A Māori firm of professionals bringing a depth of experience, from the private and public sectors, to deliver quality outcomes for our clients.
Te Rau Kupenga
After graduating from Auckland University with an LLB, Te Rau practiced law in Auckland and Wellington, specialising in litigation. From 2005 to 2017, Te Rau held a number of senior executive roles across government, including Deputy Secretary for the Environment, and Deputy Chief Executive roles at the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. Te Rau holds a number of governance roles including with Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou and advisory roles with Statistics New Zealand, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the Ministry of Defence. In 2016, Te Rau co-authored Mauri Ora – Wisdom from the Māori world.
Principal - Auckland
Lynette joined Te Amokura after 15 years with Whakaata Māori as their Head of News and Current Affairs and Planning. Lynette's extensive experience in Māori broadcasting and the media sector underpins her abilitity to co-design and implement a multi platform approach to weaving a 'good story'. Her relationship management is exceptional and has built strong rapport with iwi and te ao Māori leaders.
Problem-solving and planning is king to executing any task at hand and Lynette brings this strength to the teams she works with. She quickly identifies the problem or goal and takes you on the journey to achieve it.
Lynette has executive level knowledge of operational Human Resources disciplines and has experience in financial literacy, people management and high-level strategic design.
Prior to joining Te Amokura in 2019, Sarah spent 15 years working in the financial services industry specialising in funds management and investment advice. She most recently held the role of General Manager at Taupō Moana Funds.
Sarah's analytical mind and experience in senior roles within the private sector means that she is adept at problem solving complex environments and coming up with strategic solutions.
At Te Amokura, Sarah is a project lead, manages workflow and is involved with the company's finance management.
Sarah holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration majoring in Money and Finance, and Economics from Victoria University.
With over 25-years' experience in the construction industry, David joined Te Amokura from the Gisborne District Council, where he was the Director of lifelines and Deputy Chief Executive. In this role David was responsible for managing Council's $2B infrastructure assets and responsible for the successful delivery of over $100M per year of infrastructure spend.
David has worked in local and central government for the last 15-years and provides strategic advice to a number of government agencies and private sector clients. He has experience partnering with iwi to deliver exceptional outcomes and is an experienced facilitator and communicator. David has a deep understanding of Government and Local Government and is passionate about growing Māori capability in the infrastructure sector.
Ngāti Manu, Ngāpuhi
Te Tai Tokerau
Born and raised in Te Taitokerau, Kelvin brings a wealth of experience across various sectors, including Education, Local Government, Central Government and the private sectors. Graduating from the Auckland College of Education with a diploma in teaching, Kelvin spent over two-decades within the education system holding an array of teaching roles, and notably serving as Principal at both Karetu School and Kaitaia Intermediate.
In 2008, Kelvin entered Parliament as a Member of Parliament and was the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party from 2017-2023. During this time, Kelvin held many significant Ministerial roles, including Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti, Minister for Children with responsibility for Oranga Tamariki, Minister of Corrections, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Education (Maori Education). As a descendant of Whetoi Pomare, one of the signatories to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Te Tiriti was the backbone for his Ministerial portfolios. As the architect of Te Arawhiti – the office for Maori-Crown Relations, Kelvin’s passion is to support the realisation of Maori aspirations and to support the Crown to be an excellent Te Tiriti Partner.
Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi
Hinerangi has more than 20-years experience as a Māori communications specialist providing strategic communications, engagement, media and marketing services to many organisations, always with a kaupapa Māori lens. She has also been a journalist and a Press Secretary in Parliament.
Major campaigns she has led include the Karawhiua campaign for Te Puni Kōkiri (2021-2022), the Constitution Conversation for the Ministry of Justice (2012-14) and Te Mana campaign for the Ministry of Education (2006-2009).
Hinerangi has a degree in broadcast communications and is actively involved in whānau, hapū and iwi development. She lives with her partner and two of their five bilingual children in Wellington.
Te Arawa, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāi Tahu
Rawinia (aka, Ra or Whaea Ra) enjoyed a long career in the public sector, primarily in administration and finance roles, having worked previously with the Department of Māori Affairs, Te Tira Ahu Iwi (Iwi Transition Agency), Te Puni Kōkiri, the Office of the Māori Trustee and Hato Pāora College in Feilding. Ra is married to Vaughn and has two sons, Sonny and Luther, who keep her just as busy as the Te Amokura whānau.
Rotorua is “home” for Ra where she has whakapapa links to Te Arawa, Ngāti Whātua and Ngāi Tahu.
Office Manager - Tairāwhiti
Mākere hails from Ngāti Porou and supports the operations of the Tairāwhiti office. She has worked and has experience in justice, education, health and wellbeing, Māori development, and food and beverage sectors.
