Te Rūnanga Māori

Te Rūnanga Māori has a shared governance role with respect to the Māori strategy as defined in agreement between the Rūnanga and Board. The Chair of Te Rūnanga Māori Chair is also a member of the Board.

AKO Staff Profiles ivy harper

Ivy Harper


Ngāti Kahungunu / Tainui / Ngāpuhi

Ivy Harper has a demonstrated history of working in the education and environmental management arena, and has a keen interest in gender issues and human rights - particularly the rights of indigenous peoples.

Skilled in non-profit organisations, with strong research and analytical skills, Ivy completed an internship at Columbia University. There she studied indigenous rights and the rights of First Nations people whilst working with diplomats at the United Nations for the duration of her studies.

Ivy was able to bring these learnings back to Aotearoa where she continues to support Māori in the pursuit of their rights and interests.

AKO Staff Profiles Dame Iritana tawhiwhirangi

Dame Dr. Iritana Tawhiwhirangi

Nominated by Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust

Ngāti Porou / Ngāti Kahungunu / Ngāpuhi

Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi was one of the cornerstones of the Kōhanga Reo movement as a means to revitalize the Māori language.

Picking up on the playcentre philosophy of community ownership and management, Dame Tawhiwhirangi helped create a whānau development model that is not only underpinned by cultural and administrative sovereignty, but has also created new opportunities in education and employment for Māori women, and whānau involvement.

Internationally, the Kōhanga Reo model is now the established benchmark for the regeneration of indigenous languages.

AKO Staff Profiles Teina Mataira

Teina Mataira

Nominated by Te Tira Manukura O Ngā Kuratini

Ngāti Porou / Ngāti Kahungunu

Teina Mataira has twenty years’ experience in tertiary education in the ITP (polytechnic) sector, having held roles in foundation education, teaching, lecturing, student support and education management at AUT, MIT and EIT (Tairawhiti). He is the currently Pouārahi - Director Maori and Pasifika Education, UCOL.

Teina is a member of the World Indigenous Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC) and is also studying towards a Masters of Māori-Pasifika Development at the University of Waikato. 

AKO TRM Karyn Paringatai

Dr. Karyn Paringatai

Ako Aotearoa Academy Member

Ngāti Porou

Karyn has 20 years’ experience in tertiary education as a lecturer in Te Tumu – School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies at the University of Otago, where she teaches primarily in the areas of Māori language, culture and performing arts. She was the recipient of an Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching in a Kaupapa Māori context and was also subsequently awarded the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence at the 2014 Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards. 

Karyn is committed to the advancement of Māori knowledge and student success. She is a co-director of an Otago Research Theme, Poutama Ara Rau, alongside Professor Jacinta Ruru and Professor Suzanne Pitama, the aim of which is to research how Māori knowledge and teaching and learning pedagogies can transform tertiary teaching.


Hohepa Tamehana

Nominated by Te Tauihu o Ngā Wānanga

Tūhoe / Te Whakatōhea / Ngāti Ranginui

Hohepa is affiliated to Te Whakatōhea and Ngāti Ranginui but raised predominantly Tūhoe with hapū affiliations to Ngāti Koura, Ngāti Haka and Patuheuheu. He completed his PhD with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in 2014. His research passion centres on Cultural Anthropology, more specifically, the transformation of tikanga in contemporary times. Hohepa has also worked extensively among First Nations communities in Canada in culture and education for over 20 years.

Hohepa currently works for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa as the National Curriculum Manager for He Waka Hiringa – Masters of Applied Indigenous Knowledge and Kaitiakitanga – Post Grad Dip in Professional Bicultural Supervision. He is also the Manager for Educational Delivery for He Waka Hiringa in Auckland and Hamilton, as well as Te Reo Kairangi – Masters in Reo.

Profile Shelley Moana Hiha

Shelley Moana Hiha

Nominated by ITENZ

Ngāti Rangitihi, Te Arawa / Ngāti Kahungunu / Ngāi Tahu

Shelley Moana Hiha is passionate about sport, learning and wellness which are largely influenced by an upbringing with two parents, Margaret and Heitia, who led through their actions from being top sports people, lifelong educators and living healthy lifestyles. Whanau holidays involved camping, tramping, and sporting events, shared with extended whanau of aunts, uncles, and cousins throughout Aotearoa. Her parents were passionate about people, ‘fronting’ to give one’s support and for everyone to have the opportunity to live their dreams.

It is no accident that she now works in sports, health, and education, currently as the Education Director for Wellpark College of Natural Therapies and the Lead Massage Therapist for the Tall Blacks (NZ Men’s Basketball Team).

Rosa Hibbert Schooner Bio Pic

Rosa Hibbert-Schooner

Te Arawa 

E rere kau ana ngā mihi ki a koutou,
He mokopuna ahau nō Te Arawa.
Ko Ngāti Whakaaue rātou ko Ngāti Hurungaterangi, Ko Ngāti Apu Moana ōku hapū.
I tipu ake au i Ōtautahi. 
Ko Rosa Hibbert-Schooner ahau.

Kua mutu i tēnei tau (2022) tōku tohu paetahi I Te Reo Māori me Māori indigenious studies ki Ara (Te Pūkenga). I whakapōtae au tōku mahi I Psychology me Criminal Justice ki Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha. I roto i tōku wā ki te whare wānanga, ka mahi au i Te Akatoki, he roopū tauira Māori. Ka mahi au i te turanga Tumuaki Tuarua ā Tumuaki i tēnei roopū. Ka mahi au hoki ki te taha o Purapura Whetu mō tētahi rangahau Māori, ko Kā Pou Whenua. 

He rangatahi wahine Māori ahau, nā reira, ko tēnei tōku tirohanga.