Interview: Craig Pauling, Iaean Cramwell, Eruera Prendergrast-Tarena

Craig Pauling (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mutunga, English, Scottish and Welsh) lives in Ōtautahi with his wife Janyne, and their three tamariki, Mihiroa, Meihana and Tainui. 

Craig is heavily involved in waka ama, as well as reviving the use of all forms of traditional canoeing. He is a founding member and the current President of Te Waka Pounamu Outrigger Canoe Club, and is an experienced paddler, having represented Aotearoa New Zealand in 3 World Championships.

Craig has over 20 years’ experience in environmental management, with a particular focus on ecological restoration, water management and mahinga kai. Craig previously worked for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu in a range of roles, including Programme Leader: Environment, and is part of the Te Hīhiri Cultural Advisory Team at New Zealand owned consultancy Boffa Miskell. Craig is a founding trustee and current Co-Chair of Te Ara Kākāriki Greenway Canterbury Trust, and former Chair and founding member of Ngā Aho Incorporated. Craig was elected to the Canterbury Regional Council in 2019, and is the Co-Chair of the Councils’ Natural Environment Committee.

Iaean Cranwell (Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe, Kāi Tahu) has been involved with waka for over 25 years. He was involved in establishing two Waka Ama clubs in Te Wai Pounamu, being Fire in Ice in Otepoti (Dunedin) and Te Waka Pounamu in Ōtautahi (Christchurch). 

He has also been involved in revitalising waka sailing in Te Waipounamu, as a founding member of the Aoraki Voyaging Trust, with their waka unua Karaerae! Iaean loves using waka as a platform for learning and development, especially in rangatahi to help them transform their lives through waka education and place based learning.

He served as an Environment Canterbury Councillor from 2016-2019. As a Councillor, he was involved with the Freshwater Management, Biodiversity and Biosecurity, and Regional Leadership portfolios. He is now one of Environment Canterbury’s two Tumu Taiao (Mana Whenua experts), providing important advice to the council on behalf of Mana Whenua. 

Iaean has extensive governance experience -particularly in Māori and commercial areas. Iaean has also had significant involvement with environmental issues, including as a former chair of Mahaanui Kurataiao Ltd, an alternate for the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Board and former director of Ngāi Tahu Seafood.

Eruera Tarena (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui) first fell in love with waka hearing his Pōua (grandfather) tell stories of the waka migrations from Hawaiki.  Since then waka has been a strong part of his life and he has been involved with waka ama, waka taua and waka haurua.  He has also studied the waka traditions of Te Waipounamu and often draws on his passion for waka in his professional work in social innovation where he blends traditional wayfinding techniques with future-focused problem solving.  In his spare time Eruera enjoys quality time with Tangaroa as a way to clear the mind, move the body and recharge the spirit.  Mā te waka ka tika a runga, ka tika a raro, ka tika a roto, ka puta ai hoki koe ki Te Ao Mārama!

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