Ko matakitaki iho au ki Te Riu o Waikato, ano nei hei kapo kau ake, maaku ki te kapu o taku ringa. Ka whakamiri noa tona aratau, e tia nei he tupu pua hou.
(I look down on the valley of Waikato, as though to hold it in the hollow of my hand and caress its beauty, like some tender
lush green life).
- Kiingi Tawhiao
Derived from the whakatauki of Kiingi Tawhiao when he spoke of the beauty and abundance of Waikato, Te Riu o Waikato stands proudly in support of Kiingitanga.
Operating since June 2010, the concept of Te Riu o Waikato has its roots in the 1983 Tainui Report as researched by Sir Robert Mahuta and K. N Egan. This report, which clearly laid out the state of Waikato Tainui, its people, and its resources showed that the people of Waikato Tainui were in a socioeconomic deficit and that strategic action was needed to curb the ever-growing economic gap between maaori and the rest of Aotearoa.
Despite this research, it wasn’t until 1995 that a Deed of Settlement between The Crown and Waikato-Tainui was signed, and thus the path to rejuvenating our people and our whenua was finally reopened to us.
Stemming from a need to decentralise and divest some of the power from the tribal base back out to hapuu and marae, Te Riu o Waikato was created from Waikato-Tainui’s strategic direction, Whakatupuranga 2050 to put into practice our Treaty partnership with the Crown and ensure Government Agencies met their responsibility to maaori.
In 2011, Te Riu o Waikato was mandated as regional authority by Waikato-Tainui and has continued to grow from strength to strength. In 2012, Te Riu o Waikato became a charitable trust and private limited company and has nurtured strategic partnerships with a key focus on positive socioeconomic growth for those beneficiaries within the hapuu and marae.
As it stands, Te Riu o Waikato continues to grow, continues to nurture those strategic partnerships, and continues its efforts in revitilasing the hapuu and whaanau within the rohe.