Day One | Wai

Che Wilson

Ngāti Rangi-Whanganui, Tūwharetoa, Mōkai Pātea, Ngāti Apa, Ngā Rauru

Che Wilson was raised as part of a large extended whānau at the foothills of Mount Ruapehu and has been involved in tribal activities and leadership from a young age. He was granted access from the age of 11 and entrusted with knowledge from his tribal Whare Wānanga.
Che is the Managing Director of Intugen Limited and President of the Māori Party. Through Intugen, he focuses principally in the tūpuna wisdom space as a guest speaker, consciousness coach, resource developer and a podcaster on a range of social media platforms as well strategy and facilitation. Over various spaces of time, Che was the Chair, CE and Chief Negotiator for his iwi Ngāti Rangi to settle historic grievances.
Che is a director on Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation (brand name AWHI), is the chair of Te Reo o Whanganui, and a trustee on Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o te Awa o Whanganui. He is also on the Māori Advisory for Southern Cross Health and a trustee of Te Kāhui Raraunga Trust.
Che was part of the first Māori delegation of Te Hono Movement in 2013 to Stanford University and again in 2014 and was Deputy CE of the Ministry for the Environment.

Dr Chanel Phillips

Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi

Ko te awa o ngā rangatira Taumārere
Te rere i Tiria
Te puna i Keteriki Keteriki
kete tana riki
E tū atu nei Ngāti Hine pukepuke rau
Tihei wā mauriora!

Chanel’s genealogical links to the Far North in Ngāti Hine and Ngāpuhi firmly ground her as a Māori academic with a passion and love for the water. Her PhD titled A Journey to Belonging: Explorations of Māori Perspectives of Water Safety analysed Māori oral narratives such as pūrākau, mōteatea, karakia and whakataukī to better understand water safety and drowning prevention from a Māori perspective with the hopes to help reduce the high drowning rate of Māori in Aotearoa. 

The Wai Puna model of Māori water safety and health was a key finding from her research and is grounded on strengthening our connection to wai through whakapapa (the source of water safety knowledge), mātauranga (the deepening of water safety knowledge) and tikanga (the application of water safety knowledge). Wai Puna now underpins the new national water safety sector strategy launched last year. Tangaroa Ara Rau, the development of a Māori water safety programme for whānau is her current research project that aims to empower whānau to deliver basic water skills and messages in their communities that are meaningful and relevant to them.

Rereata Makiha

Ngāti Whakaheke, Te Aupōuri, Te Arawa
Te Mahurehure Ngati Wahiao Tuhourangi Rangitane

Matua Rereata Makiha was born and raised in Hokianga, where he attended Northland College. He studied Social Sciences at Victoria University Wellington and Māori Business at the University of Auckland, where he was awarded the Dean’s Prize.

Rereata is a renowned Māori astrologer and a leading authority on the maramataka. He is currently curating pathways to practice ancient traditions within Te Ao Māori.

Rereata shares his extensive knowledge as a cultural adviser, having held roles at the Auckland Council as a kaiārahi tikanga Māori and Kaumātua at the University of Auckland Business School.

Rereata is a former broadcaster with more than four decades experience as a reporter, news editor, director and television presenter. He has held senior positions at TVNZ, including the Te Karere and Marae programmes, and Māori Television.

Dr Wayne Ngata

Ngāti Ira

Wayne is a descendant of the Ngāti Ira tribe of Mangatuna, Tairāwhiti, Aotearoa. He is a long time advocate and supporter of Māori language revitalization, Māori medium education, Māori art development, and traditional chant and performance. Actively engaged in providing advice on Māori education and Māori language development at national and ministerial levels. Keen interest and involvement with waka hourua renaissance and rebuilding environmental bodies of Māori knowledge.

Ngaio Tiuka

Ngai Tūhoe

Born and raised in Hastings, Ngaio attended Te Aute College and graduated from Victoria University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Environmental Studies and Geography, tailoring his studies towards his interest in natural resource management for Māori. He spent over six years working for Statistics New Zealand in a range of areas including  Māori, social, environmental and macro-economic statistics and one year at the Māori Land Court.

