Kaumatua Biographies


Akuhata Akuhata

Born and raised in the Bay of Plenty, Koro Akuhata worked on his family farm on Motiti Island until moving to the mainland after serving time in the army.  He worked in the forestry industry and met his future wife at a logging village before moving with her to Murapara and raising 5 children. In the late 1980's he and his family moved to his mother's tribal home in Otaki where he began to get involved in the local Marae as one of the few fluent speakers of Te Reo.  Koro Akuhata has been a member of the National Kahui Kaumatua and in the position of Kaumatua for the Central Region for 14 years.

Paraone Pirika

I was born in “Te Takere o te Waka Te Arawa” Rotorua at a place called Owhata, under the watchful eye of my ancestral houses ‘Tutanekai & Hinemoa,’ into a family of 12 with me being the youngest. I started my working life on a farm as a shepherd before moving to Wellington. Where, I worked in General Motors Car Factory for 5 years as a carpainter, before returning to Rotorua. Whilst in Wellington I met my wife, whom has since passed on, of Te Whanau a Ruataupare, Ngati Porou and Ngati Rongowhakaata descent. We have 2 girls whom have given us 3 awesome mokopuna, all boys. For the past 20 years I have been working in Education and Social Services, specialising in working with young people referred by CYPS and Youth Justice.

Frances Diver

Frances Diver is Ngai Tahu, Waitaha, Kati Mamoe and Rapuwai, she and her husband Peter have lived in Central Otago for 38 years, raised a family of 3 and now have 7 wonderful mokopuna. Frances and Peter are managing directors of a pioneered aquaculture business of a fresh water crayfish farm in Alexandra. She has established the first Maori Health Provider Service in Central Otago and is the director of Uruuruwhenua Health UH Inc. She is currently Chairperson for Te Ao Huri whanau group and Supporting Families with Mental Illness in Central Otago (Which she also founded).  Frances is also a Ngai Tahu Representative on the Otago Conservation Board.

Peter Mason

Koro Pete is married to Linley (Kàti Màmoe) and together, they are co-owners of their company, Connections ‘Ngà Kete e Rua’, providing training and consultancy services to both crown agencies and NGO’s.  Peter spent 26 years in the NZ Army.  On retirement, he worked in various government agencies.  His focus then changed to mental health and in particular to Kaupapa Màori (tangata whaiora).  Koro Pete is Chairman of Richmond Primary School Bord of Trustees, Te Rito O Te Harakeke.  He is on the Board of Nga Hau E Wha National Marae, Te Runanga O Nga Mataawaka (Urban Màori Authority) and the 28th Màori Battalion Òtautahi branch.  He is also Kaumatua for the Disabled Persons Assembly and the Christchurch Bridge programme (Salvation Army).  Koro Pete is passionate about our kaupapa in Tu Maia Whanau, and the whakatauki “he aha te mea nui o te Ao? He tamariki he tamariki he tamariki”! Says it all.

Te Aupouri Whautere

Te Aupouri was born in Kaikohe and bought up in the Mid and Far North region and is a direct descendant of Ngapuhi Nui Tonu.  He has been residing in Whangarei for 48 years. Te Aupouri has a background in Warehousing, Retailing, Transport, Industrial law, Education, Economic development, Iwi Authorities, Local Bodies, Children & Young Persons Welfare Services and Politics. He has been involved with the organisation since 1994.