Ā mātou hītori
We are a manawhenua-owned consultancy with a long and proud history in the wider Otago region.
We were established in 1995, originally as an environmental management agency called KTKO (Kāi Tahu ki Otago). KTKO was set up by Otago-based papatipu rūnaka to represent the views and aspirations of kā rūnaka. Our mahi focused on the Resource Management Act 1991 and the requirement for councils to consult with manawhenua for policy statements, planning documents and consents.
Over time, our services expanded beyond natural resource management, and we began supporting rūnaka aspirations in other areas, including health, social services and cultural design.
This led to a rebrand in 2017, when we took on the name Aukaha to better reflect the range of services we now offer. Suggested by Paulette Tamati-Elliffe (manawhenua representative and an authority of te reo Māori), the name Aukaha originates from the phrase kia kaha, aukaha – unite, bind together. Our tīpuna would use this phrase as they strengthened the lashings on waka before setting out on a journey. As one person pushed the line through, they would say “kia kaha”. When the second person grasped the line, and they both pulled together, they would both chant “aukaha.” It is a phrase that encourages people to unite, and to work together to ensure a safe voyage.
Simple and effective, the name Aukaha was then chosen for the organisation by the Board and reflects our role: to strengthen the relationships between manawhenua on one hand and local government and businesses on the other.
We are owned by five papatipu rūnaka:
- Te Rūnanga o Waihao
- Te Rūnanga o Moeraki
- Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki
- Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou
- Hokonui Rūnanga
Our governance board is made up of representatives from each of the rūnaka and one independent director.
We are committed to providing services that improve outcomes for our people and places in this generation and beyond.
Kā mātāpono Our Values
We act with integrity, responsibility, and authority, reflective of the mana and rakatirataka of the manawhenua we work on behalf of.
We are inclusive and cooperative: with rūnaka, whānau, kaimahi stakeholders, partners and clients.
We work to build the capacity of ourselves and of our rūnaka, whānau, and hapū. We are supportive of our partners, clients, and stakeholders.
We work collaboratively to maximise our collective strengths and achieve hapū aspirations. This occurs across all of our pou; with our board, manawhenua panels, rūnaka and whānau; and with our partners, stakeholders and clients.
We are responsive and communicative, and actively value and work to increase the knowledge systems within which we work.
We are innovative in our work, finding new ways to test our thinking, develop new ideas, generating new knowledge, and ways of operating.
We operate with prudence and with awareness of the wider implications of our actions within financial, social, cultural, and environmental contexts.