Ngaio currently works as Pouarataki mo te Taiao me ona Rawa (Director for Environment for Natural Resources) at Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated and has been there for over 10 years.  Here, he works as an advocate for Kahungunu taiao interests from the mountains to the sea.

Ngaio enjoys growing his own kai, diving, hunting, rugby league and most importantly spending time with his whanau.

Day Two | Kai

Tyne Marie Nelson

Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hine

Tyne has had what she refers to as a ‘piecemeal’ education – intentional learning but from lots of different sources. 

She learned how to manaaki and cook in the hospitality industry before going on to explore the whakapapa of kai. Here she learned about organics, biodynamic agriculture and other regenerative methods, as well as an understanding of conventional methods of growing food. 

After being called home to Aotearoa, Tyne began learning rongoā Māori under the guidance of Pa Rob McGowan, which has led to various conservation types of mahi at home in Te Matau a Māui. Her great interest is how we relate to the taiao and the effect this has on our hauora. 

Tyne is currently immersed in her biggest and most important project to date – raising her babies, Āio and Te Maire. She is also studying a BASc (Communication & Environment) and has a lead role in the establishment of the Te Mata Park rongoā garden in Hawkes Bay.

Rangimārie Mules & Jared Hiakita

Ngāi Tahu, Te Ati Awa &
Ngāi Tūhoe

Jared and Rangimārie both descend from traditions of growing and gathering kai. Jared, hailing from Ngāi Tūhoe, was raised in Whakatane and was one generation removed from his ūkaipo and never experienced the abundance that his pap kāinga once produced for his mother’s generation. 
Rangimārie, of Ngāi Tahu and Te Ati Awa descent, was raised in Hokianga, far away from her tūrangawaewae, but grew up connected to her kai as her whānau worked the land as farmers and gardeners.  
Now as adults they have both been drawn back to Hokianga and are creating a way of life that is centered upon the whenua, whānau, growing kai, and sharing this journey with the wider community. They have self-built their off-grid homestead and since formed ōNuku, an organisation that aims to empower Māori communities to reconnect with and rethink the way we grow kai. 
Rangi is actively engaged in social impact mahi while Jared has a background in arts and education, though is now mostly based on the land.

Te Kawa Robb

Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Pūkeko, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi

Te Kawa Robb is an educator, storyteller, researcher, photographer, gardener, diver, voyager, and a father and partner. Te Kawa focuses on providing opportunities for our young people and communities, particularly Māori, to explore and deepen their connections with taiao, reclaim language and intergenerational knowledge, and use those skills to build resilience, strengthen communities, and restore taiao in ways that uphold manaakitanga, rangatiratanga, and intergenerational responsibilities.

Sam Gibson

Sam Gibson is a conservationist, striking a balance between mātauranga Māori and Western practice.

Sam has led a number of significant projects, and developed new monitoring methodologies. These use traditional mahinga kai species such as Pikopiko and Kareao tip abundance, Tawa and Kohia fruit as well as the condition of introduced species such as trout and deer as indicators of ecosystem health and tools to monitor deer, possum and rat impact as well as find high-quality Whio habitat.
He is a founder of the Eastern Whio Link, which, alongside Matawai Marae, is successfully combining mātauranga Māori and Western ecological practice to return 25,000 hectares of public conservation lands to a state of abundance and biodiversity.

Heeni Hoterene

Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Raukawa ki te tonga, Ngai Tahu ki Kaikoura

Heeni is an expert at translating traditional knowledge into modern practice. She comes from a background in research, media, education and community development. She is currently in a role as artistic director at Te Hiku Media, and Kaupapa Māori Advisor and Screen Time.

  • Fluent in Te Reo Māori me ona tikanga
  • Designer of tikanga and community empowerment programmes #maramataka
  • Trainer of more than 4000 practitioners in maramataka planning – government, community & whanau sectors
  • International slow food representative & organic gardener #terramadre
  • Eco off grid rammed earth community housing designer and developer #whareuku

Day Three | Tākaro / Kori

Wiremu Sarich

Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa

Wiremu is a leading exponent in the resurgence of ngā taonga tākaro (traditional Maori games/pastimes) who lives by the proverbial philosophy “kia kawea tatou e te rehia,” (let us be swept away by the pursuit of fun. leisure and entertainment). 

