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Nā Te Kore Organizing Komiti

Mapihi Martin-Paul (Ngāi Tahu – Taumutu, Te Arawa – Ngāti Pikiao) became a member of Ngā Aho during her time studying a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at Lincoln University. She became a more active member upon joining Boffa Miskell – an environmental design and planning consultancy – as the first Kaiaho Te Hihiri/Graduate Advisor Māori. Mapihi has developed her passion for indigenous design through her secondment role to Matapopore Charitable Trust where her ability to approach projects from a unique cultural perspective has seen her play significant roles amongst design teams involved in many key anchor projects in Ōtautahi, Christchurch.


Nā Te Kore Event Manager

Chelita Kahutianui Zainey (Ngāpuhi/Ngati Kahu/Waitaha/Reponona)

Chelita is  an Event Manager, Māori Healer, Kairongoa (practitioner of Māori medicine) and Kaimirimiri (practitioner of Māori massage) who works her magick to weave manaaki into the events and lives of all whom she connects with.

She first worked with Ngā Aho as the Event coordinator for I Te Timatanga | In the Beginning 2016 and has spent the last 4 years developing her own Rongoa Māori based brand of products and services under the label of Manaaki Māmā.


Nā Te Kore Speaker Manager

Amiria Pérez (Ngāti Porou/Ngāpuhi)            

Amiria was born in Heretaunga and grew up on an apple orchard there, near the Tukituki River.

She has a Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) from Victoria University and has worked extensively throughout Aotearoa. For the last five years, she has been working in post-earthquake Christchurch, and has also been involved in transitional projects as part of the Festival of Transitional Architecture.

Within the architectural field Amiria has a particular interest in using a transitional design approach to test how Māori identity can be expressed and celebrated in an urban context. She is also currently exploring the relationship between craft, architecture and identity.

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Nā Te Kore Co-Chair

Te Marino Lenihan (Ngāi Tahu; Ngāi Tūāhuriri)

Te Marino has been working for close to 20 years as an advocate for iwi and hapū values and aspirations in both the natural and built environment realms within rural and urban landscape contexts. From 2006-2016, Te Marino worked closely with developers, local government, NGOs, schools, universities and businesses on behalf of his iwi and hapū to explore how cultural and natural heritage values can be recognised and provided for within the developing landscape and its waterways. From 2013-2016, Te Marino helped spearhead and embed local Ngāi Tahu representation in the redesign and rebuild of greater Christchurch following the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. At the end of 2016, Te Marino changed fields from town planning and environmental management to education. He is currently the Kaiārahi (Director of Māori Achievement and Strategic Relationships) at the local polytechnic institute, Ara (formerly CPIT). One of his key areas of focus is the integration of mātauranga Māori (Māori pedagogy and knowledge) as a valued and valuable aspect of mainstream education in

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Nā Te Kore Co-Chair

Craig Pauling (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mutunga, English, Scottish, Welsh) is a founding member and former co-chair of Ngā Aho, and currently leads the Te Hīhiri Cultural Advisory Team at New Zealand owned environmental design and planning consultancy Boffa Miskell.  Craig has almost 20 years’ experience in the environmental management field, particularly focussed on iwi Māori issues.  He has a passion for ensuring the unique natural and cultural heritage of Aotearoa is celebrated through urban design, natural resource policy and planning, and ecological restoration. Craig is also heavily involved in waka ama, as well as reviving the use of traditional canoes and sailing waka.  He lives in Ōtautahi with his wife Janyne and their three tamariki, Mihiroa, Meihana and Tainui.

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Ngā Aho Chairperson

Desna Whaanga-Schollum (Rongomaiwahine, Kahungunu, Ngāti Pāhauwera).

A founding member and current chairperson of Ngā Aho - Desna’s work is connected through the exploration and articulation of cultural identity. Projects see her collaborating with a wide variety of communities, business and design professionals, artists and academics to achieve results which effect change in people, practice and place. Desna is actively involved in Māori design, discourse and stakeholder engagement in Aotearoa, via design consultancy, research, exhibitions, wānanga, speaking engagements and governance roles.

Her Science Communication Masters Thesis, Otago University, titled “Taipōrutu, Taonga Tuku Iho. Articulating a Mātauranga Māori Sense of Place.” reflects upon the complex system of interconnected factors contributing to the current relationship between Māori and their land base. This work ties the visual design fields to research, industry development and governance driven by Māori values.


Ngā Aho Kaumatua

Haare Williams. (Ngai Tuhoe and Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki)

Haare Williams grew up in remote New Zealand on the shores of the Ohiwa Harbour in a traditional Māori way. He did not speak English until his schooling started at age eight.

Haare has had an extensive teaching career and in his later years, pioneered Māori radio as the General Manager of Aotearoa Radio. He has worked closely with iwi claimant communities collecting and preparing iwi oral testimonies for presentation before courts and the Waitangi Tribunal.

Haare was an executive director of the NZ 1990 Commission responsible for waka construction and assembly at Waitangi for the 1990 Sesquicentennial.  Haare is often consulted on Māori aspects of education, health, business, art and the media and has worked for the Auckland Mayor as cultural advisor.

“I grew up with a love of the spoken word; on the marae, in the Bible and later Shakespeare, I paint, write and sing the sounds and rhythms of the spoken word; I allow these to wash over me like gentle drops from heaven.”  (Haare Williams, 2015)