About Us

The History and People of Hokonui Rūnanga Kaupapa Taiao



This tohu was designed for Hokonui Rūnanga Kaupapa Taiao by Renata Karena in 2021, to represent the identity of Hokonui Rūnanga. It comprises of six main design elements that represent different natural features, taonga species, and tīpuna (ancestors).processes. It is shared here to provide transparency and context for our Treaty Partners and the wider community who may want to better understand the associations, values, expectations, and aspirations Hokonui Rūnanga hold for the natural environment prior to engaging directly with Hokonui kaitiaki or staff. It also outlines preferred methods of engagement for those wanting to work with Hokonui Rūnanga on environmental matters.

Hokonui Runanga Kaupapa taiao


Ehara Taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini [My strength is not as an individual, but as a collective]

Taiao Works alongside a number of other incredible organisations, without whom we would never be able to achieve the amazing things we have.

Fletcher Steeel (1)
Forest Hill Foundation Trust Members: Sami Patel, Brad Gibson, Agnus Irwin, Jan Riddell, Malcolm MacKenzie, Glenys Dickson, Ken White, Ralph Hamilton.
John Howe (from New Vale Coal) and Riki Parata (Kaiārihi Taiao - Environmental Lead).

the Papatipu

hokonui Rūnanga

In 1996 Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (TRoNT) and 18 Papatipu Rūnanga were formed as an outcome of the Ngāi Tahu Iwi treaty settlements. The Hokonui Rūnanga and the other 17 Rūnanga are local body councils that represent Ngāi Tahu on a local level. TRoNT, on the other hand, is the governing council, made up of elected representatives from each Rūnanga. This structure ensures representation within a ground-up structure of governing. The members inform the decision-making of the Rūnanga, who then instruct TRoNT. In short, the Hokonui Rūnanga is a small piece of a much larger puzzle.

Hokonui is the only Rūnanga located inland, hidden away in the far corner of Gore, on Charlton Road. If you come and visit us, you can see our little piece of paradise, with its serene wetlands.

Each Rūnanga has its own rohe (area) where they hold mana whenua status (historical and territorial rights and responsibilities). However, as the four rūnanga located in Murihiku (Southland) have many shared interest areas, they often work together.

We have a rapidly expanding team of over 30 working staff and volunteers who all share the same whanāu-centric values. Our 18 executives serve as representatives for our 15,292 members. They protect and maintain the interests of our members by setting the visions and the goals of the Rūnanga, which our staff are bound by.



history and Development

Although Taiao works within and for the Hokonui Rūnanga, it is formally is listed as non-profit organisation called Hokonui Floriculture.

In 2004 Hokonui Floriculture was established to develop varieties of Gentians (native flowers) sourced from the Campbell and Auckland Islands for commercial sale. Under the umbrella of Hokonui Floriculture, the late Rewi Anglem and his team also started the Koura farming initiative in the Hokonui wetland and established the Mataura mātaitai. Our team still reaps the benefits of this mahi today.

In 2020, the Hokonui Rūnanga decided to expand its environmental division and rebrand Hokonui Floriculture to Hokonui Rūnanga Kaupapa Taiao. With aims to manage, restore, and provide for te ao tūroa (the natural world), to develop leaders and connect ngā tangata to the whenua through teaching and knowledge sharing as kaitiaki, all while upholding the mana and rangatiratanga of e taiao in the realm of Rakinui and Papatuānuku.

Our Treaty Relationships

Our relationships with local government and central agencies are constituted by the desire of both parties to uphold the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

To find out more about our treaty relationships click the button below.

Robin Restoration Volunteer Programme

Robin Restoration Donations Programme