The East Coast called her home in 2017 where she supported the establishment and management of Hāti Nāti Cafe and Out East Tourism. Prior to this she supported the establishment of Te Pā o Rākaihautū, was a production assistant for Te Amokura Productions, and worked in administration for the Office of the Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court and Waitangi Tribunal.
Her experience working within different environments and with various groups enables her to navigate varying settings, keep people to task, and respond to challenges as they arise.
Te Āti Awa and Taranaki
Chelsea has a wealth of experience from the banking sector spanning 20 years, most of it with Aotearoa’s biggest bank. She joins us from her most recent role as Business Manager, where she worked closely with a range of high value businesses, providing tailored financial and banking support, ensuring they were well set them up for success now and in the future.
Chelsea brings to Te Amokura a unique skillset that will be critical in supporting Te Amokura future ambitions. Her banking career has helped shape Chelsea’s expertise in business management and operations, sales and financial products, customer relations, and micro-level problem solving.
Chelsea was born and raised in Waitara and is of Te Āti Awa and Taranaki descent. She now resides in Porirua with her husband and 2 children.
Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Rangitihi
After graduating from Victoria University of Wellington with Bachelor’s degrees in Arts and Law, Whaimutu joined the public service, rising to become the chief legal adviser in what was then the Department of Māori Affairs. In 1988, he was a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., looking at Māori economic development, and in the same year he graduated with a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Whaimutu worked in senior roles for Fletcher Challenge and held directorships at organisations including Housing New Zealand, Television New Zealand, Māori Television, and Ngāti Porou Holding Company.
Whaimutu is a leader in Māori business organisations, with particular expertise in forestry and fisheries, serving as Chair of Ngāti Porou Forests, the Sealord Group and Moana New Zealand. He also served as a member of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission in its first 10 years.
A prominent advocate for the revitalisation of te reo Māori, Whaimutu regards the fact he and his wife Judy have raised their children to be fluent in the Māori and English languages to be one of the highlights.
In 2018, he was awarded the Māori Governance Leader Award as part of the Māori Business Leader Awards.
Ngāitai ki Tōrere
Glenys has 36 years’ experience across the education sector including early learning, primary, secondary and tertiary education. Her specialist area is Māori medium education pathways. She has held senior leadership and management roles in kura, the Education Review Office and the Ministry of Education.
Glenys has recently been responsible for leading the redesign of the national curriculum (Te Marautanga o Aotearoa) where she worked with education experts and leaders, whānau and Ministry officials to lay the foundation for an authentic indigenous curriculum that supports the aspirations of ākonga, their whānau, hapū and iwi.
Glenys holds a Bachelor of Education from Victoria University as well as Post Graduate Diplomas in Education (VUW) and Social Sector Research and Evaluation Methodologies (Massey University).
Waikato, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-ā-Māhaki
Michelle has held senior roles across the public service for the last 25 years. Most recently she was the Deputy Director-General at Te Papa Atawhai (DOC) supporting them to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Prior to that she was the Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri which progressed Whānau Ora, te reo Māori, Whenua Māori, Housing for Māori to highlight a few areas. She is driven by advising and making things happen for whānau Māori, hapū and iwi.
While at Te Papa Tongarewa the repatriation of tūpuna was a priority and under her stewardship an exhibition about Māori was curated and presented in Paris, Mexico City and Quebec. As a Policy Advisor in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet she advised on the establishment of Māori Television, Māori fisheries and the first Māori aquaculture arrangements.
Michelle is the Chair of the Risk and Assurance Committee for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Co-chair of Te Kura Māori o Porirua, a Management Committee member for Mangatū Blocks Incorporation and a member of the Recruitment and Appointments Committee for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Toa Rangatira.
Michelle lives in Takapūwāhia, Porirua the home of her husband Evan’s people and they are the proud parents of Marsella and Tame.
Cath has worked at senior levels of the Public Sector in New Zealand and Australia.
Her experience spans policy development, leading legislation initiatives, the design and implementation of stakeholder engagement processes and leading and working with teams to build capability and improve performance.
Most recently, she led Te Ture mō Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Act) which was passed in 2016.
A critical thinker, experienced in navigating diverse and complex situations, she has proven experience of working both within Māori and government contexts.
Ngāti Porou, Te Ātiawa
Andrea is a Senior Project and Programme Manager who has helped lead project teams to deliver change across government for 15+ years. As Programme Manager, Andrea helped lead a multi-disciplinary and multi-agency team to deliver New Zealand’s environmental reporting obligations, including the production of the flagship report ‘Environment Aoteraroa 2019’.
Andrea has a range of project management tools and methodologies to draw from but is primarily driven by delivering change through people.
