The Executive Team of Te Puni Kōkiri is Chief Executive Michelle Hippolite and four Deputy Chief Executives
Michelle Hippolite, Waikato, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki is the Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri.
Michelle is the first Māori female Chief Executive in the history of the Ministry.
In the last five years as head of the Ministry she has led the process to transform Te Puni Kōkiri to a new way of working and operating to achieve long term outcomes for whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori communities.
Having held several senior roles in the Public Service and wider State sector as well as within her community. A career highlight for Michelle was providing leadership in government on the establishment of the Māori Television Service, and for strategies around te reo Māori revitalisation.
Prior to joining Te Puni Kōkiri she was Kaihautū at Te Papa Tongarewa. During her time there she enhanced the bi-cultural reputation of the national museum, developing a number of international relationships culminating in exhibitions being presented in Europe and North America and the repatriation of kōiwi tangata and toi moko from all around the world.
Michelle is currently the Chair of Te Kura Māori o Porirua and serves as a Public Sector Trustee on the Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Trust.
Di Grennell, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mutunga is the Deputy Chief Executive – Regional Partnerships at Te Puni Kōkiri.
It’s a role that allows her to utilise her strong interest in regional development.
Di was formerly the Director Operations for Whānau Ora from November 2010, a role she came to after serving as a member on the Taskforce on Whānau–Centred Initiatives which led to the development of Whānau Ora.
In 2013/2014, she led the work to oversee the move to the Commissioning Agency approach for the administration of Whānau Ora.
Di has an interest in strategies for social change and extensive professional experience in the family violence prevention field including working with courts, programme development, provider training, research and policy. She spent more than five years as Executive Director of Amokura – a Northland-based Pan-Tribal Family Violence Prevention Initiative.
Di holds a Bachelor in Sociology from Massey University and a Trained Teachers Certificate from the Auckland College of Education.
Fiona McBeath is the Deputy Chief Executive – Organisational Support at Te Puni Kōkiri.
She has had a lengthy career in support, policy and operations in the public service, mainly working with the primary sector industries. Her roles have included significant organisational change design, management and implementation; overseeing the initial establishment of the Primary Growth Partnership - a government-industry initiative that invests in research and innovation to boost the economic growth and sustainability of New Zealand’s primary sectors.
Prior to taking up her role at Te Puni Kōkiri she was Director of Operational Programmes at the Ministry for Primary Industries where she was responsible for leading operational analysis, frontline training, intelligence, and business support for biosecurity and compliance. It is here Fiona gained her passion for protecting Aotearoa for our future generations and understanding the important role we all play in that.
Fiona holds an Executive Masters in Public Administration from Victoria University, Wellington. She was one of the first graduates from the Australia New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) established to teach strategic management and high-level policy to public sector leaders.
Manahautū Tuarua | Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy and Organisational Performance - Guy Beatson
Guy Beatson is the Deputy Chief Executive – Strategy and Organisational Performance.
Before joining Te Puni Kōkiri, Guy was the Deputy Secretary, Natural Resources Policy, at the Ministry for the Environment where he led major fresh water management reforms supported by the collaborative Land and Water Forum, along with steps to address iwi rights and interest in freshwater. Guy was responsible for climate change and resource management policy development and implementation. He also led improvements in the quality of the Ministry’s advice and capability.
Guy began his career at Treasury and worked in senior roles for several governments internationally. This included working as a Deputy Secretary responsible for the budget, financial management and state-owned enterprises in Fiji’s Finance Ministry.
In 2001 Guy joined the Ministry of Economic Development as Chief Economist/Director and worked mostly on economic strategy, industry policy and evaluation. Subsequently, he was appointed by the Ministry as its Economic Counsellor at the New Zealand High Commission in Canberra, Australia.
Guy graduated with distinction from the Australian National University in 2005 with an Australia and New Zealand School of Government Executive Master of Public Administration. He also holds a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Canterbury.
Manahautū Tuarua | Deputy Chief Executive, Investment - Lisa Davies
Lisa Davies, Ngāti Rēhua, Ngāti Wai is the Deputy Chief Executive, Investment at Te Puni Kōkiri.
Prior to taking on the challenge of establishing a new Investment Puni in late 2016, Lisa was the Director of Kaipuke, a management consultancy that specialised in the provision of strategic policy advice, research and evaluation to inform positive Māori development.
During more than a decade in the private sector, Lisa led the independent evaluation of a wide range of Government programmes and services that impact on Māori. She also led many reviews of organisations and entities seeking to improve their effectiveness for Māori. This involved working across a wide range of sectors including: health, education, employment, justice, economic development and the science and innovation sector.
