Board of Trustees

The trust is governed by 15 trustees representing the eleven Affiliates that are elected by their respective hapu/iwi. Representation includes one trustee from nine of the affiliates and the two bigger Affiliates; Tūhourangi and Ngāti Pikiao each have three trustees on the board. The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson are elected by the TPT board. A re-election of trustees occurs every three years, the last re-election was held in 2016.

Karen Vercoe – Chairperson

Ngāti Pikiao

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Karen Vercoe is Managing Director of KTV Consulting Ltd, a boutique consulting firm that specialises in organisational development. Karen has previously worked for Kahui Tautoko Consulting Ltd leading their NZ consulting work; Pharmac as Māori Health Manager and at Te Papa Tākaro O Te Arawa as General Manager. Karen, is a double international selected to represent New Zealand in Women’s Rugby and Touch. In 2006, Karen was selected to participate in the inaugural SPARC (Sport NZ) CEO Leadership programme and has been a Hillary Role Model. In 2006, Karen was the recipient of the University of Auckland Kelly Research Scholarship and completed her Master of Management degree that year. Karen was the recipient of the 2016 Dame Mira Szászy Māori Alumni Award at the Aotearoa Maori Business Leaders Award. Karen is currently a director of Te Arawa Management Limited.

Eru George – Deputy Chair

Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara

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Eru was the Inaugural Chairman of Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa (TPT). Eru was appointed to the TAGH Board in 2010 as a TPT Representative, and reappointed for a second term in 2014.

Allan Skipwith – Pending

Tuhourangi Ngāti Wahiao

Merehira Savage

Ngāti Rongomai

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Merehira is a committed member working unconditionally behind the scenes of her whanau, hapu, marae and iwi. She is in her second term as trustee for Ngati Rongomai Iwi Trust and is a newly elected Board Member. In 2013 Merehira obtained her MBA and through partnership with Tainui College and the University of Waikato she was privileged to be part of the very first Maori leader’s cohort class that won the inaugural MBA International Innovation Award.

In 2014 Merehira was a Project Manager for Ngati Tuwharetoa Settlement Trust (TST) and is currently contracted with Ngati Tuwharetoa Hapu Forum as Negotiation Support. Merehira believes in a collective vision of wanting to make things happen and whilst strategic sustainability is a critical part of planning, this must have a connection to the aspirations and needs to our people.

Watu Mihinui – Pending 

Tūhourangi Ngati Wahiao

Rangitihi Pene – Pending

Tūhourangi Ngāti Wahiao


Nireaha Pirika – Pending

Ngati Uenukukopako


Piki Thomas

Ngati Pikiao

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A 25-year career officer in the New Zealand Fire Service with experience in both operational & non-operational roles in that time. Currently holds the position of National Māori Advisor to the New Zealand Fire Service. Married to Hinemaua with four tamariki who are actively involved in the Ngāti Pikiao community. Piki is a current and past member of numerous local and national entities including, Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa Māori, lands trusts, sports body governance, marae/hapū/iwi governance, Te Arawa Standing Committee, Whānau Ora governance etc.

Laurance Tamati

Ngati Pikiao

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Laurance returned to Rotorua after retiring from the New Zealand Army in 1997.  Since returning home he has worked primarily in Iwi, Hapu and Whanau development.

He currently holds governance positions on a number of Maori land trusts and incorporations, post settlement entities and commercial companies.

Laurance has a Post Graduate Diploma in Business from the University of Auckland.

Roger Pikia

Ngati Tahu Ngati Whaoa

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Roger Pikia is Chair of the Te Arawa River Iwi Trust. Roger has a background in the primary sector having spent five years as a senior manager with AgResearch. His interests include the dairy, sheep and beef industries. Roger continues to serve as a Chairman and Trustee of Māori Land Trusts which hold interests in the geothermal and agribusiness sectors. Roger is of Te Arawa and Tainui descent.

Wallace Haumaha – Pending

Ngati Ngararanui


Cyrus Hingston

Ngati Tarawhai

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Hoki noa a Tarainoke ki a

Hinemihi na Te Rangitakaroro, a

Ka ki ano, he tangata.

Tihei mauri ora.

Tena ra koutou,

I have the privilege of being the Ngati Tarawhai Affiliate representative on TPT and Chair of Ngati Tarawhai Iwi Trust.

Having spent a lot of time alongside my grandparents, I developed a deep interest in hapu and Iwi history with our whanau connections to Ngati Tarawhai coming through our Ehau and Pango tupuna.

I look forward to utilising the skills and experience I have gained as a business owner and educator in progressing our Iwi goals.

Blanche Kiriona – Pending

Ngati Tuteniu

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Geoff Rice

Ngati Tura/ Ngati Te Ngakau

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Geoff has extensive governance and commercial experience.  Geoff’s business ownership and management portfolio, past and present are: Director and manager of Gold Coast Investments Ltd which dealt with property investment in (NZ and Australia); Waikanae Finance Ltd (Lending); Cosmic Cars Ltd an entity for importing vehicles for a retail and wholesale dealership (Sold); Centre Produce Markets Ltd which was a retail produce and wholesale company (Sold), and became a service provider of recyclable produce containers. Also operates CPM Kiwi (Green Kiwi Fruit Orchard in Te Puke).  From 1999-2010 Geoff held a directorship and was a major shareholder of Kapiti’s Beach FM Radio Station.

Clark Pirika

Ngati Te Roro o Te Rangi

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Clark brings a business and IT background to the board table.  He is currently with the Rotorua District Council as the Senior Key Account Manager, Information Solutions having worked there previously as a Solutions Manager, Senior Business Analyst, Corporate Data Administrator and Database Administrator.  He is actively involved with whānau, marae and hapū.  Clark is currently co-chairman of Owhata Marae and Trustee/Secretary on the Papaiouru Marae.


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