Ngahiwi Tomoana, Leith Comer,
Mark Solomon, June McCabe, Rob McLeod, Hon Dr Pita R. Sharples, Hon John Tamihere, and Daphne Luke. Hon Georgina te Heuheu, Associate Minister of Māori Affairs, is also a member of the Taskforce.
(Ngati Kahungunu, Ngai Te Kikiri o te Rangi and Ngati Pahauwera)
Hon Dr Pita R. Sharples, of Ngati Kahungunu, Ngai Te Kikiri o te Rangi and Ngati Pahauwera, was born in Waipawa in 1941 and grew up on farms around Takapau in Hawkes Bay.
He went to Secondary School at Te Aute Māori Boys College, where he developed his skills in kapa haka, and a passion for Māori language and culture.
He studied at Auckland University and trained as a teacher. In 1976 he was awarded a PhD from Auckland University in anthropology and linguistics.
For eight years he headed the Office of the Race Relations Conciliator, then became Director of Culture at the Department of Māori Affairs. He has also been a Professor of Education at Auckland University.
Living in West Auckland, he helped establish Hoani Waititi Marae in the late 1970s, and has been actively involved there ever since. He has belonged to numerous Māori, community and education organisations, and been a consultant to many government agencies and professional boards.
In 2004 he became co-leader of the Māori Party, and was elected as Member of Parliament for Tamaki Makaurau in 2005. He is currently Minister of Māori Affairs and Associate Minister of Education and Corrections.
(Ngati Tuwharetoa, Te Arawa, Ngati Awa, and Tuhoe)
Hon Georgina te Heuheu’s (Ngati Tuwharetoa, Te Arawa, Ngati Awa, and Tuhoe) current ministerial portfolios are Minister for Courts, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control and Associate Minister of Māori Affairs.
In 1993 she was honoured with The Queen's Service Order (QSO) for services to the public.
Mrs te Heuheu was the first Māori woman to gain a law degree from the University of Victoria and be admitted to the High Court as Barrister and Solicitor. She went on to practise law in Wellington and Rotorua before entering parliament.
Her career in politics saw her become the first Māori woman to gain election as an MP for the National Party; the first Māori woman to chair the Māori Affairs Select Committee, and only the second Māori woman to be appointed to a New Zealand Cabinet.
Her ministerial portfolios from 1998 to 1999 were Minister for Courts, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Associate Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and Associate Minister of Health.
Leith Comer has led Te Puni Kōkiri since 2001. Prior to this appointment, he was the Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development.
Leith has over 10 years of experience as a senior public servant, broad and comprehensive knowledge of the machinery of government as well as wide leadership experience in the military and in the private and community sectors.
He has brought extensive leadership experience in local, national, and international environments to Te Puni Kōkiri.
Prior to his state sector appointments, Leith participated in numerous Māori economic and social initiatives. Leith’s Directorships included Chairperson for Lakeland Health Ltd, Te Ama Ltd Forestry Consortium, and Restaurant Brands Ltd.
Leith’s various community and voluntary governance positions include being a founding member of the Te Arawa Standing Committee on the Rotorua District Council and Chairperson of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rangitihi and Ruawāhia 2B Trust.
Leith is a graduate from the US Army General Staff College where he received the prestigious Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for academic excellence as Top Foreign Student. His military career saw him retire as the Commanding Officer of the Second First Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/1 RNZIR).
Leith’s iwi affiliations are Ngāti Rangitihi, Te Arawa, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngāi Tahu, and Ngāti Pahauwera.
(Ngati Kahungunu, Rongomaiwāhine)
As the principal for Te Arahanga ō Ngā Iwi, Daphne has developed extensive networks within the training and service provision industries. Daphne has been self-employed for the past nine years as a business coach and consultant. Her employment background is in management and administration in a range of key industries within small business, corporate, central government and local authorities.
Daphne has developed a number of key community initiatives including the founding of Te Rōpū Pakihi the Kapiti Horowhenua Māori Business Network, Mana Wahine Kapiti, an annual celebration of local Māori women, and the biennial Regional Māori Business Awards.
Daphne is currently an Executive Member for Te Rōpū Pakihi Inc; a member of the Horowhenua District Council and Kapiti Coast District Council’s Joint Economic Development Forum; Ministry of Economic Development’s Small Business Advisory Group; an advisor to the NZTE Enterprising Skills & Culture Fund; a board member for Business Kapiti Horowhenua and a member of the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Entrepreneurial Studies Advisory Group.
