Whai Māia

To advance our cultural, social and environmental aspirations.

Whai Māia is set up as a charitable entity and is responsible for the social and cultural development of our people.

Whai Māia have a focus on whānau outcomes and manage a large number of programmes covering areas such as culture & reo, te taiao, health, education, small business, employment & more.

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Our purpose

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Māia (Whai Māia) was established in February 2013 to advance the cultural, social and environmental aspirations of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei including, but not limited to the fostering of all aspects of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei tikanga, reo, kawa and kōrero.

Set up as a charitable entity, Whai Māia is responsible for the development of our people, with the focus on whānau outcomes and manage a large number of programmes covering areas such as health, education, small business and employment. The group also have some external contracts with government and local council that help to support their mahi.

The provision of support and assistance to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei in respect of education, housing, health care, aged care and relief of those suffering from mental or physical sickness or disability; the development and enhancement of community facilities and mechanisms for the benefit of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei; the provision of funding for the cultural and social development of the hapū; and any other charitable purpose consistent with the purposes of the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust as set out in the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust Deed.


Operating Environment

Whai Māia operates in accordance with the Charities Act 2005 and the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust Deed. This statutory framework has a direct influence on our outcomes and investment to make a positive difference in the hapū where it matters most. The majority of Whai Māia activities are charitable or can be run as commercial ventures that support the activities of Whai Māia Ltd.

Reporting Mechanisms

Whai Māia has a number of reporting mechanisms to report to the Trust including:

  • Annual Report including financial statements
  • Bi-annual Reports to the Trust, providing commentary on the previous performance against the Annual Plan
  • Monthly Reports to the Trust, providing an update on operations
  • Frequent Meetings with the Chair of the Trust, and with the Chairs of the Trust and Whai Rawa. Information provided to the Trust on request and on a no surprises basis.

Te Poari o Whai Māia

About us

The Whai Māia Board is responsible for monitoring Whai Māia management processes and systems to assure accountability to the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust. The Board consists of six directors. Two independent directors, three whānau directors and one trustee representative.

The Whai Māia Board meets at least 10 times a year and seeks advice on matters of tikanga, kaupapa and kawa from the Taumata Kaumātua through the presence of Te Puna Tumahai at board meetings and presentations to the Taumata Kaumātua where appropriate. Our Board has a wealth of knowledge across a broad range of sectors including social, economic, financial, environmental, health and cultural advancements of communities and nations.

Meet the elected Whai Māia Board representatives

  • Dame Paula Rebstock

    Board Chair

    Dame Paula Rebstock is one of New Zealand’s leading governance figures, who chairs NZ Defence Force, National Hauora Coalition and Asia Pacific Health Investments, along with , directorships within AIA, Auckland One Rail, NZX and Vector. She has significant experience and networks in social agencies and youth welfare.

  • Tama Davis

    Whānau Director

    Tama’s work experience spreads over the fields of mental health and addictions (within DHB, NGOs and iwi providers) and cultural leadership on behalf of the hapū. His academic background includes Indigenous Studies and he has graduated from the University of Auckland with a postgraduate diploma in Maori Business Development. He is the Pou Arahi/Cultural Supervisor for Homecare Medical, and director at Ahikaroa Enterprises Ltd.

  • Sharon Hawke

    Trust Representative

    This is Sharon’s second term on the Trust after a four year gap. She devotes a lot of time to working with other hapū members building our profile as mana whenua amongst other iwi and within Tāmaki Nui. She has been appointed as the Trust representative on the Whai Māia Board.

  • Mel Hewitson

    MNZM – Independent Director

    Mel Hewitson is a professional director across philanthropic, financial and regulatory sectors. She is an Independent Director of Simplicity NZ, Fidelity Life Assurance and Domain name Commission. Mel is a trustee of Foundation North and Housing Foundation. She is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary and holds Climate Competent Board Certification.

  • Shirley Ikkala

    Whānau Director

    Shirley is of  Ngāti Whātua Orakei and Cook Island. She holds a Masters of Social Welfare with distinction and her work experience has been predominately in the  fields of statutory social work, with a particular focus on tamariki Māori and whānau. Within the last 8 years her social work career broadened  taking her into social work education. Shirley currently holds the position of Program Director in the  faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland.

    Shirley is actively involved in providing guidance and leadership within the social work and education sector that provides a platform for Māori.

  • Malcolm Paterson

    Whānau Director

    Malcolm has whakapapa to both Ōrākei and Kaipara. He first qualified as a medical doctor and then went on to gain a masters degree in environmental management – for some years managing Ōrākei’s heritage and environment team. Malcolm is currently the Tumuaki (Chief Executive) for both Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara Ngahere Ltd and Te Rau Manga Ltd (the commercial arms of the post-settlement entity focused on managing Kaipara’s forest estates). He has held other governance roles over time including as a school board trustee and on the Tūpuna Maunga Authority.