Pāora Te Poa Karoro Morgan (Paul Morgan) - Trustee profile
Being Māori, Paul (Ngāti Rārua and Te Mahurehure) believes the most important thing to know is your whakapapa - who you are and where you come from. Despite growing up in Wellington and travelling the world, his ties are to Motueka, the land his father grew up on and the land his tūpuna settled on.
Paul travelled early in his life, working on oil rigs around the world and experiencing life in much of Central America, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.
On his return to Aotearoa, and with a post-graduate degree in business management in hand, Paul began a pursuit of righting the wrongs of land ownership in Aotearoa. It was a fulltime job, and so at the ripe age of 32, Paul was appointed to the Wakatū Board - one of the youngest Board members to be voted in.
Advocating for his people
Through dedication, commitment and a will to fight for what’s right for the people of Te Tau Ihu, Paul has achieved remarkable things and has been a part of significant change for land and resource ownership for our people. In particular, he was a key representative of the Motueka people in their efforts to have the Whakarewa lands returned.
Paul joined the Rarua Council when it was founded in 1981 to begin work, alongside many others, to address and challenge the future of our lands, at the time being administered by the Whakarewa School Trust.
Five years later the work of the Rarua Council saw a breakthrough with a number of the Council members being appointed to the Whakarewa School Trust Board, including Paul, and that’s when change began to take hold. From this point Paul and many others were able to influence the administration and the policy, leading up to our founding document seven years later - the Ngāti Rārua Ᾱtiawa Iwi Trust Empowering Act 1993.
Since the Trust’s inception in 1993, and up until 2014, Paul was the Chair of the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust, and today serves as a Trustee.
“It goes to show if you are committed and you believe in a just outcome and you work hard, you can achieve that goal.”
At the centre of Māori progress
Paul has been on the Board of Wakatū since 1986, and today is the Chair of Wakatū and Kono. He is a member of the Kahui Wai Māori – the Māori Freshwater Forum, and director of Ko Ngā Kai Whai Painga - the High Value Nutrition Science Challenge. For 20 years, he was the Chief Executive of the Federation of Māori Authorities, New Zealand’s largest Māori business network.
He has also led several national research projects, including the first Māori Economic Report, and was instrumental in developing Tekau Plus, a Māori export and foreign direct investment program.
Recognition for his mahi
In 2010, Paul’s services to Māori and Māori business development were recognised by receiving the Insignia of the Queen’s Service Order.
In 2019, he received the Tohu mō te Kaiārahi Whakahaere Māori – Māori Governance Leader Award. This prestigious award recognises a person who has achieved exceptional success in governance roles in a kaupapa Māori business and has demonstrated outstanding leadership characteristics and values that make them an outstanding role model.
In 2020, Paul was announced as one of nine New Zealand business leaders to be inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame. This honour recognises and celebrates individuals who have made a significant contribution to the economic and social development of Aotearoa. Paul will be inducted in March this year (2021).
Paul is extremely proud of the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa ki Motueka hapū, and what has been achieved over the last 35 years but recognises there is still work to be done.
Paul continues to advocate and challenge the participation Māori have in our rohe, in business and in Aotearoa, and is strongly committed to developing the next generation of leaders and supporting the learning and development of rangatahi to take the helm.
“When you consider the difficult history and poverty that many families have experienced, progress has been immense and the positivity about our future shines bright.”