Grandparents: Tirakaurere Ria Te Ota and Te Waimatao Whaitiri, Tutekawa Wyllie and Hariata Matenga
Occupation: Heritage Consultant
I belong to the Ria, Whaitiri and Halbert whanau of Rongowhakaata. My Mothers parents’ are Tirakaurere Ria Te Ota and te Waimatao Whaitiri and my Fathers parents’ are Tutekawa Wyllie and Hariata Matenga.
My connection to the whenua in Turanganui-A-Kiwa is through both Ruapani and Rongowhakaata. I am of the Ngati Maru, Ngati Kaipoho and Ngai Tawhiri hapu of Rongowhakaata.
I was raised in Manutuke, went to Manutuke Primary School, Gisborne Boys High School and later Victoria University in Wellington. There, I did a Bachelor of Arts degree and a post-graduate Diploma in Library and Information Studies.
I am a qualified Librarian and currently studying for a Master’s degree in the unique carving and painting style of Rongowhakaata. I have worked at the Alexander Turnbull Library as a Reference Librarian and Oral history Advisor; as the Oral Historian for Te Papa Tongarewa; as an Electorate Secretary for Member of Parliment; and as the Curator of Taonga Maori / Research Manager at the Tairawhiti Museum. I am currently working as a Heritage Consultant.
I am the Rongowhakaata Negotiator responsible for the inclusion of Te Hau Ki Turanga, as a critical redress item in the Rongowhakaata Settlement package. I am passionate about Rongowhakaata history, language and culture and keen on utilising this amongst other things to contribute to whanau, hapu and marae development. We need to be innovative and forward thinking in the development of our assets, culture and heritage if we are to survive as an iwi.
Rongowhakaata Grandparents: Ereti Pardoe
I have absorbed a lifetime of Ronogwhakaata affairs and acknowledge those who have come before us. The opportunity to introduce some fresh thinking on how we might realise some of our aspirations is a key part of what I would like to achieve.
I currently hold elected governance roles with several trusts and incorporations. I am a respectful and considerate member, a clear accurate communicator, and I am relentless in my advocacy for those whose interests I have been elected to represent.
I am confident I can make a positive contribution. I bring a background of Agriculture, Seafood food processing, operations & quality management. I see the employment of our people in the development, restoration & protection of our resources as essential and achievable.