Kaniere woman Lisa Tumahai was today elected chairwoman of the $1 billion Ngai Tahu empire.
She is now kaiwhakahaere for the next three years, replacing Sir Mark Solomon, who resigned towards the end of 2016.
Mrs Tumahai represents Te Runanga o Ngati Waewae at the tribal parliament Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu.
She has been acting kaiwhakahaere (chairwoman) for the past year and previously served as Sir Mark’s deputy for several years.
Matapura Ellison from Otago was today elected deputy.
Mrs Tumahai (nee Tauwhare) is affiliated to both West Coast runanga, Ngati Waewae and Makaawhio. Her father was brought up at Arahura and Jacobs River (Makaawhio), while her mother (nee Bromley) comes from Greymouth. Her parents now live in retirement at Arahura.
Her nomination as deputy kaiwhakahaere was sponsored jointly by Makaawhio and Ngati Waewae.
Mrs Tumahai previously worked in senior roles with the Canterbury District Health Board and prior to that worked in the education sector for private training establishments.
She was in meetings today and was unavailable for comment.