Debbie has been the longest standing staff member of the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board (MMTB). Over the past 10 years, Debbie has been taking care of management and administration services for MMTB, and with her previous 35 years experience in office administration she is a very skilled and valued team member. In 2006, Debbie believed that beginning her journey at the MMTB was the perfect opportunity for her to return home and work for her iwi.
“Undertaking a role that helps keep everything together and ticking over is exciting work. Since I’ve started here, everything has grown so much and I believe I came back home at just the right time” says Debbie.
Helen began fulltime at the MMTB in April 2014, and has since become a well regarded co-worker amongst staff. Helen’s role consists of two parts; Finance Manager and Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive.
Helen’s husband Kingi, her two children and six grand children affiliate to Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato and Ngāti Apakura, so through returning to Te Kuiti, she saw this as an ideal opportunity to contribute back to her family’s iwi.
Great leadership from the Chief Executive and Chair was also a strong influence for her to apply at the MMTB.
“The people, the colleagues and the vibe here is as if we are a family with a positive atmosphere. Everyone works hard and always supportive of one another” Helen says.
Mother of two, Amber-Lee, joined the MMTB team in 2011 after returning to Maniapoto. It was at that time, she realised that this rohe provided more opportunities than expected. During her time here, she has thoroughly enjoyed working under such great leadership from senior management and trustees.
“What I love most about my job is that I have a varied role, no day is the same. Liaising with different people, staff and servicing the iwi continue to be important factors in my work”
Vicky joined the MMTB fulltime in 2008 filing the position of Receptionist and Office Assistant. Vicky is involved in a number of land trusts and marae groups, including trustee and secretary for Te Ahoroa Marae. When Vicky was given the opportunity to work at MMTB, she jumped at the chance knowing this would be the perfect time for her to work for and alongside her people.
“The staff here are awesome, always go above and beyond what’s required of them, and none of us mind because it’s for our people” says Vicky.
Katherine is one of the newer team members at the MMTB. With a Bachelor of Management Studies majoring in Public Relations and Marketing completed at The University of Waikato, this role fitted her well. It has given her the opportunity to put theory into practise and identify how differently things can work in reality. Katherine has always intended of working within the Māori business environment.
“After finishing university, I felt this was the perfect chance to work within this sector, and who better to do it with than my own people” Katherine says.
Steven leads the environmental team and has a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Waikato. He is also a qualified RMA hearings commissioner and operates his own consultancy firm.
Stevens’s role involves ensuring that the environmental team meets all project deliverables and deadlines.
Maniapoto is where Steven ‘learnt’ how to be Māori, so working for the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board is an opportunity for him to give back. Steven has taken his skillset learnt so far in his career, and put it towards doing something for the people.
“It’s about making a difference. What we want to be doing is putting pegs in the ground, so that the advances we make, future generations won’t have to take a step back. Whanake Ake!”
Iwi: Waikato, Maniapoto, Raukawa. Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga Hapū: Ngāti Māhuta, Ngāti Kinohaku, Ngāti Rōrā, Ngāti Huiao, Ngāti Huri me Ngāti Pikiahu
Workstreams involved in: Upper Waipa RIVER Integrated Management Plan, Waipa River Clean-up Projects, Maniapoto Special Project, Maniapoto Whānau Capacity.
Ngahuia has been a strong member of the environmental team since beginning in 2009. As a senior project manager, Ngahuia’s role consists of planning and implementing clean-up projects within the Waipā River catchment, re-connecting our people with our awa, coordinating workshops and raising community awareness amongst other initiatives.
Ngahuia is passionate in her mahi (work) as it gives her purpose.
“I’ve always enjoyed working at a grass roots level, utilising my skills and networks to influence and advocate for our people. When the opportunity to work for Maniapoto Māori Trust Board arose, I seized it. It’s an honour and privilege to work for the tribe.”
Workstreams involved in: Maniapoto Upper Waipa River Fish Plan, Fisheries Reulations and Bylaws, Accords.
Senior Policy Analyst, Jo Kukutai, holds an important role within the team that involves implementation of the Maniapoto-Crown accords, development of the Maniapoto Fish Plan and Maniapoto Fisheries Regulations as well as liaising with government agencies.
Jo enjoys working within a co-management framework and promoting environmental awareness.
Workstreams involved in: Maniapoto Environment Management Plan, Joint Management Agreements and Healthy Rivers Project. She also supports RMC’s in RMA matters.
Kura works with councils to ensure they meet their RMA and LGA obligations to Māori and to give effect to Ngā Wai o Waipā River Act 2012.
Kura’s qualifications include a Bachelor Sciences degree majoring in geography and economics (BSc), as well as a Post-Graduate Diploma in Resource Management. Kura has worked in several other Māori organisations as well as land trusts prior to joining the Whanake Taiao team here at the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board.
Kura has moved into different projects/workstreams since May 2015.
Projects that Kura has since undertaken involve the development of the Maniapoto Environmental Management Plan, Healthy Rivers Project and Joint Management Agreements.