Prior to joining Kaipuke in 2006, Lisa was Director of the Treaty of Waitangi Public Information Programme led out of the State Services Commission.
Lisa took on her first management role within Te Puni Kōkiri in 1998 as Manager of inaugural legislative monitoring and evaluation function. She subsequently progressed to Deputy Chief Executive roles in both Policy and State Sector Performance before joining the State Services Commission in 2004.
With a Bachelor and Masters in Social Science (Demography) from Waikato University, Lisa began her career as a demographer within the Ministry of Education.
Kaiāwhina Manahautū Tuarua | Assistant Deputy Chief Executive, Policy Partnerships - Cath Nesus
Cath Nesus, Ngāti Porou is the Assistant Deputy Chief Executive – Policy Partnerships at Te Puni Kōkiri.
Cath has had an impressive career in policy and legislation both nationally and overseas.
She began her career with Te Puni Kōkiri as a solicitor not long after it was established in 1992. Since then Cath has held several senior roles both in New Zealand and Australia. She was General Manager – Policy at Te Puni Kōkiri from 2002 – 2004, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and Aboriginal Affairs Department a post she held whilst in Perth, Australia.
Her passion is people and she discovered early in her career that working at a real level of change means working with policy and legislation. She has worked on the Māori land reforms, which became Te Ture Whenua Māori, Rūnanga Iwi Act, Trust Board legislation, Māori Community Development Act, Foreshore and Seabed Act and the Takutai Moana legislation.
A career highlight of hers has been working on and providing leadership for one of New Zealand’s landmark legislation Te Ture mō Te Reo Māori, which is the first law where the Māori text will prevail as the language of law.
Cath holds a LLB and Executive Masters of Public Administration from Victoria University of Wellington.
Kaiāwhina Manahautū Tuarua | Assistant Deputy Chief Executive, Policy Partnerships – Kelly Dunn
Kelly Dunn, Ngāti Wai, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua is the Assistant Deputy Chief Executive, Policy Partnerships at Te Puni Kōkiri.
Kelly has been working in the public sector and wider state sector for close to twenty years choosing to work in the education, social justice and primary industries sectors.
Kelly has worked on a number of strategic kaupapa Māori issues and has years of experience in leading teams to deliver operational policies. As the former Director, Māori Partnerships and Programmes at the Ministry for Primary Industries she led teams in the design and delivery of programmes which supported government work programmes and ensuring effectiveness for Māori.
Leadership, relationship management and improving outcomes for Māori, particularly in Treaty settlement negotiations, have been key features of her career to date.
Kelly holds a Bachelor of Education from the Wellington College of Education and has also completed the Executive Fellows Programme from the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.
Kaitohu Matua | Chief Advisor – Nancy Tuaine
Nancy Tuaine, Ngāti Rangi, Te Ātihaunui-ā-Pāpārangi is a Chief Advisor at Te Puni Kōkiri. She champions Whānau Ora and provides strategic and policy advice on numerous matters related to Whānau Wellbeing.
Nancy has returned to Te Puni Kōkiri after 20 years of service with her Iwi. She has brought with her operational and strategic executive experience working with policy that aims to strengthen whānau at the coal face. Nancy understands first-hand the issues that whānau, hapū and iwi often face.
During her work at the Whanganui River Māori Nancy held several senior strategic appointments from within Iwi on the Land and Water Forum and as one of the Freshwater Iwi Advisors. In addition to this she has held government appointments such as being a member of the inaugural Whānau Ora Taskforce set up in June 2009, the Whanganui Community Foundation and the Whanganui District Health Board.
Nancy holds a Diploma in Business and Masters in Business Administration from Massey University.
Kaitohu Matua | Chief Advisor – Richard Laverty
Richard is a Chief Advisor at Te Puni Kōkiri, working on economic development, business growth and internationalisation of the Māori economy.
With over 10 years of public sector experience including senior leadership, strategy and investment attraction roles at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) – and prior to that ICT, Creative & Services sector and international business development roles as Regional Director, Europe Middle East & Africa.
Previous industry experience includes food processing, R&D management, B2B business development, strategy and general management roles. An 18-year career with Fonterra including eight years based in Europe where Richard was General Manager based in Hamburg. Subsequent New Zealand based roles included corporate strategy and global ingredients marketing management. In April 2004, Richard founded a beverage technology start-up, of which he is a director and shareholder.
Richard’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Chemical and Process Engineering from Canterbury University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Dairy Science and Technology from Massey University and executive development at the Kellogg (NWU) and Stanford Business Schools.
He is a Director on the Wellington Regional Economic Development and Creative HQ agencies, an active member of Angel HQ in Wellington and a strong advocate for the one of the coolest, most vibrant and prosperous capital cities in the world.