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. For the past ten years, Te Rau has held a number of senior executive positions in the private and public sector, including Deputy Secretary for the Environment, where he helped to lead the Crown’s position on Iwi Rights and Interests in Freshwater, Deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, and Deputy Secretary Education. Te Rau also holds a number of governance roles, including Director of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Trustee of Trust Tairawhiti and Trustee of Nga Taonga – Sound and Vision. In 2016, Te Rau co-authored Mauri Ora – Wisdom from the Māori world.
Principal - Auckland
Lynette has extensive experience in the Māori broadcasting and media sector. Over the past 15 years at Māori Television Lynette has developed a close rapport with iwi and community leaders in Te Ao Māori. Her recent roles at Māori Television as Head of News and Current Affairs and News Planning charged her with the responsibility to co-design and implement the multiplatform approach to news dissemination. 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. She has experience in financial literacy, people management and high-level strategic design.
Principal - Wellington
Sarah has spent the last 15 years working in the financial services industry, most recently at Māori investment advisory firm, Taupo Moana Funds. Over the 9 years she worked at Taupo Moana, her roles included Investment Analyst, Investment Advisor, Investment Operations Manager and most recently General Manager. Sarah has also worked in London (Northern Trust), Vancouver and at Perpetual Trust in Wellington, involved in funds management, trust administration and investment advice. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration majoring in Money and Finance, and Economics from Victoria University.
Over the last seven years, 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. She has also been involved in historical Treaty settlement negotiations and government responses to contemporary Treaty claims. 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.
Before joining Te Amokura, Taimania was a Senior Policy Analyst at the Ministry for the Environment, she also spent time working as an advisor to the Chief Executive. Taimania also has experience working for iwi and community organisations, focusing mostly on social development.
Taimania has 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 Tamakōpiri / Whanganui nui tonu / Ngāi Tahu, Rangitāne O Wairau / Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa
Born in Taihape and raised in Wellington, Hollie graduated from Te Panekiretanga o te Reo Māori (Institute of Excellence in Māori Language), has with a BA and GDipArts from Victoria University and the University of Hawai'i (Mānoa), and is a licenced Toi Reo Māori translator certified under Te Ture mō Te Reo Māori 2016. Hollie has worked in public sector policy design and implementation over the last 10 years across education, training and employment, and been involved significantly in the Māori language sector, specialising in intervention logic for language planning and policy design informed by the application of sociolinguistic and language revitalisation theories. Hollie has whakapapa to Ngāti Tamakōpiri, Whanganui nui tonu, Ngāi Tahu, Rangitāne O Wairau, me Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa.
Ngāpuhi / Ngātiwai
After completing a BCom at the University of Auckland Kara spent several years in manufacturing management with Nestle. Over the past fifteen years Kara has held executive roles in retail with JB HiFi, Warehouse Stationery and The Warehouse. His most recent role as GM of Warehouse Mobile involved the creation & launch of NZ's leading virtual network in partnership with 2 degrees.
An analytical and strategic thinker Kara has a range of core competencies including sourcing, project management, consumer insight, negotiation and ideation.
Kara was born and raised in Auckland and has whakapapa links to Ngāpuhi and Ngātiwai.
He is Advisory Chair for the boy's hostel of InZone Education and a keen coach of cricket & soccer.
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.
Arihia graduated from Victoria University with a BA in te reo Māori and linguistics and is a licensed Toi Reo Māori translator. She 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.
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 copy and designed collateral for major campaigns promoting te reo Māori and language planning.
Ngāti Rangitihi / Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao / Tūwharetoa
Tia has extensive leadership experience with both public sector and iwi organisations. This has included roles with Te Puni Kōkiri, the State Services Commission, the Waitangi Tribunal and Te Taura Whiri. Most recently she has played a lead role in developing Crown capacity to support the Māori Crown Relationship for Te Arawhiti.
Tia is an expert in designing and implementing relationship management processes/systems, particularly for iwi/Māori engagement. Tia also has governance experience and is currently a member of Te Mana O Ngāti Rangitihi, Chair of the associated Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Charitable Trust and was also appointed to the Chiropractic Board, Te Poari Kaikorohiti O Aotearoa, in 2020.
Tia’s whakapapa connections are to Te Arawa Waka, primarily Ngāti Rangitihi, Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao, and Tūwharetoa.
