ZUI Panel Biographies: Education and Employment

Jan 06, 2021 | latest

Kia ora whānau

Hope you have all had an awesome time with whānau and friends over Christmas and New Years and you have come back to mahi refreshed and revived!  

This month we are discussing Education and Employment and how the Whakatōhea Settlement can support both of these kaupapa. 

We love getting your feedback that, no matter where you live in the world, our whānau log in and can hear what our panel will be discussing. Keep sending us through your aspirations for Settlement, and what impact this will have on you and your whānau.

Following are this months panel members and a little bit about themselves. 

Rewa Harriman – MC

Rewa Harriman (nee Hudson), Whakatōhea born, former top ranked tennis player and now top ranked news journalist for The Hui, will be hosting our monthly Zui to keep our whānau updated on the issues that are important.


Mahlia Edwardson – Trilingual Interpreter

Ko Tarakeha toku maunga
Ko Opepe toku awa
Ko Opape toku Marae
Ko Tony raua ko Bussy oku matua tupuna
Ko Dee (a.k.a Rerekau) raua Maraea oku Mama
Ko Maliah Turu (nee Edwardson) taku ingoa
I have been living in Hamilton for the past 20+ yrs
I am a jack of all trades (tutu) 
I am a tri-lingual interpreter of NZ Sign Language
My passion lies in karaoke (hearing others sing)


Maui Hudson

Maui Hudson is Whakatōhea and affiliates primarily to Opape marae and the Ngai Tamahauahapū. He has been the Ngai Tamahaua representative on the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board for almost six years and is a Director on TePouOranga o Whakatōhea, Eastern Seafarms Ltd, and the Whakatōhea Fisheries Asset Holding Company. He lives in Hamilton with his wife and three children and works at the University of Waikato where he is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies.



Awhina Kurei

Awhina has 4 tamariki and has big aspirations for them all to be nurtured and grow within the hands of Whakatōhea.

Awhina has been involved in the health and education arena for Whakatōhea for 8 years supporting and nurturing rangatahi to create goals and help them along their path of life.

Following on from her involvement with our Whakatōhea rangatahi she also owns a couple of businesses that have helped people take control of their health and wellbeing journeys in a gym and through an indigenous online fitness program using the attributes of Atua Māori, whakapono and the Mason Durie Whare Tapawhā model.


Thomas Mitai

When Thomas isn’t creating, singing, composing for  kapa haka or  marae planning he spends his working hours nuturing our kids and whanau in the world of digital intelligence
Thomas is the man behind  RoboPā  run by the Tokorau Institute for Indigenous Innovation at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi 
RoboPā is building robots specifically for rangatahi at Māori-speaking kura (schools), where the programme is delivered mostly in the Māori language, with Māori values and within Māori ways of thinking and doing.


Rota Carrington 

Rota has been involved in education all his life as a teacher,  a  principal, working for Whakatohea as Education Manager and now with the Ministry of Education. Rota talks about the “disobedient teacher” who teaches to the needs of their students and aren’t constricted by the system . Students who dont fit the box of conventional teaching need teachers who teach outside the box

Rota's time with the Iwi made him realise that to make transformational change we need to develop the ability to create systemic change that is responsive to Iwi needs. "My time with the Iwi highlighted the need for the Iwi to be empowered to design our own solutions that that once again are responsive to our needs". 


Jason Mika

Dr Jason Mika is Whakatōhea, Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, and Ngāti Kahungunu, was born in Whakatāne, raised in Rotorua by his kuia Ani Mika and lives in Palmerston North . Jason is Whakatōhea through his great grandmother Ripeka Poihipi.

Jason is married to Valencia, they have three tamariki Hiria, Jason and Emily. Jason has four older children, Jade, Patrick, Ripeka and Taiarahia.

Jason is a senior lecturer at Massey University’s School of Management and codirector of Te Au Rangahau , Massey Business School’s Māori business research centre. Jason’s research centres on Indigenous entrepreneurship.

In 2019, Jason and his family spent five months in the United States as a Fulbright scholar studying Indigenous entrepreneurship at Stanford University and University of Arizona.

In 2020, Jason won the Richard Buchanan teaching excellence award, the Vice Chancellor’s teaching excellence award (kaupapa Māori), and the Massey Business School Māori research award.


Bonnie Taia

Ko Maungarangi te Maunga
Ko Otara te Awa
Ko Te Iringa te Whare Tīpuna
Ko Whiripare te Wharekai
Ko Terere te Marae
Ko Ngati Ngahere te Hāpu
Ko Mataatua te waka
Ko Bonnie Taia tōku ingoa, Tihei Mauri Ora.

I kuraina ahau i te Kura Ahureinga o Te Whakatōhea me Papatewhai, kātahi ki te Kura Tuarua o Ōpōtiki. Mutu ana te kura ki Ōpōtiki i wehe atu au ki Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato. Ināianei, kei te Kura o Omarumutu ahau e whakaako ana.

I am of Te Whakatōhea descent and a proud descendant at that. I grew up under the morals and values of my Grandparents Ranginui Lani and Rangitahi Mitai. I am a proud member of Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti under the guidance of Te Kahautu Maxwell. Through my Grandparents and through Kapa Haka, I have learnt and will continue to learn valuable knowledge and history of our Haahi and our Iwi, and being able to acknowledge that is important to me.


Erin Moore


Ko Mākeo te maunga
Ko Waiaua te awa
Ko Ruamoko te tangata
Ko Ngāti Patu te hapū
Ko Te Whakatōhea te iwi
Ko Erin Linley Rangiwhakarewa Moore tōku ingoa.

I am an educator and I have taught for many years in Ōpōtiki, Hamilton and now I am a Deputy Principal at Thornton School. Qualifications: Bachelor of Education, He tohu Mātauranga Māori, Qualified/registered Teacher


Dave Ngatai


I’m very passionate about settling the Whakatōhea Raupatu and Comprehensive claims with the crown. Many of our tīpuna have passed that started this process.

They would have loved to have seen our claims sorted and their Moko’s, Rangatahi and Whānau thriving in a rich, prosperous and vibrant Whakatōhea community. As a united Whakatōhea Iwi we can achieve this and I will do all the hours needed, to get it done and dusted for our Tīpuna, Whānau, Rangatahi and Moko’s. Our future generations.

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