He works with rangatahi to explore the “kura huna” – the hidden learnings and deeper meanings – these activities contain. Wiremu operates a whare karioi that he describes as “a whare rēhia on wheels” which allows him to share taonga tākaro with children across the country.

Kuini Moehau Reedy, MNZM

Ngāti Porou

Kuini Reedy was born in 1941 at Waipiro Bay and raised in Hiruharama, a small village settlement in the foothills of her ancestral maunga, Mt Hikurangi. Her education journey led her to Waikato University to study Te Reo Māori before relocating to Wellington to pursue her tohu in teaching, education and mātauranga Māori at Victoria University.

Kuini has taught and lectured at all levels of education from Te Kohanga Reo to Kura Kaupapa Māori, primary, secondary, and tertiary, and also in government departments.

She has been described by many as a prolific composer of creative artforms, a writer and performing arts specialist but ultimately a keeper of Māori folklore, who imparts traditional indigenous knowledge through language, culture and performance. A key component of the Te Kohanga Reo Movement since its inception, she continues to move kohanga whānau in te reo Māori and whānau development nationally.


Dr Hauiti Hakopa

Born and bred in Taupō, Tūrangi and Tokaanu, Dr Hauiti Hakopa’s upbringing was strongly grounded in the lore of Tūwharetoa.

He began surveying at 17 years of age before graduating with a Bachelor of Surveying. Since then he has added a few more degrees to his list of achievements and worked in five different departments at the University of Otago. 

His research works includes MBIE Endeavour which looked at climate change centred in Tūwharetoa marae/papakāinga case study areas, and Te whai wawewawe a Māui Tikitiki a Taranga, the revitalisation of Māori string knowledge and practice. 

Hauiti has also worked with groups such as Muriwhenua (Far North) to investigate pāua reseeding plants, and Te Rūnanga ā iwi o Ngāpuhi on the Matawii dam reservoir.

He has also worked with the Ministry of Environment on their strategic governance board for environmental reporting and DOC on the PF2050 programme.

Hauiti specialises in research with kaupapa Māori ethos, in particular, waahi tapu, waahi tipuna, and is passionate about the work he does with Whai, which brings him to this forum.

Crystal Pekepo-Ratu

Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Vara

Ko Kahuranaki, Ko Rangimotia ngā Maunga

Ko Takitimu, Ko Te Rangimātoru ngā Waka

Ko Ngāti Kahungunu, Ko Ngāti Vara ngā Iwi

Ko Crystal Pekepo tenei

Over the last six years Crystal has worked with a diverse network of innovative and creative peeps, exploring social design, inbedded in mātauranga Māori approaches. 

Crystal is a mama of six, attended Te Aute College and furthered her career aspirations by graduating at Te Wananga o Raukawa. A past intern with Toi Tangata in 2015, Crystal followed on with Toi Tangata in Community Research and Co Design. With a two year break as an independent contractor, Crystal recently returned to Toi Tangata to take on the role of innovation Design and Research inclusive of leading the Growing the Puna Internship and further seeks to explore more creative approaches on multiple projects in her role.

Benjamin Tawhara (Pene)

Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Kahu

Tama Tū

I tupu mai au i ngā raorao o Te Waiwhao, i ngā pāpāringa o Hokianga moana. Ko Maungataniwha te maunga e tū tangatanga mai nā. I tupu au i te kāinga, he kura kāinga, he hua nō Te Kōhanga Reo o te takiwā. Ko te reo me ngā tikanga te tūāpapa o taku whare.

He ngākau nui ki te taiao, ki te ruku, ki te hī ngohi, ki te whāngai hoki i te whānau me te hāpori.

He kaiako reo Māori ahau ki Te Rangi Āniwaniwa, e whitawhita nei i te ahi kei tēnā, kei tēnā o ngā tauira ki te Kura nei, kia tū hei raukura mō te whānau, ka mutu mō tō tātou reo. Kua tū au hei kaiako mō te 6 tau.