Karli graduated from Victoria University with an LLB/BA (Social Policy and History (Hons)). Prior to joining Te Amokura, Karli worked for Victoria University of Wellington's Faculty of Law as the Kaitakawaenga Ture - the Māori Law Students' Co-ordinator. During her time at University Karli was involved with Ngā Rangahautira - the Māori Law Students Association, Wellington Community Justice Project and Community Law Wellington as a Volunteer and Advocate at Epuni Care and Protection Residence. Karli was also born and raised in the thriving metropolis of Gisborne.
Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa
Marama was born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau and belongs to Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa. Educated through kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa and kura Māori, Marama graduated from the University of Otago with a BSc and PGDip in Neuroscience and Developmental Anatomy and a Master of Science Communication (endorsed in Popularising Science).
Marama has senior policy experience across the public sector, most recently in education policy and budget at the Ministry of Education; Treaty settlement negotiations at Te Arawhiti; and Managed Isolation & Quarantine (MIQ) Policy at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Marama has also served as a private secretary to the Minister of Education.
Te Pare Meihana
Ngāti Konohi, Aitutaki
Raised in Whangara, north of Gisborne, Te Pare is passionate about community driven systems-level design, specifically to improve outcomes for whanau.
She has been involved in the health and social sector for the past 30-years, holding various senior management roles in DHBs and the wider sector, including as Chief Executive of Turuki Healthcare in Tamaki.
Te Pare has been involved in various transformational change programmes over the years to improve outcomes for Māori and Pacific – bringing a provider perspective to the establishment of the National Hauora Coalition, leading locality planning and whanau ora development in various communities.
She is currently working towards an Executive Masters in Public Administration through ANZSOG.
Te Wehi Wright
Te Arawa / Ngāruahinerangi / Ngāti Raukawa / Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa
Te Wehi Wright belongs to Te Arawa, Ngāruahinerangi, Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa and 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 5 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.
Ngai Tai/Ngati Koata
Rawinia comes to Te Amokura from the Transitional Unit at DPMC, where she has been driving the establishment of the Maori Health Authority.
Rawinia, or Ra, as she is affectionately known, has over 25-years experience in the health and social services sectors. She has held a variety of senior leadership roles in organisations such as District Health Boards, Primary Healthcare Organisations and Te Puni Kokiri. Her experience includes driving change management processes to optimise performance, the implementation of policy and strategy into initiatives grounded in community and leading end-to-end commissioning processes using frameworks and principles steeped in Te Ao Maori. Ra has a Bachelor Degree in Social Practice (Community Development) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).
Ngati Porou/Ngati 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 Dip. 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. 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.
Ngāi Tahu / Ngāi Tāmanuhiri / Tūhoe / Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei
Eli is a graduate of Victoria University, graduating in 2016 with a BCom in Management and GDip in Tourism. Eli has whakapapa links to Ngāi Tahu, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Ngāi Tuhoe and Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei. He was raised in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa.
Prior to joining Te Amokura, Eli spent 3-years working in the public sector with a focus on policy design and implementation. An innovative and creative thinker, Eli has worked across business feasibility, legislation initiatives as well as policy development in the Māori language and youth development sectors. Eli is passionate about traditional Māori knowledge systems, in particular, and utilising those systems to provide insights that develop solutions and approaches that achieve best outcomes for Māori.
Ngāti Rangi / Whanganui
Charles has over 20-years experience in the operations and manufacturing sector working at Taylor Preston, Downer and printing.com. His strengths are in cross cultural management, lean systems and compliance and audit. Graduating with a Master of Business Administration from Victoria University, Charles has spent the last few years predominantly in the not-for-profit sector managing stakeholder engagement, social enterprise start-ups and trying to drive better Māori housing outcomes in his home community of Whanganui. Charles enjoys contributing back to his secondary school and Iwi through his governance roles as a Trustee of Whanganui Collegiate Old Boys and Girls Association and as Trustee of Hinengakau Mātua Whangai Iwi Social Services. Charles has whakapapa links to Ngāti Rangi and Whanganui.
Leah Ihaia-Te Ua
Ngāti Tūwharetoa / Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki
Prior to joining Te Amokura, Leah worked in the private sector, primarily in insurance and telecommunications. With a law degree from Auckland University of Technology, Leah has experience in data analytics, research and strategic design thinking. Leah was raised in the small northland town of Kaihu, before moving to her tribal hometown of Taupo. She has whakapapa links to Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki.
