Darrio Penetito-Hemara

Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāpuhi

Kaiwhakahaere Matua
(Chief Executive Officer)

Ko Maungatautari me Whakatere ngā maunga
Ko Waikato me Waimā ngā awa
Ko Tainui me Ngātokimatawhaorua ngā waka
Ko Ngāti te Oro me Te Māhurehure ngā hapū
Ko Raungaiti me Ōtātara Ngā marae
Ko Ngāti Hauā me Ngāpuhi nga iwi
Ko Darrio Penetito-Hemara ahau

Raised in Tāmaki Makaurau, Darrio is a product of the Kōhanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa Māori movement. He thrives in Māori environments and utilises his lived experiences and knowledge of te ao Māori to progress any kōrero. A sucker for any form of korikori (movement), you’re likely to find Darrio playing a volley on a squash court, hip swinging on the tag field, running in the ngāhere, shooting a few baskets or playing handstands with his 4 tamariki in the backyard. Recognising that play and moving is an essential part to survival as Māori, he likes to incorporate these into every aspect of his mahi. With 10+ years experience in the Māori education, sport, recreation and health sectors, Darrio brings an extensive list of pūkenga (skills) to the Toi Tangata Team.


Matire Seath

Ngāti Whātua

Poutiaki Pūtea, Pakihi me te Pūmanawa Tangata
(Business, Finance and HR Manager)

Ko Tarawera te maunga
Ko Haranui te awa
Ko Māhuhu te waka
Ko Ngāti Whātua ki Kaipara tonga te iwi
Ko Ōtakanini te hapū
Ko Ōtakanini te marae
Ko Matire tōku ingoa

Matire lives with her whanau in Parakai/Helensville, 30 minutes Northwest of Auckland. She has been part of the Toi Tangata whanau for the past 14 years, previously Te Hotu Manawa Maori.  Matire started off in the Nutrition and Physical Activity team and over the years progressed to where she is today. Her role leads the business operating procedures as well as finance management for the organisation whilst also providing support to the service delivery team and CEO. When she’s not head down in mahi at the computer, Matire loves spending time outdoors.  She is big on food gathering and sharing with her wider whanau.  Gathering can take her near or far, for which she’s happy to do if it provides kai for the table. She loves the experiences she gets to have along the way while also loving what she does when it comes to gathering kai.


Toni Pivac

Ngāti Whātua, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāpuhi

Kaiārahi Whakapā ā-Motu
(Communications Manager)

Ko Tokatoka te maunga
Ko Wairoa te awa
Ko Māhuhu ki te Rangi te waka
Ko Ōtūrei te marae
Ko Te Popoto te hapū
Ko Ngāti Whātua te iwi

Toni leads the implementation of the Communications and Engagement Strategy and its activities and is responsible for supporting the development, coordination, and implementation of media, communications, and the sustained mobilisation of resources and information to Māori health and community service sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Communication Studies from AUT University.


Ranginui Rikirangi-Thomas

Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Ranginui

(Training and Education Manager)

Ko Matawhāura, ko Mauao ngā maunga
Ko Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Whakaue ngā iwi
Ko Ngāti Hinerangi, ko Ngāi Tamarāwaho tēnei e mihi atu nei
Ko Ranginui tōku ingoa

Te reo Māori and the worldview it provides has been Ranginui’s companion in all walks of life. He aspires to give back to the puna that has made invaluable contributions to who he is today, and feels fortunate to be able to do this with the Toi Tangata whānau. Ranginui has experience in teaching te reo Māori in the secondary and tertiary sectors, as well as Health and Physical Education within kura. You will often find Ranginui in the ocean diving for kaimoana or in the bush doing some sort of mahinga kai. He enjoys the challenge but also the opportunity to practice manaakitanga through sharing kai with his people and the connection you have to have with the taiao to be able to do it well. If not there, you will find him at a gym or spending time with his whānau.


Haylee Koroi

Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Kahu, Te Popoto

(Training and Nutrition Lead)

Ko Whakarongorua te maunga
Ko Awanui te awa
Ko Ngātokimatawhaorua te waka
Ko Mokonuiarangi te marae
Ko Te Ngahengahe te hapū
Ko Te Popoto, ko Ngāpuhi, ko Te Rarawa, ko Ngati Kahu ngā iwi

Haylee hails from the valley of Utakura in the Hokianga, and the small pā of Pukepoto located just outside of Kaitaia. Her grandparents moved their nine tamariki to Beach Haven, North Auckland, in the mid 90’s, where she grew up as a tamaiti and resided until very recently.

Ko ia te kaiarahi mō ngā kaupapa ‘Kai Māori Kai Ora’!
She is the lead for our kaupapa pertaining to ‘Kai Māori Kai Ora.


