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The Executive

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Margaret Mutu

Ko Pūwheke te maunga

Ko Karikari te moana
Ko Māmaru te waka
Ko Kahutianui te tupuna
Ko Te Parata te tangata
Ko Ngāti Kahu te iwi
Ko Karikari te marae
Ko Te Whānau Moana te hapū. 

Margaret is also Te Rarawa from Ahipara and Ngāti Whātua from the Northern Wairoa on her father’s side and of the Robertson clan of Scotland on her mother’s side. She is the chairperson of Karikari marae and of Kapehu marae (in the Northern Wairoa).

Margaret has three adult children and two grandchildren. Her home is on Karikari beach and she works at the University of Auckland where she is the Professor and head of the Department of Māori Studies. She has a BSc in mathematics, an MPhil with 1st class honours in Māori studies and a PhD in Māori studies and linguistics. She also holds a Diploma in Teaching and a Certificate in Company Direction.

Margaret was the head claimant researcher for the successful Muriwhenua land claims of the Far North and is the chief negotiator for the settlement of the Ngäti Kahu claims. She has also served on many other committees and boards including the New Zealand Conservation Authority, the board of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) Ltd and the Board of Enquiry into the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement. She has also represented Māori in international indigenous fora including a technical committee of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity.

Professor Mutu has taught Mäori language and Treaty of Waitangi courses at the University of Auckland since 1986. Her research interests extend over the areas of recording and translating oral traditions, Mäori and Polynesian linguistics, translation studies, Māori resource management and conservation practices, Mäori customary fisheries, the rating of Māori land and the prosecution and settlement of Māori claims against the Crown. She has published two books, one on the history, traditions and land claims of her hapū, Te Whānau Moana, and many book chapters and articles on these areas. She has addressed both academic conferences and indigenous peoples’ gatherings in many parts of the world.


Tania Thomas

Tania Thomas is one of the marae reps for Mangataiore marae, and is secretary of Te Runanga-a-iwi o Ngati Kahu.  She lives in Tamaki Makaurau with her tane Robert McKenzie, and they have three daughters plus one granddaughter.  


Tania has extensive leadership experience in the disability sector, most recently serving as the Director of the Families Commission's Centre for Family and Whanau Knowledge, and earlier spending 12 years in the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner, first in the role of director of advocacy, and then as Deputy  Health and Disability Commissioner with delegations in dealing with prison health, Maori health and disability support services complaints.  


Tania's most recent posting is as the newly-appointed CEO (effective 19 January 2014) of Te Roopu Taurima o Manukau Trust, the country's largest provider of kaupapa Maori disability support services.


She has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Auckland and has spent most of her working life in executive managment positions within the social services, not-for-profit sector.  

Prior to taking on various management roles Tania was a rehabilitation worker in the field of visual impairment. She is also the President of the Auckland YWCA with a strong interest in social justice for women and children.