Awhina graduated from the University of Auckland with a BA (Māori Studies) and BHSc with a focus on Public Health and Māori health research. During her time at university Awhina was involved in Ngā Tauira Māori (the Māori Students Association) and MAPAS (the Māori and Pacific Admission Scheme) within the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. Before joining Te Amokura, Awhina interned 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.
Te Aupōuri / Ngāti Kahu ki Whaingaroa / Te Whānau a Apanui / Waikato
Heemi graduated from Victoria University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in both Psychology and Te Reo Māori. Sincegraduating, Heemi has worked in Whangarei as a regional advisor in the public sector, where he has gained valuable experience and learnings, particularly working with his people in Te Tai Tokerau. Heemi has skills in project management, relationship brokering, strategic engagement and effective consultation. Heemi has a passion for Māori health and well-being, including mental health, and encouraging positive change within Māori whanau and communities.
Ngāti Kahungunu me Rangitāne ki Wairarapa / Te Arawa / Sāmoa
Herewini has recently completed his last year of study and will graduate with an LLB and BA (major; Te Reo Māori), he was also tumuaki of Ngā Rangahautira (Māori Law Students’ Association at Victoria University of Wellington). During his time at university he was an intern at Te Amokura and has gained experience across a range of kaupapa. Herewini has experience in governance as a board member at MFE, and is a trustee for his Marae. Raised in Papawai (Wairarapa), his interests remain with his people, but specifically he has a passion for mātauranga Māori and its relationship with the NZ legal system and use across the public sector.
Ngāti Whitikaupeka / Ngāti Tamakōpiri / Ngāti Pikiao / Whakaue / Hawaiʻi / Samoa / Tonga
Born in Tāmaki and raised amongst indigenous populations in Tuba City, Arizona (Navajo Nation) and Lāʻie, Hawaiʻi (Kānaka Maoli), Sala returned to Aotearoa in 2020 having completed a Juris Doctor, Master’s in Public Administration, and BA in Political Science from the Brigham Young Universities in Utah and Hawai’i.
Sala has spent the last few years honing her skills in administration, research and writing, policy analysis and project management, and Experience Design & Management (ExDM). Passionate about transformative leadership and cross-cultural understanding, Sala is technically trained in intercultural peacebuilding and Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Sala has whakapapa to Ngāti Whitikaupeka, Ngāti Tamakōpiri, Ngāti Pikiao and Whakaue, as well as Hawaiʻi, Samoa and Tonga.
Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu and Te Atiawa ki Te Tau Ihu
Carlos was raised in Ōtaki. He is a raukura of Kōhanga reo and is currently completing a BA in Māori studies and Development studies at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington. In 2019, Carlos graduated with a diploma in Maori language fluency from Te Wānanga Takiura o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa.
Carlos interned with Te Puni Kōkiri in 2018 and continued as an advisor and business analyst until mid 2021. During his time at Te Puni Kōkiri he gained valuable experience in engaging with external agencies, monitoring and reporting of funds, and data and analytics, specifically with Whānau Ora.
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 Aitanga-a-Mate, Ngati Porou
Born and raised in Tairawhiti, including secondary education at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Waiu o Ngati Porou in Ruatoria, Miria is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology and Te Reo Māori, minoring in Public Policy at Victoria University of Wellington. In 2020, she was included on the Dean’s list for achieving academic excellence. Miria has worked in engagement and Māori responsiveness at the Gisborne District Council which focussed on developing the Council’s relationships with hapu and iwi across the Tairawhiti. In 2019, Miria worked as a marketing and communications intern at the Heartland Bank.
Te Rarawa/Ngāpuhi/Ngāi Tahu/Ngāti Kahungunu
Omiha was born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau, with whakapapa links to Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa.
She is a proud alumni of kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa Māori and rūmaki reo. In mid 2021, she completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Māori Studies and Communications at 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 and consultancy projects.
Omiha is passionate about mātauranga Māori and reo revitalisation which she hopes to incorporate into her mahi with Te Amokura.
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 whanau.
Rotorua is “home” for Ra where she has whakapapa links to Te Arawa, Ngati Whatua and Ngāi Tahu.
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