Haylee has been working in Māori Public Health now for three years and started at Toi Tangata when she project managed the kaupapa ‘He Kai Kei Aku Ringa’. All of the work Haylee does is guided by a philosophy of centring whakapapa. With this in mind, she is learning that kai ora is not just about the individual. Kai ora is about enhancing the mana of all of our relations, including the atua and tūākana that give form to the ecosystems in which our food grows, the taiao which inform the mana of the kai we consume.


Chelsea Laurell Cunningham-McLean

Ngāti Kahungungu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa,
Kai Tahu, Ngā Rauru

(Design, Innovation and Research Lead)

He uri tēnei nō Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Kai Tahu, Ngā Rauru hoki

Ko Chelsea Cunningham tēnei

Raised in Heretaunga, Chelsea has always been passionate about sport and physical activity. While completing her studies in Physical Education and Health at Otago University, she found her love for Māori physical activity and health. Her postgraduate studies focused on whānau engagement with whakapapa, ancestral land and seascapes. Her true passion lies in whānau well-being, reconnecting and understanding the influence of whakapapa and identity to well-being. Outside of mahi you’ll find Chelsea either up a maunga, on a footy field, basketball court or with her whānau. As a former Growing the Puna intern, Chelsea is excited to contribute where she can alongside the Toi Tangata whānau who have supported her through her research journey.

Maire senior headshot

Maire Sands

No Kūki Āirani ahau

Kaiwhakarite Mātaiao ki Tāmaki
(Mātaiao ki Tāmaki Programme Coordinator & Logistics)

No Kūki Āirani ahau
Ko Rarotonga te moutere
Ko Raemaru te maunga
Ko Vaitoko te awa
Ko Avaiki te moana
Ko Puaikura te waka
Ko Arorangi te oire
Ko Avarua  te Marae i vai o kura
Ko Maire Sands ahau

Born in Arorangi, Rarotonga, Maire was raised in Tāmaki Makarau in the small town of Huapai. She has a background in Teaching in Early Childhood Education where she worked for 13 years. When not working alongside tamariki, Maire goes home to a busy whanau of five children ages 17, 16, 11, 9, and 6 who keep her on her toes! Sports is her happy place and you will often find her playing, coaching, managing, or bustling around sports clubs volunteering.

For Maire, it is the physical aspect that drives her. She aims to role model this in her day-to-day lifestyle.


Chrissy Hiraani Hilton

Ngāti Kahungungu, Ngāti Ranginui, Te Arawa

Kaiarahi Mātaiao ki Tāmaki
(Mātaiao ki Tāmaki Lead Facilitator)

E tū nei ngā tiketike o Kahuranaki, o Mauao, o Ngongotahā. He pinepine tēnei o te waka Taki Timu, mai ngā au o Poukawa ki ngā wai tai o Tauranga Moana, e ko koia e ara e!

Born in Hastings and raised alongside her whānau in Maraenui, Chrissy now lives in Tāmaki Makaurau where she dedicates much of her time to Mau Rākau – traditional Māori weaponry. Throughout her time in high school, tertiary studies, and her professional career, she found purpose in embedding the learnings and principles of Mau Rākau to tell and create innovative opportunities of system change for the Māori community.

In October 2022 Chrissy reached the highest level in Te Whare Tū Taua o Aotearoa and is now one of three wāhine who have reached Pou Waru. She has joined the Toi Tangata team as Lead Facilitator for Mātaiao ki Tāmaki which is embedded in the Atua Matua Model of the observation and study of taiao and the building of taiao literacy.


Aimee Topia

Te Rarawa me Ngati Porou

Kaitautoko Mātaiao ki Tāmaki
(Mātaiao ki Tāmaki Supporting Facilitator)

Ko Panguru me Pātangata ngā maunga
Ko Ngātokimatawhaorua me Horouta ngā waka
Ko Whakarapa me Wharekahika ngā awa
Ko Hokianga Whakapaukarakia te moana
Ko Te Puna o te Ao Mārama me Tūwhakairiora ngā marae
Ko Te Waiariki me Whānau a te Aotaki ngā hapū
Ko Te Rarawa me Ngāti Porou ngā Iwi
Ko Aimee Tōpia ahau.

He uri tēnei nō te Whare Tapu o Ngāpuhi, heke iho ki te rāwhiti o te tai, Te Tairāwhiti nō Ngāti Porou anō hoki.

Aimee was born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau where she was fortunate to grow up within te Ao Māori, attending Kōhanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa and Wharekura. Growing up she was always involved in sports such as rugby league, touch, softball, Kī O Rahi and netball. As a young athlete, Aimee was fortunate to have been given opportunities to be part of high-performance programmes within netball and she hopes to see more Māori pursue their career within sports. When she’s not working or playing sports Aimee enjoys being outdoors and spending time with whānau.


