The Hoe Tonga Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Mataiawhea Te Kere as Hoe Tonga’s new Regional Development Officer. He will take the lead on the delivery of Hoe Tonga’s KiwiSport contract with Sport Wellington, working closely with schools and clubs. He will also be the first point of contact for paddlers and clubs at Hoe Tonga, as his role also encompasses the previous administrator role. Mataiawhea will already be known to many in the region, as he is also a keen and competitive paddler.
At the same time, the Board would like express its sincere thanks to Gaylene Sciascia for carrying the administrator batton for quite a number of years. She was the often the first point of contact, and the link between paddlers and clubs on one hand, and Hoe Tonga on the other hand. She helped organise various regional events, and many of those tasks are often unseen by most paddlers and supporters.
The original administrator role was set up as waka ama grew. Our regional membership has more than trippled since 2008. As a result, Hoe Tonga’s role has become bigger, and so we needed to transition from a purely voluntary organisation to one that was supported by dedicated personnel. Initially there was insufficient funding to enable us to have more than a part-time administrator. However, last year Hoe Tonga was successful in securing funding for a regional development role to further grow waka ama in schools, and this has enabled the establishment of a near full-time RDO role. The role is initially limited to one year, but our intention is to secure funding to maintain the role beyond June 2019.