“What I really enjoy about my work is having the ability to utilise my skills to assist and engage with our people. It’s also great to have an experienced team within our fields.”
With a Bachelor in Civil Engineering Technology and New Zealand Diploma in Civil Engineering (NZDE), combined with experience as a civil engineering technician and previous business owner, Shannon’s vast knowledge across these fields brings a plethora of skills to the table for Whanake Taiao.
Born in Te Awamutu and raised in Kihikihi, Shannon was motivated to work with the MMTB in order to help achieve the organisation iwi objectives.
“What I love most about my job is the ability to work with whānau and assist in developing the capability of Maniapoto kaitiaki” says Shannon.
Wikitoria is the newest member of the environmental team, beginning her journey with Maniapoto Māori Trust Board in April 2015. Not only has she completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) majoring in Te Reo Māori, but will be finishing her Master of Arts Degree in Te Reo Māori in 2016 as well as Master of Tāahuhu Mātauranga Māori later this year.
Since 2012, Wikitoria had made it a personal goal to develop her skills that would enable her to work for iwi.
“I feel privileged to be able to walk alongside kaumatua and kuia within this work. For me being able to transcribe kōrero about places and significant events that took place in the time of our Ngāti Maniapoto tūpuna is an opportunity not to be missed” says Wikitoria.
Tramaine is one of the youngest staff members at the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board and has always been firmly embedded within the rohe. Brought up in Piopio, Tramaine attended Piopio College and had always been very culturally orientated through her upbringing. Mother of four year old Layton, Tramaine is constantly kept busy at home as well as in the office. Taking up the position of administrator at the MMTB has given her the opportunity to work within the iwi and close to home.
“I’ve always wanted to work for a Māori organisation and seeing the effects our work has on the iwi regarding the restoration and protection of our environment, is what I love most about my job” Tramaine says.
With previous experience in strategic planning, housing development and various leadership roles including holding the position of an MMTB Trustee from 2000 to 2006, Pia had an abundance of knowledge to bring to the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board when taking on the role as Senior Project Manager in 2014.
Pia had decided that she wanted to move home and make a contribution to marae, whānau, hapū and Maniapoto. The great working environment and privilege of working for her tribe is what Pia gets most out of working for the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board.
“It is important we get it right, deliver in a professional manner, walk the talk and help grow a strong and vibrant Maniapoto for generations to come” says Pia.
Dawn has worked for the MMTB since January 2008, taking on the role of Administrator followed by her current role as Project Manager. Dawn is really passionate about Maniapoto and her heart is to help rangatahi to fulfil their ambitions and aspirations, providing them with as much support as she can, even beyond her role at the MMTB. In addition, Dawn has continued her ongoing love and dedication to kaumātua by using her years of experience and abilities to support in return what they give to the iwi.
“With the guidance of our Kaumātua, Maniapoto will continue to be strong and vibrant, now and for generations to come”, says Dawn.
Hapū: Ngāti Te Puta, Paretekawa, Ngāti Unu, Ngāti Waiora
Marissa has been with the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board (MMTB) since 2014. Being fortunate enough to have been brought up in Pureora and Te Kūiti amongst her whānau, Marissa felt that when an opportunity arose to work for her iwi, she jumped at the chance.
“Serving our iwi in a different capacity was a challenge that I was keen to undertake and have enjoyed the many varied aspects that this role sees on a daily basis”.
Marissa has become the key figure with Tribal Registrations, Grants and Scholarships and continues to promote to the iwi that many support avenues of the MMTB that are available for those wishing to further personal growth and development.
“I take great pride in helping our whānau, our marae, our hapū and our iwi cause those four aspects of who are is what makes Maniapoto fabulous”.
Sonya has an extensive background within the education sector, working within the New Zealand Schools Trustees Association (NZSTA) and Ministry of Education just to name a few. Previously Chairwoman of Ōtorohanga College Board of Trustees for the past 20 years along with Chairperson of community group Project Kiwiana, Sonya has demonstrated her expertise and capability to work with, for and amongst her people.
Sonya is the Senior Project Manager/Team Leader for the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board and envisions her team being able to ensure the advancement and the aspirations for Maniapoto are promoted, and that the rights and interests of the iwi are protected, advanced and maintained at all times.
“After 30 years of work in areas from community social welfare level, education to community development and promotion –to serve my iwi and being able to engage with our people and contribute somewhat directly to its growth, development and enhancement is a privilege that I am grateful to have the opportunity to do”.
Raised in Piopio, Charmaine has worked within the rohe of Maniapoto since completing school at Piopio College in 2009.
Charmaine has been with Maniapoto Māori Trust Board as an administrator for the last 4 years and likes the variety of work the team engages with.
“I enjoy working for our people, and providing a personalised service to each of our whānau who we interact with. With the support of my kaumātua I have learnt many things along the way, which are invaluable and attribute to me being part of a wonderful team at the MMTB” states Charmaine.