Our people

Pou (patrons)

Dame Tariana Turia and Professor Sir Mason Durie confirmed as our pou (patrons) in 2015.

Dame Tariana Turia

Ngāti Apa, Ngā Wairiki, Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Whanganui | Pou, Whānau Ora

Dame Tariana Turia has been the champion for Whānau Ora since 2002 when she introduced the concept in He Korowai Oranga, a national Māori health strategy.

It wasn’t until 2010 however, following a coalition agreement between the Māori Party and the National Government that Whānau Ora became a core government policy in its own right. Dame Tariana was the inaugural Minister for Whānau Ora, blazing a way for government to support whānau to be self-determining, to focus on their strengths, to be collective in their approach and intergenerational in their impact.

Dame Tariana has been Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector and Minister for Disability Issues. She has also carried out Associate Ministerial responsibilities in housing, health, social development Dame, corrections, child, youth and family, and tertiary education, skills and employment.

Through her work in and outside of parliament, she was able to significantly and positively affect the lives of many. She established the first Community and Voluntary Sector office, introduced the Treaty of Waitangi clause into the Health and Disability Act, and promoted the uptake of cultural competency as a basic standard across the health sector. Her contributions towards the prevention of rheumatic fever and wide-ranging tobacco reform have seen her highly acclaimed on the international stage.

In 2017 Dame Tariana was appointed to the office of Te Pou Tupua, which was established under the Whanganui River Treaty Settlement.  The Act recognises Te Awa Tupua as a legal person, comprising the Whanganui River as an indivisible and living whole from the mountains to the sea.

Dame Tariana is a strong and successful advocate pushing for changes to be made to Oranga Tamariki, including  the introduction of Māori leadership at the very top for the betterment of whānau and tamariki.

 

Emeritus Professor Sir Mason Durie

Rangitāne, Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Raukawa | Pou, Whānau Ora

Long-serving leader for Māori development, Sir Mason Durie is one of the most highly respected academics in Aotearoa.

In the past year Sir Mason was the first appointment made by the government to Chair and appoint the Māori Health Authority steering group.

His research on whānau development provided a vital platform for Whānau Ora. Working closely with Dame Tariana Turia to develop the Whānau Ora approach, he was the founding Chair of the original Whānau Ora Taskforce in 2008.

Appointed Professor Emeritus in 2013, he has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand since 1995 and a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit since 2001. In 2008, Otago University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Before retirement in 2012, he was Professor of Māori Research and Development and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Massey University.

In 2015–16 he served on the Leaders Group for the development of the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Growth Strategy and in 2018 was a panel member for the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addictions.  He continues in the role of senior advisor to Te Rau Matatini/Te Rau Ora and in 2019 was appointed Chair of the Māori Expert Advisory Panel for the Suicide Prevention Office –  a position he still holds. Sir Mason is also Chair of the Māori Health Authority Transition group.

His extensive publications continue to be widely quoted within New Zealand and internationally, especially in connection with indigenous health advancement. In 2010 he was knighted for services to public health and especially Māori health, and in late 2020 he was named a member of the Order of New Zealand, the country’s highest honour.

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait

Te Arawa | Chair

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait is a leading advocate for the rights of women & children and also a strong public voice in the campaign to understand and prevent family violence.

Based in in Rotorua, Merepeka is currently an elected member of both the Rotorua Lakes Council and the Lakes District Health Board.

She has a long and distinguished history of public service, having served as CEO of the West Auckland Hospice and rose to National prominence as the outspoken former CEO of Women’s Refuge.

Merepeka holds an MBA in International Management. She has a wealth of experience in the fields of business, management & politics, and is constantly in demand as a commentator and guest panellist, particularly around issues to do with Māori, health & welfare and social justice.

A sought after motivational speaker, mentor and consultant, Merepeka is the author of a long running and highly regarded newspaper column as well as serving as a board member and advisor to several not-for-profit organisations. She is passionate about encouraging and advancing the aspirations of Māori.