Taylah-Jade McIntyre

Ngāti Haua, Ngāti Raukawa

Kaitautoko Pūkōrero Mātaiao ki Tāmaki
(Mātaiao ki Tāmaki Communications, Storytelling & Support)

Kei aku iti, kei aku rahi, kei aku whakatamarahi ki te rangi, kei aku whakatewhatewha ki te whenua, tēnā koutou katoa.

Tēnei he iti nō Raukawa, nō Ngāti Hauā ki Waikato e whakaroha atu nei i ōku parirau. Kua taiohi tonu nei au e whai ana i te ara nui, i te ara roa i te ara o te reo Māori me ōna tikanga. E manawanui ana au kia awhinatia i te hunga hiahia kia eke ki ona taumata, ki ona taumata. I waimarie rā au ki te noho ki raro i te korowai o Te Aho Matua, ki Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi marae. Ka tū tauira mai, kia tū tauira atu hei takoha ki te ao.

Ko Taylah-Jade McIntyre ahau.

Born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau, Taylah-Jade supports Toi Tangata as Kaitautoko Pūkōrero-Communications, Story-telling, and Support for Mātaiao ki Tāmaki. Her time at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi taught her both the power of community and the importance of prioritising Māori culture and language. This has revealed a pathway to contribute to the holistic growth and development of tamariki Māori and communities.

Crystal Pekepo-Ratu

Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Vara

(Quality Service Management)


Crystal Pekepo is a dedicated individual with a passion for social design and innovation. As a mother of six children and a kuia to two, Crystal understands the importance of community and whānau lead kaupapa. With her extensive experience in design innovation research and facilitation, Crystal brings a unique perspective to her work. She is deeply committed to supporting projects that are driven by kaupapa Māori and have a strong focus on community. Currently, Crystal is lending her expertise to Toi Tangata, where she provides project support to kaimahi.


Fiona Wilson

Ngāti Tukorehe, Muaūpoko, Ngai Tahu, Ngāti Ana kie Ra Toa, Rangitane ki Wairau

(Business and Innovation Specialist, and Management Accountant)

Fiona currently resides in Lower Hutt and performs various roles as a Kaimahi of Toi Tangata. She has over 35 years of experience working in Accounting, Audit, Governance and Operational Practices within Māori Business across Aotearoa. As the Business and Innovation Specialist, Fiona supports the CEO and Management to design and implement innovative solutions for Toi Tangata operational and business success, as well as performing the role of Management Accountant to enhance the quality of Toi Tangata strategic and business performance. Fiona is passionate about ensuring Toi Tangata role models Māori Business excellence.

Fiona is also an advisory member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Sub Committee of the Board.


Renei Ngawati

Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Porou


Ko Tuhipā ko Titirangi ngā maunga
Ko Taumārere, Ko Uawa ngā awa
Ko Ngatokimatawhaorua, Ko Horouta ngā waka
Ko Ngāti Porou, Ko Ngāti Hine ngā iwi
Ko Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ko Ngāti Te Ara/Ngāti Kōpaki ngā hapū
Ko Hinemaurea, Ko Te Rito ngā Marae
Ko Renei Ngawati ahau

Renei assists with the development and extension of our current programmes. She implements the Toi Tangata strategy, taking the ideas and action and translating into tangible work activities and outcomes. Renei also assists with project proposals and funding applications as well as quality assurance activities, including reporting and measurement.


Hinerangi Rhind

Kaimahi Kai Māori, Kai Ora

Ko Ngongotahā, ko Panekire, ko Kohukohunui ngā maunga
Ko Ngāti Whakaue, ko Ngāti Ruapani, ko Ngāti Paoa ngā iwi
Ko Ngāti Pūkākī, ko Ngāti Hinekura, ko Te Uri Karaka ngā hapū

Hinerangi grew up in Rotorua and currently lives in Tauranga Moana. Hinerangi has a background in Communications, Advocacy, and Adult Teaching. She has previously worked in Māori Public Health and Māori Zero Waste organisations. She is passionate about mātauranga Māori and its restoration, as well as realigning with our taiao and our ancestral wisdoms to nurture the mauri of whānau and our natural world.  She seeks to embed these tikanga in the work she does within the Kai Ora, Kai Māori space.


Pianika Ormsby

Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Kahungungu Ki Wairarapa,
Tainui, Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi

Kaiārahi He Pī Ka Rere
(He Pī Ka Rere Facilitator)

Pianika is a Te Wharekura o Mauao and Pirirākau Kōhanga Reo graduate with a Certificate in Health Science from Otago University. She coordinates the kaupapa Māori movement programme, He Pī Ka Rere, out of Tauranga and Whakatane. Hers is a partnership role between the Bay of Plenty DHB’s Toi Te Ora service and Toi Tangata.