Andrea grew-up in Wainuiomata and completed her Bachelor of Commerce and Administration degree at Victoria University.
She now lives on the Kāpiti Coast with her Irish husband, daughter and dogs.
Taimania has worked across several complex public sector work programmes in the areas of Crown Māori Relations, Māori Development, Natural Resources and Education. Taimania has experience in designing and implementing systems to improve consideration and implementation of Treaty commitments in policy development and is well versed in the machinery of government.
A critical thinker with a drive to deliver high quality outputs and outcomes, Taimania can provide leadership and support for specific projects or general capability for any team.
Taimania has extensive experience working for iwi and community organisations, focusing mostly on social development.
Taimania has an undergraduate degrees in Arts (Social Policy)(Hons) and Business Studies (Economics) and a Master of Arts (Social Policy)(Hons) from Massey University.
Taimania was raised in Gisborne. Her whānau are from Rangitukia and Tikitiki on the right side of the Waiapu valley!
Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Ahuriri
After graduating from Victoria University of Wellington with a BA in Anthropology and Masters in Education, Thomas worked in an academic role for the university before spending time in the private sector. Thomas then transitioned to the public sector and has worked across government for close to 20-years in a variety of roles spanning policy, strategy and engagement for numerous departments and agencies including the Treasury, the Environmental Protection Authority, the Social Investment Agency, the Ministry of Education and Te Puni Kōkiri.
Thomas has also served as the Private Secretary for the Minister of Research Science and Technology.
Thomas was raised by his grandparents in Awakairangi with regular trips back to his Tairāwhiti homeland.
Les comes to Te Amokura with an extensive policing and security background with over 20-years of operational, strategic and tactical experience. During his career, he was a key member of the Prime Minister’s personal security and close protection detail with the Diplomatic Protection Service. He has also been involved in the planning and execution of many high level visits by foreign dignitaries.
Prior to joining Te Amokura, Les spent the last 7-years working across local and central government, providing specialist security advice, most recently with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Parliamentary Services. In these roles, Les was responsible for managing and implementing successful transformative security improvement programmes.
Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu
Pele is a graduate of Auckland University with a Bachelor of Education and Master of Arts, and is one of the first graduates of the Kura Kaupapa Māori Diploma in Teaching in the formative years of the Kura Kaupapa movement in Auckland (now Te Kura Takiura).
She moved back to the East Coast to help lead the establishment of Kuranui, a kaupapa-ā-Iwi model of education.
Pele has a wealth of knowledge which ranges from grassroots community kaupapa to the public sector and provides extensive advice and support across the tari.
Over the past twenty years she has been instrumental in producing a stream of outstanding graduates from the small East Coast towns of Tolaga Bay and Tokomaru Bay. Her upbringing instilled in her a love of mātauranga, te taiao and haka.
Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu
Arihia has a background in communications, content development, production management, editing and publishing which all reflects her creative commitment to te reo Māori. Arihia has worked with many clients to develop creative marketing ideas for Māori language revitalisation. She understands the importance of integrating all communication initiatives.
Most recently, Arihia led a historical research Programme where she helped iwi and Māori to tell their Treaty Settlement stories.
Arihia has written, edited and published in the Māori language everything from children’s books to contributions to He Muka the prestige publication of the Māori Language Commission. She’s also written and designed collateral for major campaigns promoting te reo Māori and language planning.
Ngāti Porou, Tapuika
With over 10-years as a professional sportsperson, Nehe brings strategy, leadership and high-performance capability to Te Amokura. With a depth of experience in health and wellbeing, Nehe has a system level focus on delivering better outcomes for Māori.
Hailing from Te Tairāwhiti, and with whakapapa to Ngāti Porou and Tapuika, Nehe debuted for the Ngāti Porou East Coast rugby team in 2021, winning his only game for the season against Poverty Bay, and importantly, allowing him to claim a 100% winning streak for his tribal team!
In 2015, Nehe was awarded the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the year, having played a key role in the All Blacks winning the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Ngāti Raukawa-ki-te-tonga, Tūwharetoa
Luke is of Ngāti Raukawa-ki-te-tonga and Tūwharetoa descent. He was born and raised in Titahi Bay but hails from the Rangitīkei/Manawatū. As a registered clinical psychologist, Luke comes with over 20 years experience in health, whānau ora and high performance. His PhD focused on Tāne Ora – Māori Men’s health in the High Performance context.
Perhaps his greatest claim to fame is having a teenage daughter who constantly picks out his parental contradictions.
Regan is energised by supporting and creating opportunities that result in Māori realising their aspirations and achieving wellbeing.
As a former member of the New Zealand Police, Regan has led the development of strategy, engagement and implementation of a number of transformative processes that have enhanced the way the Police work with and deliver services to Māori communities. This experience has provided him with a deep understanding of how to achieve equity and the depth of the Crown’s obligations to Māori.
