Disclaimer: The Returning Officer and Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust accepts no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the statements as supplied by the candidates.


Ko Puketapu te maunga
Ko Te Arai te awa
Ko Horouta me Takitimu nga waka
Ko Ngati Maru te hapu
Its time to bring my executive skills to Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust. I’m fortunate to be working for Te Runanga O Turanganui a Kiwa, apart of the executive team navigating support for Whanau Ora, Housing Urban Development, Manaaki Tairawhiti, Emergency Housing and E Tu Whanau. These pou are linked and they have supported our Marae, Hapu and Iwi over the last 6 years.
I thrive on purpose, I have the ability to create productive relationships with stakeholders who will be beneficial. I understand that all beneficiaries are important and they require a leader who can share and understand their views. I have the ability to synthesize information and ask questions where necessary.
I see Governance as a place where decisions can be made for our people, to move forward and grow. To take part in the strategic plan, which involves navigating with a Board of Trustees to support the implementation. I have been fortunate to be a part of several strategic planning portfolios for an Iwi Trust, local Port Board and local School Board. Its important to be open and transparent, allowing others thought processes and understanding that not everyone is the same. This position of governance with Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust, aligns with my values, supporting Marae, Hapu and Iwi.
Final words handed down by my mother “you look after the people, and the people will look you”
Na Athena Emmerson


Tena koutou te whanau whanui o Rongowhakaata
Ko Lena raua ko Fred Farmer, ko Rongowhakaata raua ko Patehepa Halbert, oku tupuna
Ko Guy raua ko Te Raumiria Farmer oku koroua – kuia
Ko Delena Marsh toku mama
Ko Michelle Hippolite ahau.
While my Nanny Lena is well known in Manutuke, I was bought up in the Waikato and live with my husband’s people of Ngati Toa.
My whakapapa means I am obligated to make a contribution. I follow the developments of Rongowhakaata and wish to deepen my Rongowhakaatatanga, as Papa Lewis would constantly remind me. My whanau look after our papakainga in Wainui, which means I return home regularly. I am a former Trustee of Mangatu Incorporation.
Our iwi is growing across many areas. My senior public service leadership experience has honed my governance insights relating to kaupapa, people, policy, programme design and implementation, and reading and interpreting financial, asset and risk profiles. I am the Chair of Te Kura Maori o Porirua and Chair the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Risk and Assurance Committee. As the former Toihautu (Chief Executive) of Te Puni Kokiri I governed whanau ora, approaches to Maori land, housing for whānau and te reo Maori.
As Kaihautu at Te Papa Tongarewa I was a champion for Rongowhakaata being an iwi in residence and continued discussions about Te Hau ki Turanga. I currently work four days at Te Papa Atawhai advising on Treaty matters and growing mātauranga taiao.
Nga manaakitanga ki a tatou. Pai Marire.


My reason in standing for RIT (Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust) is to improve the communication and transparency around the initiatives and projects for our people. I believe that when everyone is privy to the knowledge and can make informed decisions then engagement is a natural progression for growth in any iwi.
My first involvement with Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust was in 2016, it was an eye opener around how our whanau engage with each other. This prior knowledge has prepared me to know exactly where my skills will be best placed to serve our people.
For the past 15 years I have been involved in the community and youth sector in Rotorua as a frontline worker and over time I have been appointed to governance boards for different projects and initiatives around whanau and young people. In the last 3 years, I have been appointed as chairman for FORDLANDS COMMUNITY CENTRE, a community known as the most deprived area with a high level of gang families. My second appointment as President for ROTORUA MUSICAL THEATRE and thirdly my appointment to the national board of MUSICAL THEATRE NEW ZEALAND.
In these roles, I have had to make some bold moves which has not made me popular but has removed barriers of engagement for families in need, cleared debt amounting to $45000 in one year and increased contracts and therefore more job opportunities, all in a short amount of time. I have found that when you have the right board, staff are passionate about others and their work ethic is remarkable, many milestones can be achieved. Cohesion is key!


Kia ora tātau ngā whānau o Rongowhakaata
The last 40 years has witnessed a renaissance of Iwi and our desire for tino rangatiratanga.
The establishment of Te Kōhanga Reo and the 1987 Māori Language Act saw a reinvigoration of our language. The 1990s saw the disestablishment of the Ministry of Māori affairs and the establishment of our Iwi Rūnanga that placed the management of Iwi assets back with us, the rightful owners. During the later years of the 1990s through to today many of our people have worked tirelessly on establishing our grievances with the Crown as part of Treaty of Waitangi settlements.
We have come a long way but our journey is far from finished.
My desire is to be part of the next period of Iwi growth, a time in which our people are autonomous, entrepreneurial and attaining the simple goal of home ownership.
I can contribute to the growth and self-realisation of Iwi with my 20+ years of public/private business and financial experience. I am a Chartered Accountant and worked at Inland Revenue as an auditor for 10 years, I now work as a Commercial Relationship Manager within New Zealand’s largest bank.
Born and breed in Manutuke, I spent my formative working years at Te Rūnanaga o Tūranganui ā Kiwa and its subsidiaries Tūranga Ararau and Community Injury Prevention.
I am committed to working towards the cultural, social and economic advancement of us as Rongowhakaata.
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi Engari, he toa takitini


