Hunting for Haimona Te Nahu
Haimona Te Nahu is Comunity Law’s new Kaitakawaenga (National Māori Coordinator). The role of Kaitakawaenga is to ensure Community Law works more closely and more effectively with Māori communities, including through iwi and other Māori and community organisations. We recently caught up with Haimona about his reason for choosing both the law, and Community Law, as avenues to help Māori throughout the motu.
How long have you been involved in the Community Law movement for and in what capacity?
I started working at the Rotorua Community Law Centre at the beginning of June 2015 as a case worker, and have practiced as a solicitor since around September 2015, following my admittance. My involvement in the Community Law movement also includes being a member of the Māori Caucus and in my first year at the hui held in Christchurch I was nominated to be a Co-Chair. I settled as the treasurer instead for the years 2015-16. I continued to be involved with the Māori Caucus in a shared secretary role from 2016 – through till now.
What inspires you about this role of kaitakawaenga for Community Law?
It is a role, I believe, that has no limits, particularly in regards to the Kaitakawaenga’s ability to contribute to our Māori people in the legal field. My inspiration for choosing the legal path was to help my people. You not only help people at Community Law, but often, you change their lives. Now that is inspirational!
What do you think are the great challenges of this role?
The greatest challenge in this role would be the relationship management aspect.
If Community Law gets it rights, what do you think are the benefits this role can bring to the movement, and to its broader communities?
If Community Law gets it right the benefits would be endless. I can envisage iwi, hapū and whānau would have a working relationship with their local centre and that Māori statistics in the law would decline, and decline dramatically. There would be a working relationship with all Community Law Centres and with the relevant government agencies. Community Law would be recognised as being the go-to place regarding Māori and their legal interests.
What do you like to do when you’re not lawyering or working?
I love pig hunting, diving and spending time with family. People ask me why pig hunting? It’s simple, it’s another way of providing for your family and it is the total opposite to my day-to-day mahi as a solicitor. It provides elements of work life balance but it also achieves the purpose of providing for my people. It is the same with diving, fishing and gardening. I also love the physical aspect of my hobbies.