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

  • 10 November 2022

    Grandmother relearning the language she was once punished for speaking

    Papamoa local, Maggie Hautonga Currie has spent much of her adult life living in Perth but after 37 years she was missing her home, her people, her culture and her reo.

  • 31 October 2022

    Wānanga teacher makes good out of a childhood spent in foster care

    Pirini Edwards was a state ward going through boys’ homes and foster homes throughout his childhood. But it was these childhood experiences and life lessons that led him to his current mahi, teaching the Certificate in Bicultural Social Services at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

  • 26 October 2022

    Sharing knowledge integral part of being Māori

    Teaching and sharing knowledge is a natural and integral part of being Māori for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa kaiako (teacher), Rauangi Ohia.

  • 10 August, 2022

    Entrepreneur Hits the Spot with Spice Blends

    A little over three years ago Kavita launched the label ‘Kavita’s Kitchen’ after completing the Certificate in Small Business and Project Management course in Wellington.