New era for Ngaruahine

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 08/04/2014
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LAIRD HARPER
Cassandra Crowley

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The driving force behind Local Government Online will now help usher in a new era for Ngaruahine.

Cassandra Crowley will take on the newly-formed role of Te Korowai o Ngaruahine Trust general manager as the iwi gets set to secure its $67.5 million Treaty of Waitangi settlement.

Crowley says the iwi board is clear about what it wants and it is her job to make it a reality.

"I wasn't interested in having a role where I put an extra 3 per cent on the bottom line every year, and made a better widget a faster widget. I'm someone who really needs to make a difference," she said.

Before her role as chief executive of Local Government Online, Crowley was the head of market regulation, compliance and markets policy at the New Zealand Stock Exchange.

"There has been discussion around the braveness, or the thought that went into appointing a Pakeha to the role, and it's fair to say the same considerations came from my side."

She said it was "her mother's fault" she got the job because she spotted the advert.

"She was flicking through the Taranaki Daily News and saw the ad. She knew I was looking for a challenge."

Originally from Kaponga, Crowley serves on a number of boards, including the Sacred Heart Girls' College of New Plymouth Alumni Association, Birthright Wellington and Literacy Aotearoa.

She also holds several directorships for organisations, including The Skills Organisation, Student Job Search and Pennydrop Ltd.

Nga Hapu o Ngaruahine Iwi Inc chairman Omahuru Robinson said the new position was designed to turn their aspirations into reality.

He said while he initially felt the role should go to someone who knows how the iwi operate as a people, it was about hiring the right person for the job.

He said there was safety in knowing the board had employed someone who knows exactly what they are doing.

"We would have been silly not to hire her.

"She has evidence galore that she can do this job.

"Our vision starts with a solid foundation and Cassandra is part of that.

"We can't afford to stuff this up," he said.

Te Korowai o Ngaruahine chairman Peter Moeahu said the iwi expected to settle their treaty claim by July "and receive the balance of our $67.5 million settlement shortly thereafter".

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