Regan is passionate about building authentic and enduring relationships, which he believes is the foundation upon which positive outcomes are achieved.
Te Whānau-ā-Apanui me Ngāti Porou
After a 15-year career as a professional sportsperson, Rua returned home to work for his iwi in the community he was raised. In 2012 he completed his BA in Social Policy and Māori. Prior to joining Te Amokura, Rua spent seven years in the commercial and residential finance sector where he helped individuals, whānau and organisations achieve their financial goals.
Rua’s diverse career has helped mould his high-performance mindset and provided opportunities to develop strong competencies in strategic leadership, finance and community engagement.
Rua is a former Māori All Black Captain who lists the Ngāti Porou East Coast Meads Cup Championship as a career highlight.
Te Wehi Wright
Te Arawa / Ngāruahinerangi / Ngāti Raukawa / Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa
Te Wehi Wright is a product of Kōhanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa Māori Aho Matua.
He completed a conjoint BA/LLB majoring in te reo Māori, Māori studies and Resource Management at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington and has spent the past five years working in the private sector, focusing on measuring and building the cultural capital of organisations.
Before joining Te Amokura, Te Wehi worked for Tuaropaki Trust, one of the most successful intergenerational trusts in Aotearoa, specialising in increasing the cultural capital of the Trust. He has project management experience and has worked in strategy design, innovation, engagement and policy.
Ngāti Konohi, Ngāti Ira, Ngāti Porou
Mikaia was educated entirely in te reo Maori and is a graduate of Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington. As an Honours graduate, since university her work choices have seen her consciously develop her passions by engaging in roles in policy and research analysis, procurement, cultural representation for Aotearoa, governance and management focusing on kaupapa Māori research and evaluation. Mikaia is equipped with the necessary communication, project management and research skills to collate and present information effectively to a variety of audiences.
Prior to joining Te Amokura, Mikaia worked in management roles, including most recently as the Research Manager for Te Mātāwai, which included managing the strategic research agenda for the organisation to discover, explore and reveal the many unique layers of te reo Māori revitalisation.
Outside of work, Mikaia is a proud member of Whangara-Mai-Tawhiti Kapahaka; and is the current Chairperson of the Nōnā Te Ao Trust, which supports rangatahi Māori to reach their full potential in education, leadership and employment.
Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu and Te Atiawa ki Te Tau Ihu
Carlos completed his BA, majoring in Māori studies and Māori resource management at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington.
Prior to joining Te Amokura, Carlos was a Business Analyst at Te Puni Kōkiri where he gained valuable experience in engaging with external agencies, monitoring and reporting of funds, and data and analytics, specifically in the Whānau Ora and Oranga Marae work programmes.
At Te Amokura, Carlos has been involved with the Ministry of Education (writing tikanga advice), Ministry for the Environment (collating insights to inform a recommendations paper), Ministry of Social Development (engagement work) and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (advice on Long term insights briefing).
Carlos is passionate about working with young Māori with a focus on ensuring that our education system is better equipped to take care of our rangatahi.
Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu
Omiha is a proud alumna of kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa Māori and rumaki reo. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Māori Studies and Communications from Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland.
During her studies, she worked as a recruitment officer for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa where she gained experience in community engagement and has also worked across a range of media projects with Great Southern Television and Aotearoa Media Collective.
Omiha was born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau, with whakapapa links to Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Poutini Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa.
Awhina joined Te Amokura in early 2020, and has since been involved in a number of projects within the areas of policy, research and strategy that utilises her analysis, interpretation and writing skills. She has worked across a number of public sector work programmes in the areas of Māori Development, Conservation and Social Development.
Awhina graduated from the University of Auckland with a BA (Māori Studies) and BHSc with a focus on Public Health and Māori health research.
Prioir to joining Te Amokura, Awhina worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade working in the multilateral space on environmental issues.
Awhina was proudly born and raised in Gisborne with whānau ties to Tikitiki and Rangitukia.
Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Hikairo, Ngāi Tahu and Pākehā
Daniel has recently completed Te Pīnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi (Level 7) and is passionate about te reo Māori revitalisation. He is interested in inter-indigenous connections around the world and how this can foster the use of indigenous solutions to global issues.
Prior to joining Te Amokura, Daniel worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade both as an intern and as a Policy Officer, most recently in the Polynesia and French Pacific Division. He was also a Māori Policy Intern at the British High Commission where he helped develop the High Commission’s Māori engagement strategy, engaged in initiatives to strengthen the UK-Māori relationship, and worked on a number of other kaupapa Māori initiatives.
Daniel was born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau and has whakapapa Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Hikairo, Ngāi Tahu, and Pākehā.
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