunity and acknowledges the establishment of the Rautaki Māori strategy and the Pou Whakahaere role.

“I am delighted that this new role will give me the opportunity to facilitate funding for Māori films and career development for Māori filmmakers. I’d like to acknowledge the hard work and deep thought that has been put into the creation of this strategy and the Pou Whakahaere position from Māori filmmakers and NZFC staff and particularly Annabelle Sheehan for kick-starting it as soon as she was appointed CEO.”

Ngā Aho Whaakari chair Christina Asher says, “These are exciting times. After 20 years of protest we have Te Rautaki and in Karen, we have a leader who has the mana and the skills to manage it effectively. Her career proves her dedication to our kaupapa. She has always championed te reo Māori and Māori screen creatives. Her colleagues in Ngā Aho Whakaari look forward to working alongside her to make Te Rautaki, and also the aspirations of our filmmaking tupuna Barry Barclay, Merata Mita, Tama Poata, Tungia Baker, Don Selwyn and Ramai Hayward, become a concrete, working reality.”

Ngā Aho Whakaari are co-ordinating with Karen to meet to whakatau her in early June – more details will be posted on our facebook page and in our pānui.