John Tamihere

Ngāti Porou ki Hauraki, Whakatōhea | CEO

John Tamihere is a politician, media personality and commentator plus current President of Te Pāti Māori who has always been a vocal advocate for the rights and mana of urban Māori.

Over the past two years John has successfully led the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency COVID-19 response throughout the collective, including a legal win against the Ministry of Health last year to immediately release data giving hundreds more Māori access to vaccines.

John is a fully qualified lawyer and by 1988 he was the youngest Regional Manager, Department of Māori Affairs and the youngest District Solicitor for Waikato Maniapoto Land District. In 1991 John was appointed as CEO of Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust while Waitangi Treaty settlements with the Crown were being settled. However as urban Māori were given no concessions or rights, and despite his own iwi affiliations, John took the Wai414 Claim to the Waitangi Tribunal and later the Privy Council in London to address this injustice. The legal ruling of the Wai414 Claim recognised urban Māori under the Treaty.

A career in politics quickly followed after easily winning the Hauraki Electorate for Labour, whilst being appointed Chair of the Māori Affairs Select Committee. In 2002 John won the Tāmaki Makaurau seat with 73 per cent of the votes and he was promoted to Cabinet. Three years later John left parliament, returning to Te Whānau o Waipareira, where he has grown the organisation’s balance sheet by 90%. John has led Waipareira and developed Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency which have become nationally and internationally recognised agencies, supporting whānau with a holistic, integrated framework to Māori, for Māori by Māori.

Directors

Our directors have impeccable credentials and ensure that every dollar spent aims to enable whānau to build self-management capability, and therefore a better future. Every member is independent, leaving them free to make decisions fully in the interests of whānau.

Robin Hapi

CNZM Ngāti Kahungunu | Director

Made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori, community, and governance in 2016, Robin Hapi is a long-time advocate for Māori education, economic development and governance. He holds an MBA (with Distinction) from Massey University, where he was awarded a Massey Medal as one of its distinguished alumni.

Robin has extensive governance experience and currently chairs the Council of Te Wānanga o Raukawa, is co-chair of the Pūhoro STEMM Academy,  is a Director on the Board of Kainga Ora – Homes and Communities and chairs their Finance, Risk and Assurance Committee and also currently serves on the Board of WorkSafeNZ. He is a past Chair of the Māori Economic Development Advisory Board (He kai kei aku ringa), a former Deputy Chair of Callaghan Innovation, a former Director of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and served as an Advisory Board Member for SERCO Asia/Pacific. He was the inaugural CEO of Te Ohu Kaimoana and served as the CEO and Chair of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited and Board Chair of Sealord Group from 2007–11.

Robin has been a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors since 2014. He is involved in several Community initiatives in his hometown of Foxton and is affiliated to Kahuranaki marae at Te Hauke where he is chair of the Kahuranaki Trust.

Pahia Turia

Ngā Wairiki, Ngāti Apa, Ngā Rauru, Whanganui, Tuwharetoa | Director

Pahia Turia is from the Ngā Wairiki, Ngāti Apa, Whanganui, Ngā Rauru and Tuwharetoa whakapapa. He has been involved in Māori community development in the areas of health, justice, education and social housing for a number of years.

Pahia holds a number of directorships on boards throughout the country.  He and his wife Njela own local businesses and have a keen interest in residential and commercial property. Pahia has four tamariki and five mokopuna.

Bernie O’Donnell

Te Atiawa, Ngāti Motunga | Director

Bernie O’Donnell is a business consultant and professional director. He is on a number of boards, including as chairman of Manukau Urban Māori Authority, Directorships on Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency, National Urban Māori Authority, Auckland District Health board (ministerial appointment) Te Mātāwai, the Independent statutory entity charged with revitalisng te reo Māori, Te Whakaruruhau o Ngā Reo Irirangi Māori, the confederation of iwi radio stations, Māori Media Network (a national advertising agency for Māori media) UMA Broadcasting Limited and co-chair of Ngā Whare Waatea marae in South Auckland, and finally the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Waatea school based in Māngere.

Bernie has spent more than 25 years working in the Māori radio industry, first as programme director and station manager of Te Korimako o Taranaki, followed by a brief stint with the Māori Media Network.

