Leith Comer

Iwi/hapū: Ngāti Rangitihi, Ngai Tahu, Ngāti Pahuwera, Te Arawa 

Leith has a comprehensive knowledge of the workings of Government as well as leadership experience in the military, private and community sectors. He led Te Puni Kōkiri from 2001 to 2012 and was previously the Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development. Leith’s current responsibilities include being a member of the New Zealand Parole Board, Chairman of the Excel Rotorua Education Trust and Chairman of the Rotorua District Council Contracting Company.

Catherine Moana Dewes

Iwi/hapū: Ngāti Rangitihi, Te Arawa, Ngāti Porou

Cathy has been actively involved in Māori language revitalisation initiatives for more than 35 years, and was instrumental in the establishment of kura kaupapa Māori schools throughout Aotearoa. Her awards and qualifications include a national award for Māori language leadership, the Officer of the Order for Services to Māori, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Waikato for her work on Te Reo Māori. She was involved in advocating a fair settlement for Ngāti Rangitihi in the CNI Forests Collective Settlement, and is currently the Principal of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ruamata in Rotorua.

Tia Warbrick

Tia co-leads a busy consulting company, providing management, policy and project management services to a range of government and iwi-based organisations. With experience in a number of management roles within government, Tia has an extensive knowledge surrounding human rights, the workings of government and the settlement journey. As a current director of the Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Charitable Trust, she considers it vital that we strengthen our focus on developing economic, cultural, social and environmental capital. She believes that balancing the needs of today with the investments of the future has never been more important and that our combined knowledge and diversity is one of our greatest strengths to create our legacy for our whānau.

Melanie Cheung

Melanie has been interested in Ngāti Rangitihi politics for the past ten years and is passionate about transparency, social justice and prioritising tikanga and kawa within Trust processes. She holds a PhD in neuroscience and her career in Māori health has seen her present to the United Nations in New York. Melanie believes we need to work together to strengthen our social, economic, health, environmental and cultural bases, and to uphold our mana and keep our home fires burning. Melanie Cheung’s grandparents were Kaui Rondon and Alan Caverhill whose daughter Potchie (Robin) is Melanie’s mother.

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait

Iwi/hapū: Te Arawa

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait is a professional administrator with an interest in central and local government politics, environmental management, and Māori economic and social development. Merepeka is an elected member of the Lakes District Health Board, a member of the Executive of the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce, a Ministerial Appointee on the Te Arawa Whānau Ora Regional Leadership Group, and an executive member of the Rotorua Social Services Council. She also runs her own consultancy specialising in organisational development and change management.

Taichi Playle

Taichi is a current trustee of Ruawahia 2B Trust and a digger operator for J Swap, having previously worked for five seasons with the Wilding Pine Crew. He and his wife, plus their five tamariki, have lived in Matata for the past six years, and Taichi plays an active role within our community. His passions include rugby and hunting for kai and he holds a PhD in spud-peeling at the marae. Taichi is committed to helping our people plan for their future and to focus on our values as whānau.

Donna Semmens

Ngāti Rangitihi, Ngāti Awa, Whakatohea

Donna has been heavily involved in Matatā and Ngāti Rangitihi Iwi community advocacy and event organising for many years through her role as Ngāti Rangitihi Iwi Sports liaison delegate. Her current responsibilities include being a Trustee of Ngāti Rangitihi Marae Trust, and also a Ngāti Rangitihi representative board member on Te Papa Takaro o Te Arawa, a Maori Sports organisation.  Donna recently completed a Diploma in Maori Governance and Leadership and is now undertaking a certificate in Mental Health, level 4-6.


Alana Hunter

Administrator / Te Mana Database Registrar

Iwi / hapū: Ngāti Rangitihi

Alana is the Administrator for the Board of Trustees, Charitable Trust and Validation Committee, and is responsible for the management of the Iwi Register. Her role also includes being Iwi Liaison – Hau Kainga, keeping in the loop with the Rangitihi community, and helping organise iwi/community events.

D’Arcy Stoneham

Office Administrator

Iwi / hapū: Ngāti Rangitihi/Tainui/Ngāti Awa

D’Arcy is the first point of contact at Te Mana. She is responsible for the day-to-day management of the office, and provides support to our Board Administrator, Database Registrar and Accountant. Her role also includes being Iwi Liaison – Hau Kainga, keeping in the loop with the Rangitihi community, and helping organise iwi/community events.

Dougal Stewart

Project Manager (Research and Communications)

Iwi / hapū: Sisam whānau in Owhakatoro Valley, Whakatane

Dougal works in the Comprehensive Treaty Settlement Team for Te Mana, which seeks to give Ngāti Rangitihi the best possible representation in upcoming Treaty negotiations. He is also actively involved in developing Te Mana communications and its Te Reo and Education Strategy. Above all, Dougal wants Ngāti Rangitihi to achieve a successful Treaty settlement, so that all Ngāti Rangitihi can enjoy increased prosperity.

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