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Iaean Cranwell

Kāti Irakehu, Kāti Kura, Kāti Mako, Kāti Mamoe, Kāi Tahu Iaean is self-employed and a director of Puaka Ltd involved in the restoration of Te Roto o Wairewa and its surrounding takiwa. Passionate about the protection and restoration of waterways as they relate to Ngai Tahu mahinga kai, and as a Councillor on Environment Canterbury

Iaean co-developed a course for Ngai Tahu modelled on outward bound but including a Māori content. Designing a Ngai Tahu orientated course involved Aoraki, te tupuna maunga, and the importance of visiting and engaging with the whenua. From this whakaaro Aoraki bound was born and has gone from strength to strength.

Iaean organises and competes in waka ama competition as in the World championship held in Tahiti, First Nations Futures Programme Fellow (Stanford University), Bachelor of Science in Marine Botany (La Trobe University). All this and more is Iaean Cranwell.

Pic - Melanie Riwai-Couch

Dr Melanie R. Riwai-Couch

Dr Melanie Riwai-Couch is a recently appointed education consultant for Evaluation Associates.  She was formerly the Tumuaki (principal) of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Whānau Tahi, a year 1 - 13 Māori immersion school located in Christchurch.  For term 4 2017 and Term 1 2018 Melanie was seconded to the Education Council | Matatū Aotearoa facilitating English and Māori medium workshops about Our Code Our Standards and Appraisal.

Melanie is an appointed member of the Ngārimu VC 28th Māori Battalion Scholarship Board and the Competence Authority of the Education Council | Matatū Aotearoa.  In 2017 she was a judge for the Senior English section of the National Ngā Whakataetae Manu Kōrero speech competitions held in Taranaki.

Melanie has worked throughout the education sector in schools, kura, for iwi (Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu) and the Ministry of Education. For nine years she trained secondary school teachers at the Christchurch College of Education.

Melanie has a PhD in Education awarded by the University of Canterbury in 2015.  Her doctoral research investigated iwi-school communities of practice and their contribution to Māori student achievement.  Prior to her doctorate Melanie completed two Ed.D. papers in Education Leadership and Change through Griffith University, has a Master of Education with Distinction (University of Canterbury), a Bachelor of Education specialising in Physical Education and a Secondary Diploma of Teaching.

Recently retired from netball Melanie now lives vicariously through her five children aged 8 - 17 who are active rugby players, netballers, gamers and gymnasts.

Pic - Eruera Tarena

Dr Eruera Tarena

Eruera affiliates to three Māori tribal groups: Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Porou and Te Whānau-ā-Apanui.

Eruera is the Executive Director for Tokona te Raki: Māori Futures Collective, a Ngāi Tahu-led collaborative established to achieve equity in education, employment and income for all Māori in the Ngāi Tahu takiwā by 2040. These efforts are focused on sustainable, scalable and transformational change to shift Māori education and employment outcomes.

Pic - Sonja MF Portrait

Dr Sonja Macfarlane (PhD):

Sonja Herahine Macfarlane (Ngāti Waewae; Ngāi Tahu) is an Associate Professor (Senior Research Fellow), and Co-Director of Te Rū Rangahau, the Māori Research Laboratory, at the University of Canterbury (UC).

Her research and teaching focus on culturally responsive evidence-based approaches in research, education, psychology and counselling. Her research has been widely published in leading academic journals, both nationally and internationally.

In 2017, Sonja received the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) Tohu Pae Tawhiti Award for her contributions to Māori research over many years. In 2017, she was a member of a team that received the UC College of Education, Health and Human Development Research Team Award. In 2015, she was a co-recipient of the CLNZ Education Award "Best Resource in Higher Education", and in 2014 she received a UC Research Excellence Award. Sonja is a member of the New Zealand Psychological Society, as is an advisory member on several government-funded projects.