A fluent speaker of te reo Māori, Bernie has an Masters of Business Administration (MBA, 2019) from Auckland University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Māori Development (2016) from the same university, Te Tōhu Mōhiotanga Levels 1 – 4 Māori Language Certificate (1993) and a Certificate In Media Studies (1994) from Taranaki Polytechnic.

Takutai Moana Natasha Kemp

Nga Rauru, me nga Iwi O Mokai Patea ko Ngati Tamakopiri, ko Ngati Whitikaupeka, ko Ngai te Ohuake, ko Ngati Hauiti ratou ko Ngati Paki me Ngati Hinemanu. | Director

Takutai is the CEO of Manurewa Marae, an Urban Marae in the heart of Manurewa. She is also one of five CEO’s who are part of the Kotahitanga Whanau Ora Collective and the Hip Hop International New Zealand Director from 2014 to the present.

Takutai has worked in the New Zealand health sector for the last 20 plus years. She is experienced in Maori Community and Youth Development and has also worked in Maori Health Funding and Planning roles.

Takutai’s contribution to the South Auckland community through Hip Hop Dance was established through Dziah Dance Academy from 2007 – 2015 as the Director, DDA supported and encourage young people to live their dreams through Hip Hop. Dziah Dance Academy are nationally and internally recognised throughout the Hip Hop Dance World as the first New Zealand Hip Hop Crew to represent NZ at the World Hip Hop Champs in the USA.

Takutai is also a Governance Board member for Street Dance NZ, and Hip Hop International South Pacific Islands

Other Governance /Committee representation:

  • Te Ora O Manukau:  Trustee
  • Kaitiaki Roopu Suicide Prevention Maori Provider Network – Counties Manukau DHB: Co Chair

Glenn Hawkins

Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Maniapoto | Director

Glenn is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and has held governance roles with a range of iwi and national organisations.  He is currently Chairman of Life Skills for Life Trust and a director of Aotearoa Fisheries (Moana New Zealand).

In 2005, he established GHA, a kaupapa Māori accounting and consulting practice, with offices in Rotorua and Tauranga. Glenn has extensive experience with Māori post-settlement governance entities (PSGEs), Māori incorporations, Māori land trusts, Māori health providers and Māori commercial businesses. Glenn is passionate about Māori business development and has helped numerous Māori commercial organisations in industries as diverse as tourism, agribusiness, fisheries, property, geothermal, forestry, education, health and aquaculture.  His previous roles include management consultant at Ernst & Young and General Manager of the New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute (Te Puia).

Amohaere Houkamau

Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Kahungungu | Director

Amohaere Haukamau has an extensive and distinguished background in iwi, regional and national Governmental sectors. As the former Chief Executive of Te Rūnanga O Ngāti Porou, Amohaere was instrumental in the establishment of social, health, housing, education, justice, and employment services for Ngāti Porou, supporting the Rūnanga treaty and foreshore and seabed negotiations as well as positioning the Rūnanga to successfully implement its growth and development agenda. As a Senior Ministerial Advisor for eight years Amohaere provided strategic leadership and guidance at the highest level as well as providing guidance on Crown-Iwi relationships, the establishment of the Whānau Ora Governance Group, Treaty issues, Education, Social Investment and Data use, analytics and sharing.

As the previous General Manager for the Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust, Amohaere was actively involved in the Toitū Tairāwhiti, (Tairāwhiti Iwi collective) Covid-19 response and recovery efforts, taking the lead in communications and assisting the group secure multimillion dollar PGF investment for the region. Ms Houkamau is currently the Director of the Rau Tipu Rau Ora (Tairawhiti Regional Leadership Group) – Tuara (Secretariat) and Director of Pahou & Associates Ltd, a consultancy group specialising in iwi, public and private sector partnerships, policy, and planning. Ms Houkamau has been an active member of the Tairawhiti Localities Plan Working Party and the Tairawhiti Toitu Te Ora Partnership Board (IMPB) Steering Group.

Amohaere has just been appointed to the interim – Hauora Maori Ministerial Advisory committee.