Governance Structure

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Bayden Barber.jfif



Ko Te Whanganui-a-Tara te maunga

Ko Waingōngoro te awa

Ko Waimārama te marae

Ko Taupunga te whare

Ko Tiakitai te tangata

Ko Ngāti Kurukuru te hapū

Ko Ngāti Kahungunu te iwi

Ko Tākitimu te waka.


Bayden Barber is the newly elected Chairman for Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated. Bayden resides in Waimārama where he is heavily involved with his community through Waimarama marae. His whānau nominated him to represent them on the Heretaunga Taiwhenua Te Haaro Governance Board where he became eligible for a position on the iwi Board when the triennial iwi elections took place in April this year. 

Barber, a second term Hastings district councillor, is passionate about seeing success for the iwi. In his candidate profile for the iwi elections he insisted, “Ngāti Kahungunu needs to take its rightful place at the top table of Te Ao Māori. We are collectively one of the largest iwi, and our combined treaty settlements should give us the financial strength to match other successful iwi.”

Barber said that he had been asked to stand in previous elections, however he opted to increase his governance expertise and experience first. 

“The iwi chair is such an important role for our people and requires the skill and ability to go from the marae to the board table, making important decisions on the future for our people.”

Building leadership within the iwi is something Barber feels strongly about. “We must build leadership capacity across Ngāti Kahungunu. This means investing in our people to ensure we have competence and experience in our decision-making roles.”

Barber recently became a Chartered Member of the NZ Institute of Directors. He is the Chair of the Hastings District Council’s Strategy and Policy committee, he is an independent director of Beef + Lamb NZ, a director and former chair of Health Hawke’s Bay and a board member of Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission).

Barber feels his extensive board director and Council experience has prepared him now to take on the role of chair for Ngāti Kahungunu. 

“Relationships are a key component to such an important role. I’ve been told I have a knack for walking authentically in both the Māori and Pākehā worlds and throughout the years I’ve built relationships at all levels, from the grass roots to the dignitaries and everywhere in between.”

“I particularly enjoy bringing together people who aren’t always on the same page, as it takes patience and practice but is well worth the effort.”

Barber also wants to improve Ngāti Kahungunu’s financial performance. “Our fisheries treaty settlement needs to be growing exponentially so that we can provide our people with increased benefits in the areas of employment, education, health, housing and our environment.”

With a family of 7 children, and a beautiful Mokopuna in Hawaii, issues that affect whānau are at the heart of Barber’s desire to lead Ngāti Kahungunu. Bayden is married to Myra Christy from Nuhaka, Ngāti Rākaipaaka. “My wife, tamariki and wider whānau have always supported me in my leadership roles as they understand the importance of having good leadership in our community.”

“I have met with our whānau throughout the rohe either via Zoom or where possible in person to discuss the future of our iwi. My whakapapa links me from Wairarapa, through Heretaunga and on to Te Wairoa and Waikaremoana. It is important to me that all the voices of Ngāti Kahungunu are heard.”