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Source: Te Ohu Kaimoana Group

Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust is pleased to welcome the inaugural cohort for newly launched Māori associate directorship programme, He Tukutuku Koiora.
The highly anticipated programme saw over 100 candidates apply from a vast range of professional sectors and life experiences, with eight successful applicants officially inducted into the programme as Amonuku (Associate Directors) at its launch last month.
Launched in response to the increasing demand for tikanga-led leadership, the two-and-a-half-year programme aims to equip aspiring Māori governors with the knowledge and tools to become resilient leaders in often uncomfortable spaces.
“Having spent the last 12 years in the finance industry, I acknowledge that a lot of the decisions that impact our organisation and our industry sit at the board level,” says Amonuku, Teahooterangi (Teaho) Pihama (Te Ātiawa, Ngā Māhanga-a-Tairi, Waikato, Ngāti Maru).
“We know that what is good for Māori, is good for all of Aotearoa, so I would like to represent a Māori lens in supporting our larger entities across Aotearoa to really anchor the strengths of te ao Māori into the way that they operate their organisations.”
The pan-Māori programme has brought together Pūkenga (Mentors) from across the Māori governance and leadership sectors to deliver a series of modules, both in-person and online. The first wānanga led by Kate Cherrington and Bentham Ohia was delivered at the launch and focussed on values-centred leadership.
“We all come from different paths, but we all realise that being a part of this kaupapa is more about giving back to the communities that we are involved in,” says Amonuku, Emma Winiata (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngaruahine).
“Having that service lens is really important, and I think that we will all take that on board in all of our leadership styles going forward.”
Bios for Amonuku (Associate Directors):
TEAHOOTERANGI (TEAHO) PIHAMA (Head of Māori Advisory, Kiwibank)
Teaho is a career banker with experience in retail and commercial financing. He has transitioned into a role that was established for him as a conduit between his career experience and cultural upbringing. Responsible for providing advice to senior leadership including board members, executives, government agencies, the broader financial sector and is tasked with developing and delivering on the organisation Rautaki Māori – Hoake Ki Uta. Growing up in a household with two strong mothers and a diverse range of siblings has given a first-hand understanding of the strength of diversity, equity and inclusion. A husband and father of three tamaiti who are third-generation te reo Māori speakers and second-generation kura kaupapa attendees. The handing down of intergenerational knowledge is of utmost importance.
EMMA WINIATA (Chief Executive, Whāia Legal)
Emma has a legal and consulting background, more recently, having shifted into executive management. For the last two years, she was the Kaihautū of Te Wānanga o Raukawa Foundation – an educational foundation set up to deliver on the aspirations of Te Wānanga o Raukawa. She has recently started a new role as Pouhere (Chief Executive) of Whāia Legal – a kaupapa-based law firm that provides tailored legal services through a uniquely Māori lens. Emma holds two governance positions – Deputy chairperson of Raukawa ki te Tonga Trust and Ohu Whakahaere member of Te Kura-ā-Iwi o Whakatupuranga Rua Mano. She drives several key initiatives in both roles and is looking forward to adding matauranga to her kete though He Tukutuku Koiora to better deliver on her governance commitments. Emma’s “why” is to add her contribution to Whakatupuranga Rua Mano – an initiative spearheaded in the 70s to grow capability within Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa and Te Atiawa and ultimately grow confident Māori speaking leaders who can contribute to their Marae and communities.
DR HINUREWA POUTU (Tāhūhū Reo, Whakaata Māori)
Dr Hinurewa Poutu (Ngāti Rangi, Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Maniapoto) is currently the Tāhuhu Reo – Director of Reo at Whakaata Māori. A qualified translator and experienced teacher, Dr Poutu has previously served as a Māori Language Commissioner with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission). She is involved in Kura Whakarauora, an initiative to promote language planning within whānau, hapū, iwi and communities. A former television presenter, she has also been a director of Te Rourou – The Vodafone New Zealand Foundation Charitable Trust. Dr Poutu is a graduate of kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa Māori, wharekura, and Te Panekiretanga o te Reo (Institute of Excellence in the Māori Language).
KALE PANOHO (Managing Director, K&J Growth)
Kale Panoho is the Managing Director of K&J Growth, Rugby Bricks & Hakune. The list of clients K&J Growth works with includes TikTok, Roc Nation, Monster Energy, and the New Zealand Government. K&J Growth was named the 28th fastest growing company in California in 2021 in Inc. Magazines, Inc. 5000 and Kale is the only New Zealand member of the Forbes Agency Council, the recipient of the Whakaata Māori Matariki Awards – (Waita Award) in 2022. He writes a weekly newsletter on business and philosophy at and is an advocate for stoicism and science.
JOANNE REIDY (Manutea – General Manager Māori, Auckland City Mission)
Joanne is Manutea – GM Māori at Auckland City Mission – a charitable organisation that provides professional health and social services to marginalised Aucklanders. Joanne is a key member of the Executive Leadership team, building long-lasting, effective relationships with Mana Whenua, Mātāwaka and various Māori organisations throughout Tāmaki Makaurau. A qualified and experienced Psychotherapist, Joanne has led a fulsome career advocating for and supporting some of Te Ao Māori’s most at-risk and vulnerable whānau, particularly focused on addictive, behavioural and psychological issues.
DR JESSE PIRINI (Senior Lecturer, Victoria University)
Jesse Pirini (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Whakatōhea) is a founding trustee of Te Matarau a Māui. Based in Te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui this charitable trust supports economic development for prosperous Māori futures. He completed his PhD at AUT University, and currently works as a Senior Lecturer at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington. Here, he co-directs the university’s innovation space The Atom – Te Kahu o Te Ao and teaches in the School of Management.
ERNESTYNNE WALSH (Māori Data Service Lead, Nicholson Consulting)
Ernestynne is of Ngāti Porou and Te Whānau-ā-Apanui descent. She lives in Pōneke and works as the Māori data service lead at Nicholson Consulting. She leads an amazing team of kaimahi Māori to deliver work that results in a more equitable Aotearoa for the good of our communities. Ernestynne has almost completed her Masters of Māori and Indigenous Leadership which looks at implementing Māori data sovereignty in the public sector. Ernestynne is excited to be accepted into He Tukutuku Koiora – the Māori associate directorship programme. Her governance aspirations are to see more wāhine and rangatahi in the data governance space and to see more strategic thinking around Māori data and tech futures. Outside of mahi, she continues to learn te reo and supports a charitable trust called Te Rau Hihiri which advocates for Māori succeeding as Māori in the public sector.
PEATA WILLIAMS (Chief Advisor, Iwi/Māori – Three Waters, Department of Internal Affairs)
Peata supports the Executive Director in her work on the Three Waters reform, currently focused on Treaty settlements, statutory decision-making, and internal governance. Previously, she led the Ministry of Justice programme regarding the new vision and model for the District Court – Te Ao Mārama – where all people may seek justice, regardless of means, abilities, language, culture. As the GM – Governance and Legal, Peata supported Te Whakakitenga o Waikato Inc, Waikato-Tainui’s tribal parliament, and Te Arataura, the tribe’s executive committee, and all subcommittees as part of the governance function. Her role included acting as in-house counsel.