They were there at the beginning.
They’ve seen an ever-changing tide of Ministers and Chief Executives who have championed policies and programs to transform the lives of Māori people in the last quarter century. They have been part of the rich and remarkable tapestry of events and experiences forged under the roof of our organisation.
Who are they?
They’re some of our longest serving staff members, who were there when our doors opened back in 1992 and who remain on staff today.
To mark our 25-year birthday celebrations they’ve agreed to share their memories and recollections of working life in Te Puni Kōkiri. Over the next month we are privileged to bring you their stories and the moments and people who left an indelible impression on them.
Celebrating 25 years - Liz Makene
Liz Makene goes way back. So far back, in fact, that she began her career as a cadet in the Māori and Pacific Island Recruitment Scheme.
She started out with the former of Department of Māori Affairs, and later the Iwi Transition Agency, before jumping ship to join Te Puni Kōkiri from the Māori Trust Office in 2002. Hear more from Liz as she shares memories from the past 25 years.
Celebrating 25 years - Kim Wetini
Whether it’s tending to hundreds of traumatised whānau affected by earthquakes, or overseeing 450 volunteers to look after 45,000 spectators at Te Matatini 2015– Kim Wetini is never far from the action. These days she’s a Senior Advisor in the Te Waipounamu Regional Office, but her start goes back to 2000 when she was the Executive Officer supporting then Regional Director Te Pura Parata.
Celebrating 25 years - Rachel Jones
She has worked to eight Ministers of Māori Affairs and Māori Development and four Te Puni Kōkiri Chief Executives.
She’s been party to all of the key policy approaches – Closing the Gaps, Reducing Inequalities, Realising Māori Potential, Māori succeeding as Māori – and has had a career trajectory that’s taken her from regional office, to head office, to the Minister’s office and back again.
In her own words, Rachel Jones has “been everywhere”. Hear from Rachel as she shares memories from the past 25 years.
Celebrating 25 years - Sue Heke
Sue Heke has worked with just about all of TPK’s top brass over the last 25 years. In the past an Executive Assistant (EA), today an Administrator, she has organised calendars and diaries; booked travel; scheduled meetings; and provided administrative support to senior managers and staff who’ve come and gone since 1992. Hear from Sue as she shares her fondest memories of the past 25 years.
Celebrating 25 years - Martin Mariassouce
Realising the potential of Māori communities in Auckland has been an enduring passion for Martin Mariassouce, who has chalked up more than 20 years working in the Tāmaki Makaurau regional office. Hear from Martin as he opens up about the memories he has made over the past 25 years.
Celebrating 25 years - Cath Nesus
Cath Nesus has been a trusted pair of hands in Te Puni Kōkiri, responsible for some of the most potent law changes affecting Māoridom in the last quarter century.
Celebrating 25 years of realising Māori potential - Mere Pohatu
Mere Pohatu is a dynamic presence that has been at the helm of the Gisborne office since Te Puni Kōkiri opened its doors in 1992. Hear from Mere, Regional Manager for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, as she shares memories from the past 25 years.
Celebrating 25 years of realising Māori potential - Ken Collins
At 25 years, Te Puni Kōkiri has many achievements to be proud of. This milestone gives an opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved by so many dedicated people, both past and present, across the motu. Hear from Te Puni Kōkiri Senior Advisor, Ken Collins, as he shares memories from the past 25 years.