Taumata Aronui

Taumata Aronui

Last updated 25 January 2023
Last updated 25 January 2023

Taumata Aronui is a group that works with and provides independent recommendations and advice to Ministers and officials on how tertiary education can respond better to the needs of Māori learners and communities. The focus of Taumata Aronui is to help design an education system that reflects the government’s commitment to Māori–Crown partnerships.

In 2022, Taumata Aronui released Manu Kōkiri. This think piece calls for “transformational change” to the tertiary education system to ensure more Māori success, for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

Taumata Aronui members are Professor Wiremu Doherty, Dr Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, Mereraina Piripi, Dr Eruera Prendergast-Tarena, Brendon Green, Mamaeroa Merito, Raewyn Mahara and Dr Wayne Ngata, who chairs the rōpū.

Dr Wayne Ngata

Dr Wayne Ngata has extensive experience in Māori development and Māori education. He was Board Chair of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission) and has been the Head of Mātauranga Māori at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Most recently, he was Raukura/Chief Advisor Te Ao Māori at the Ministry of Education.

Professor Wiremu Doherty

Professor Wiremu Doherty has experience in iwi development and mātauranga Māori in education contexts. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and his other roles include being Chair of Ngā Kaitūhono, Director on Te Uru Taumata for Tūhoe and Chair of Te Tau Ihu o Ngā Wānanga.

Dr Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal

Dr Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal is a freelance composer and musician and an independent researcher, teacher and consultant with a long-term interest in indigenous knowledge and development. He has completed extensive research on mātauranga Māori, teaches and speaks widely on this topic and explores its application in organisations and within iwi. He also has extensive experience in the arts, culture, heritage and education sectors. He is a current trustee for the New Zealand Festival of the Arts, former Director of Ngā Manu Atarau: Communities/Repatriation/Sector Development at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and the former Chair of the Board of Trustees for Te Pou Theatre, Auckland.

Dr Eruera Prendergast-Tarena

Dr Eruera Prendergast-Tarena has experience in iwi social and economic strategy and development. He is the founding Executive Director of Tokona Te Raki, Chair of Te Māngai Pāho (the Māori Broadcasting Funding Agency), and the founder of He Toki Apprenticeship Training Trust. He has previously worked for iwi-led tertiary partnership Te Tapuae o Rehua, Ngāi Tahu Tourism and Ngāi Tahu Holdings Group Limited.

Brendon Green

Brendon Green has experience in primary industries, energy and water. He is actively involved in kaupapa Māori through his roles on the Board of Tainui Kawhia Incorporation and the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) Rūnanga, and holds the Maangai Māori role for the Waikato District Council’s Infrastructure Committee. Brendon is a Co-Chair of Regional Skills Leadership Group Waikato and a member of Waihanga Ara Rau Construction and Infrastructure Workforce Development Council. He is on the Board of Watercare, where he is the Chair of its Committee for Climate Action and is also a member of the Audit and Risk Committee. He is also the Director of Hiringa Energy Limited and Hiringa Refuelling Investments Limited. Brendon brings offshore experience from the US and Mexico and holds a degree in Chemical and Process Engineering and a Postgraduate Diploma in Dairy Science and Technology.

Mereraina Piripi

Mereraina Piripi has experience in iwi social and economic development. She works on programme design for the establishment team of Te Hiku’s joint work programme with the Crown and provides financial support and advice to schools in Te Tai Tokerau. She has previously been Financial Controller for Navilluso Limited, and Finance Manager and Project Manager for Te Hiku Iwi Development Trust.

Mamaeroa Merito

Mamaeroa Merito has experience supporting students and Māori communities in the areas of health and wellbeing. She is a former Tumuaki for Te Mana Ākonga (the National Māori Students’ Association) and a current coordinator at Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Pikiao Trust Service in Rotorua. She established Te Oranga Tauira o Te Mana Ākonga (the National Tauira Mental Health Working Group) and Te Pararē (the first national Māori tertiary students’ publication).

Raewyn Mahara

In her role as Waikato-Tainui’s Education General Manager, Raewyn has a wide range of responsibilities. These include leading the development and implementation of the Waikato-Tainui Education plan – Ko te Mana Maatauranga – and their Te Reo Strategy – Tikanga Ora, Reo Ora, as well as overseeing the budgets for the plan and ensuring robust accountability processes.
Raewyn has over 16 years’ experience in the education sector, including 11 years as a Māori-medium secondary school deputy principal and five years as Waikato-Tainui’s Education General Manager.