Walter Wells

Iwi Ngāti Kuri, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngātiwai Position Regional Director What do you do at Te Puni Kōkiri? As the Regional Director, I am responsible for managing the regional presence of Te Puni Kōkiri. This includes leading a regional work programme that aligns with Te Puni Kōkiri’s priorities and supports opportunities for the regions. I’m privileged to have a team of highly experienced regional staff whose knowledge of flax-roots Māori communities and relationships with key stakeholders is vital to maintaining the regional presence and connecting with Māori communities. How long have you worked at Te Puni Kōkiri? I’ve worked with Te Puni Kōkiri for five years, and first started working for the Department of Māori Affairs in 1990. How did you come to work for Te Puni Kōkiri? After 12 years with Māori Affairs I decided it was time for a change so took on the challenge of full-time tertiary study. On the completion of my study, I did some contract work. Then an opportunity came up with Te Puni Kōkiri and I started back in the organisation in 2005. I have to say that the skills I learned in my 12 years with Māori Affairs most definitely helped me through full-time study. Those who have gone down that road will appreciate how difficult it can be, and how much you rely on the support of whānau and friends to get you through. I guess there’s something about the organisation that keeps pulling you back ... What has been a memorable moment for you at Te Puni Kōkiri? For me the reward for working in Te Puni Kōkiri is the people you come across. You always meet some interesting and knowledgeable characters both within the organisation and in our communities. Personal interests You can’t go past fishing and diving in Te Taitokerau. I also enjoy supporting the Warriors even though they can be frustrating at times … got to keep the faith! Favourite kai Kaimoana and the occasional Sunday roast.