Skip Content
Vanessa Epirama

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is delighted to announce the appointment of iwi leader Vanessa Epairama as deputy chairperson of its council, Te Mana Whakahaere.

Ms Epairama is the chairperson of the Raukawa Settlement Trust and director of its $100 million commercial arm, Raukawa Iwi Development Ltd.

She brings considerable governance and leadership experience across a wide range of sectors including environmental, education, tourism and particularly Māori and iwi development to her new role.

Ms Epairama (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Tuwhareto) said she was “humbled and honoured” to have been asked to stand as deputy chairperson and then to have been elected to the role by her fellow board members.

“I was raised with a very clear message from my mother, and our kaumātua that education is the key to enhancing our future as individuals and as whānau,” she said.

Ms Epairama said the organisation had made amazing progress in recent years and there were opportunities ahead to further enhance the lives of whānau throughout New Zealand through education.

“Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has a vital role to play in lifting the lives of Māori and all New Zealanders through education.” 

“I am very grateful to be able to play whatever part I am asked to perform to help ensure that we achieve the exciting potential before us.”

Te Mana Whakahaere chairman Richard Batley said Ms Epairama, a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, is held in high regard and has shown consistent and strong leadership and a proven ability to deliver results at the helm of several different organisations.

“Her appointment is a sign that our organisation is bold and prepared to embrace change both at the management and governance levels. We are excited by this development and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa looks forward to her contributions.”

 Back to news & events

Published On:

Article By: James Ihaka



Other Articles

  • 3 June, 2020

    Hamilton deputy mayor carrying torch for te reo

    A desire as a political leader to respect and support te reo is helping fuel Geoff Taylor’s drive to learn more of the language.

  • 26 May, 2020

    Cycles of crisis and Māori resilience

    At Te Wānanga o Aotearoa we are proud of our history and mindful that we are beneficiaries of the foresight and vision of our founding kuia and kaumātua.

  • 22 May, 2020

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and the TEC renew commitment to partnership

    The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWoA) have renewed their commitment to work together in a partnership that is based upon Te Tiriti o Waitangi and focused on learners across Aotearoa.

  • 8 May, 2020

    Dante writes a bright future

    Italian poet Dante was famous for his vision of hell. Dante O’Driscoll from Patetonga is eyeing a far more rosy future, with help from the Waikato-based Youth Services team at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.