Tena Koutou Katoa,
Ko Papatu te Maunga
Ko Te Arai te Awa
Ko Horouta te Waka
Ko Rongowhakaata me Ngai Tamanuhiri nga Iwi
Ko Adrian Mihaka ahau,
It is a great privilege to offer my candidacy as an Iwi Trustee. I was born and raised in Manutuke by my Grandparents Rii Te Kanewhai & Poihipi Mihaka. My love for Manutuke was galvanised in the kauta of Maori Battalion, and our many Marae, helping my uncles at the hangi pit and learning to swim jumping off the swing bridge with my cousins.
My professional background has encompassed many years in the Airline Industry as a pilot for Qantas Airways and the Air New Zealand Group. I have honed a plethora of skills including operational safety, governance and instructional experience within a myriad of complex governmental and industry regulations. I hold a Diploma in Aviation Science and Australian/NZ Air Transport Pilot accreditation.
I would love nothing more than to contribute to the continued success of Manutuke and Rongowhakaata, and be able to be a servant to my Iwi. Growth and development for our people is something that I am very passionate about. I hope this will allow me to give back to the people of Manutuke and my whanau who have shaped me, imparted in me their knowledge, wisdom and time. I also am cognisant of the benefits of new perspective, and with this balance, will strive for the betterment of Rongowhakaata.
Mauri Whenua, Mauri Tangata, Mauri Korero.
Kia Ora Tatou.


Ko Puketapu te maunga
Ko Te Arai te awa
Ko Rongowhakaata te iwi
I have been a trustee of Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust for the past three years. During that term, we, (RIT) started very important work on behalf of our Rongowhakaata whanau.
It is important to continue that work with continuity and stability.
It is for these reasons that I am seeking a further term as a RIT trustee.
I am a motivated self-starter with a proven track record as a Project Manager with a specific interest in cultural projects and Iwi development. I have managed highly complex, multi million dollar projects over the past 30 plus years and have continually and consistently completed projects within agreed timeframes and budgets.
I have successfully started businesses that I owned, operated, developed and sold, giving me relevant business acument for the important role of a RIT Trustee.
I hold a Bachelor of Health Studies Degree (BHS) and have been recognized as an international artist. I am a Winston Churchill Fellowship Award recipient and have received various art awards, commissions and grants as a carver/sculptor and canoe builder.
I am of Rongowhakaata, Ngati Maru, Ngati Ruapani, Ngati Porou, Kahungunu and English descent. Son of Rahera Rachael Stewart and Frederick Clamp, Grandson of Nepia Te Aturangi Stewart (Pahou Marae) and Merepapapa Tamihana (Whakato Marae).
I am very proud of my Rongowhakaata whakapapa and I enjoy being involved with marae working bees and activities.


Tēnā tātou, my name is Roxanne Smith and I whakapapa to Rongowhakaata through my dad, Robert (Rock) Smith who lived on Papatu Road, Manutuke before he passed. My mum Jean Smith and brother still live on Papatu Road in the whānau home where I grew up. My nan, Erina Pohatu (nee Smith) and Pappy, Houakiterangi (Rock) Pohatu lived on the corner of Papatu and Wharerata Road, affectionately known in our whānau as the ‘corner house’.
I am standing for an iwi seat for the Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust as I am proud of my Rongowhakaata whakapapa and I have always maintained an avid interest in tribal affairs. I will also bring a range of skills, knowledge and experience to the role including governance experience as Chair of Te Tira Whakaari Trust (a charitable entity), as a trustee on Ngā Uri o Te Kooti Rikirangi Settlement Trust and as a Director on Te Puna Limited which is the custodian company for whānau land at Matawhero, Tūranganui ā-Kiwa. As Director of my research and evaluation company I also have strong inquiry and analysis skills and a broad understanding of issues and opportunities across a range of sectors including education, housing, mental health, te reo Māori, te taiao and Whānau Ora. I believe my skills and experience combined with my commitment to advancing the strategic aspirations of our hapū and whānau align well with the expectations of the trustee role.
Nā reira e te iwi, ngā manaakitanga o te atua ki a tātou katoa.


I have been approached by whānau to stand for Trustee on Rongowhakaata and asked why? I was told because I question things on a grassroots level. A level at which our people can grasp and understand. Sure, I don’t have a degree next to my name but what I have is determination and the commitment to find a proper answer and solution to each question.
I am from the Te Kani whānau of Rongowhakaata and together with my uri, are developing our little papakāinga in Manutuke. I am a Trustee on Manutuke Marae and Te Poho o Rawiri Marae, look after Toko Toru Tapu Church in Manutuke and am a proud nanny of many mokopuna, some of whom attend Manutuke School.
I question why is one of the biggest iwi in Tūranga, always the last to get and action on things that are happening around us. Are we missing the bus again? As a parent concerned for her children and moko, housing is a priority- top of the list! No excuses. The housing hui we had at Whakato Marae recently told us that.
Our communication channels out to our people continue to be rubbish. This is another reason why I place myself forward as a Trustee- to put these things right.
I’m not putting myself forward to put feathers in my cap or to see how many hats I can get. My soul purpose is to put our iwi and the people within it first- especially our future, our mokopuna.