In 2008, Daphne initiated the Kapiti Horowhenua Regional Māori Economic Development Strategy that brings together the collective aspirations of four iwi and two territorial authorities and others working with six focus groups to implement the five Key Priorities over the next five years.
In recent years Daphne has been involved with Te Wānanga o Raukawa in developing a Post Graduate Course in Māori Entrepreneurship which she also helps to deliver as a guest lecturer.
(Ngapuhi, Ta Rarawa, Te Aupouri, Ngāti Whatua and Ngāti Kahu)
June McCabe is the founding Chair of Excelerator, the New Zealand Leadership Institute at Auckland University.
She is currently a Director of Television New Zealand Limited (TVNZ), the Crown Health Financing Agency and Mahi Ora Limited. She is a Council member of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and the Peace Foundation.
June was previously director of the Accident Compensation Corporation, Housing New Zealand and the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund.
As an executive, June was formerly Director of Corporate Affairs, Westpac Banking Corporation and Chief Executive Officer of Mortgage Corporation Limited.
Rob McLeod is presently Managing Partner with Ernst and Young New Zealand as well as Chair of the NZ Business Roundtable.
He is also a member of the Capital Markets Task Force, the Tax Working Group, the National Infrastructure Advisory Board and the Defence Review.
He is also the lead negotiator for Te Haeata (Ngāti Porou Treaty Negotiations Sub-committee).
Rob was the Chair of the Government Tax Review in 2001 and is a former Chair and Director of major New Zealand and Māori enterprises.
(Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngati Pukenga, Ngāti Ranginui, Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Rarua)
Bentham Ohia is the Pouhere (CEO) of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, the position he has held for the past five years.
He is also the Chair of Te Tauihu o ngā Wānanga (national body of wānanga).
He trained as a teacher and was senior manager at TWoA for 14 years.
He has been Chair, President or Board member of various international indigenous education projects.
Kaiwhakahaere (Chair) Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.
Mark Solomon is of Ngai Tahu and Ngāti Kuri descent, from Kaikoura on the east coast of Te Waipounamu. He is the elected Kaiwhakahaere (chair) of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, a position he has held since 1998.
Mark has represented his Kaikoura Rūnanga since 1988 and has contributed to his community in many capacities, ranging from roles as a trustee of Takahanga Marae, the local school board and on the board of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, a position he held from 2001 to 2007.
Mark currently holds directorships with Te Hapai Mauri Ltd, Te Pataka o Tangaroa and Te Pataka o Rauru. He is also a Summit Member of the Hillary Institute and a member of Te Kawai Taumata.
(Ngāti Porou ki Harataunga)
John Tamihere is a consultant and broadcaster as well as CEO of Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust and is currently the Chair of Waiora Primary Health Organisation.
He was formerly a Member of Parliament for Tamaki Makaurau, Minister for Small Business, Minister of Youth Affairs, Minister of Statistics, Minister for Land Information, Associate Minister of Māori Affairs and Commerce.
John also served as Chairman of Māori Rugby League and Aotearoa Māori Sports Federation.
He holds an arts and a law degree from Auckland University.
Ngahiwi Tomoana has been Chairman of Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Inc. since 1996, serving in that position for four successive terms.
He has been involved in hapū and iwi development most of his life, taking a position on the Waipatu Māori Committee while still in High School. Ngahiwi has chaired Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga since the 1980s, relinquishing this position when he became the Chair of the iwi.
Ngahiwi was appointed as a Director to Te Ohu Kaimoana Trust in February 2007 by a Board comprising of 10 iwi representatives. He holds the position of Chairman and also chairs the Wai Māori Trust, a division of Te Ohu Kaimoana, on freshwater issues. Ngahiwi has represented Ngati Kahungunu’s fisheries interests from his positions within the iwi for the past 20 years.
He is a Director of Hawke’s Bay Seafoods Ltd and Treaty Tribes Coalition and was a director of Napier Mussels Ltd where he played a key role in securing the resource consent and permits for that development.
Most recently he has been appointed Deputy Commissioner for the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and is also Chair for the Primary Sector Group of the Ministerial Economic Taskforce.
Ngahiwi now represents indigenous people’s views at the International Whaling Commission and is passionate about the right of Māori and other indigenous people to their estates and fisheries.
Last modified: 30/04/2010
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