Rangatira of Rangitāne has been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM), in this years queens birthday honours. Manahi remains humble in accepting this award and prefers to share it with others.
He said “The efforts I’ve made are community efforts and this award is recognition of the collective efforts of a lot of other good people who help make a difference. They all make a valued contribution as you really can’t do it on your own. This honour was unexpected because you don’t do these things for an award but only to improve the lot of others. I’m wanting to make things a little better and hope I’ve had an impact and an influence.”
Manahi played a principal role in the formation of Te Runanganui o Rangitāne and Rangitāne o Tamaki Nui a Rua and, since 2000, he has been manager of cultural and political services for the latter. He’s been deputy chairman of the Mākirikiri Marae since 1992 and in 2004 and 2005 he led the presentation of the Rangitāne o Tamaki nui a Rua case before the Waitangi Tribunal.
“Yes, I’ve maybe achieved things through the Treaty negotiations, but a lot of people have been involved,” he said. “I’ve attempted to get some things right that linger from the past.”
Heavily involved with the Aotea Sports Club as it’s Chairman, Manahi sees the club and its rugby teams as important for young people now and into the future.
“I’m just doing what I saw my own parents do, especially my mother,” he said.
“She didn’t have any spare time – there were nine of us kids – but she involved herself. She had us to look after, she laboured over a wood stove and still had time to squeeze us all into the back of a little Morris Eight and go off to rugby. She sowed the seed and I’ve just tried to continue on. I hope to be able to make a difference in this community, but I want to recognise the other people who are so vital to the effort.”
Manahi’s honour acknowledges his dedication to his iwi and the community, noting he became a member of Ruahine Māori committee in 1975 later serving as chairman from 1979 to 1990. He was appointed a trustee of Kaitoki Marae in 1979, and from 1986 to 1989 he was chairperson of Te Kohanga Reo o Kaitoki. He is also a trustee of the Kaumātua Flats at Kaitoki and a management committee member of Waimarama 3B4 Incorporation.
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