Past 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

Tuhourangi Ngāti Wahiao

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Allan was elected to the TPT Board in June 2013. Educated at Whakarewarewa Primary School, Rotorua Intermediate and Rotorua Boys High. Allan’s first job was an accounts clerk with Internal Affairs, before joining Fletchers in Ngongotaha. He studied extramurally in accounting and management, before taking on his first senior accounting role for Fletcher’s Native Logging and Sawmilling Division. After 19 years with Fletchers, Allan joined Benchmark Building Supplies in management roles in Rotorua, Sydney and Tauranga. In 1997, he was appointed Area Manager based in Auckland. Bunnings bought the business in 2000 and Allan became National Operations Manager responsible for all stores in New Zealand. Allan is currently NZ Manager for DIY Resolutions NZ Ltd, and is excited by the challenge of performing his management roles alongside his TPT responsibilities.

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

Tūhourangi Ngati Wahiao

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Watu has a wealth of experience and skill in community and hapū development. She is secretary-treasurer and the busiest trustee for Te Pakira Marae. Watu’s other commitments to her hapū are as treasurer and trustee for Rahui Land Trust, Whakarewarewa Village Charitable Trust. Watu is also a hard-working member of Tūhourangi Ngāti Wahiao Kapahaka and shared role in charge of finances for Tūhourangi Tribal Authority. Watu does all this because she wants to and always excels.

Rangitihi Pene

Tūhourangi Ngāti Wahiao

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Rangitihi Pene, former secondary school teacher, who now works for the Ministry of Education as a Senior Advisor.Apart from whanau, he is involved with his iwi affairs and basketball.

Nireaha Pirika

Ngati Uenukukopako

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Nireaha is a trustee for Ngati Uenukukopako Iwi trust and has worked as a hapu representative looking after hapu affairs within central and local government for the last 10 years. He brings Tikanga and Kawa as well as Governance and Admin skills to the trust.

He hopes to ensure that Maori as a people are enabled to follow their dreams in his time as a TPT Trustee. He also hopes to tear down barriers and build our people up to thrive and prosper to become a productive member of the hapu/iwi.

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

Ngati Ngararanui

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Wallace Haumaha QSM. Wallace is the Deputy Chief Executive Maori / Assistant Comissioner with New Zealand Police based in Wellington. Acknowledged with the Queens Service Medal in 1998 for services to the community. Wally has been awarded prizes for innovation by the institute of Public Administration of New Zealand. Wally was made Office of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

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

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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