Tokotoru mātou ngā kaiurungi o te waka o Tamatū, ko Joel Bristow, ko Billy Harrison. Ko Tamatū he kaupapa hei tautoko i ngā tāne e raru ana, e taka raini ki te hē. Heoi ehara nahenahe mō tēnei momo tāne, he whare whakaruruhau mō ngā tāne katoa, ahakoa nō hea, ahakoa ko wai.

He taituara noki mō Hinetū, e pai ai te tū o te tāne i te taha o tōna hoa rangatira. E tiaki i a ia me tōna pā kōrari. Ki te tika te tū o te pāpā me te māmā, ka tika te tū o ngā tamariki, me te whānau whānui.

Ko te whakapakari tīnana, ko te hauoratanga, ko te tū hei tauā hauora, hei tauā waiora, hei tauā whaiora mō tēnā, me tēnā kei te tira nei, ka mutu hei kaupare i ngā aupēhi e mataaro nei ki mua i te tāne i ēnei rā, i ngā horopaki huhua, i ngā nohoanga o tēnā, o tēnā.

Tama tū, tama ora! Tama noho, tama mate!

Mauri tū, mauri ora. 

Te Iri Rangi Tawhara

Ngāti Kuri, Ngāi Takoto, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Toro

Hine Tū

I tupu ake au ki raro i ngā pae maunga o Hikutira, Maunga Taniwha me Te Pū o te Wheke.

Ko aku kāwai rangatira, kāwai whakapapa nō Muriwhenua.

He wāhine ngākaunui ki tōna whānau, hapu, iwi me te ao kori.

He Tumuaki ahau ki Te Rangi Āniwaniwa. Engari i timata hau hei Kaiako Hākinakina mō te Wharekura i te tau 2013. E ngākaunui ana tēnei ki ngā mahi whakapakari.

Ko ahau, rātou ko Gina Matiu, ko Tiana Matiu ngā kaiārahi o runga te Kōmiti Whakahaere mō tō tātou kaupapa e kiia nei, ko Hine Tū.

He rōpū tautoko tēnei mō ngā wāhine hei pakari i ngā pou o te Whare Tapa Whā.

E hēre ngātahi ana me Tamatū te mataamua o tō tātou kaupapa.

Ka aro tātou ki ngā pou o te taha wairua, taha hinengaro, taha tinana, taha whānau me te tuapapa o te whare te taha whenua / taiao. He kaupapa reo rua tēnei.

Nau mai ki tō tātou kaupapa.

Haria mai ngā kākahu kori, he pounamu wai mō te whakapakari tinana.


Hiraani Hutana

Ngāti Kahungunu

Hiraani Hutana is a māmā of six tamariki. She is also a teacher with 17 years experience working in the early childhood sector. 

Hiraani is passionate about ‘play’, pedagogies of play and play spaces for our tamariki nohinohi. Her aspirations include allowing tamariki the time and space to innately develop their own learning, identity, and mana. 

She believes a holistic approach from understanding teachers and guardians is the key to tamariki reaching their full authentic potential with confidence.

Hiraani has a strong belief that Māori ways of knowing, being, and doing  elevate learning for all tamariki, especially for our tamariki Māori and whānau.

Kawiti Waetford

Ngātiwai, Ngāti Hine and Ngāpuhi

Kawiti descends from Ngātiwai, Ngāti Hine, and Ngāpuhi tribes of Te Taitokerau and is a raukura of Kura Kaupapa Māori. 

As an opera singer, performer, public speaker, facilitator and educator on Taiao, Reo and Mātauranga Māori, he weaves both energy and people through the use of his voice.

With a Masters in Advanced Vocal Studies from the Wales International Academy of Voice, Kawiti trained and performed in the UK and Europe, mentored by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. 

Now home, he is Kaiurungi Tuakana for Te Aho Tū Roa (Toimata Foundation), practising sustainable living on whenua whānau including Tiny Home on Wheels living, Syntropic Agrofood Forestry, and Permaculture coupled with tikanga Mātauranga Māori.

Raised on the beautiful Tutukaka Coast of Northland New Zealand, Kawiti is now a multi-talented opera singer, performer, public speaker and Reo Māori expert.