Fayne Robinson

Of Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Apa ki te Ra To and Ngāti Porou, Fayne was born and raised in Hokitika (Te Tai o Poutini) on the west coast of Te Waipounamu.

He graduated from the Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua, 4 years as a graduate, Kayne tutored on carving in Hokitika before returning to Rotorua for advanced carving. Traditionally trained, Fayne has always had a different perspective and is now developing his contemporary style at his base in Tuahiwi

Fayne has contributed carvings to 9 wharenui including his whānau Marae, Kaipo in south Westland in Te Waipounamu and more recently, Tūhuru Marae in Arahura.

His works have contributed to national and international collections and galleries including the Kiwi-Pacific Connections in Vancouver, Canada. Honoured by his peers as Te Toki Pounamu his carving skills are acknowledged as being similar to Pounamu, smooth and spectacular.


Anton Matthews

Of Te Rarawa descent, Anton Matthews is a co-owner in a Māori whānau business named FUSH. Based in Wigram, Christchurch, FUSH opened in 2016 as a fish and chip shop with a difference.

Anton felt that they could do a better take on the classic fare by using all the usual components in a better combination leading to a different environment for whānau

Products from sustainable sources, fresh every day, with a kinaki of te reo Māori used regularly korero to discuss and order and as part of the print material which then led to another of Anton's objectives, to preserve and normalise te reo Māori through free te reo Māori lessons

A first intake of 600 people participating in free te reo Māori lessons can't all be wrong.

Pic - Karuna Thurlow

Karuna Thurlow

Tītī ā-kai, tītī ā-manawa,
Aoraki Matatū e!

He uri tēnei nō Kāi Tahu, nō Ngāti Porou, nō Te Whānau a Apanui anō i te taha o tōhona hākui, nō kā Waikingi i te taha o tōhona hākoro. Kua mahi ia hai kaiwhakaari, hai kaikanikani, hai kaiāwhina i te kura o Horomaka, i te kura o Te Waka Unua hoki. Ināianei he kaiako pīpī paopao ia ki TKKM o Te Whānau Tahi.

Ko te reo Māori te reo tuatahi o āhana tamariki. Nā konā i whai wāhi ai ki kā kōhaka reo o Te Kotahitanga ki Waitaha me Oterepo, tae noa ki te kaupapa ā-whānau o Kotahi Mano Kāika, Kotahi Mano Wawata. Nō Karuna te whiwhi ki te mahi ināianei mō KMK hai rikarika, hai waewae o tēnei kaupapa whakarauora reo.



On her mother's side Karuna is of Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Porou and Te Whānau a Apanui heritage; on her father's side she is of Viking heritage. She has been a performer and a teacher-aide, first at Rowley Avenue School and then at Te Waka Unua. She is now a junior school teacher at TKKM o Te Whānau Tahi.

Te reo Māori is her children's first language, and their whānau have been involved with the kōhaka reo Te Kotahitanga ki Waitaha and Oterepo, and the language revitalisation kaupapa Kotahi Mano Kāika Kotahi Mano Wawata. Karuna is fortunate to now be able to perform contract work for KMK and contribute back to the kaupapa which has given so much to her whānau.

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Merita Waitoa Paki

Educated at Aranui High School in Christchurch, Merita graduated from Waikato University with a Bachelor of Education (B Ed) which took her first to Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Waitaha as Tumuaki Tuarua, the oldest Kura Kaupapa in Te Waipounamu, next to the newest Kura Kaupapa in Te Waipounamu, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tuia Te Matangi, as Tumuaki and currently Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Whakapumau as Tumuaki.

Merita personally knows about the struggle to learn te reo Māori and at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tuia Te Matangi they led the revitalisation process for te reo Māori in Te Tauihu o te waka a Māui and now that process continues in Ōtautahi. She began learning te reo Maori as a secondary student in Christchurch where there was opposition from whānau and community but if you want something you go after it. Merita believes that te reo Māori needs to be normalised because it belongs in Aotearoa.