Kāhui Wai Māori/the Māori Freshwater Forum

Kāhui Wai Māori/the Māori Freshwater Forum works collaboratively with the Cross-government Water Taskforce on the development and analysis of policy options. The forum was established in October 2018.

About the forum

Kāhui Wai Māori is intended to bring perspectives, insights and skills from a wide range of Māori society, and be flexible enough to provide useful input into the full range of relevant issues in the Essential Freshwater work programme.

This group will not be the only way the Crown will engage with Māori on freshwater. The Government will continue to consult more widely, including with the Iwi Leaders Group.

Terms of reference [PDF, 471 KB]

Forum members

The following people were appointed to Kāhui Wai Māori for a term of one year.

Kingi Smiler (Chair)

Kingi Smiler is the chair of Miraka and has a number of directorships including the NZ Wool Board, Wool NZ and Canesis Wool research. Kingi is a director of Mangatu Incorporation and the Wi Pere Trust, chair of Wairarapa Moana Incorporation and was a trustee of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust. He was also a partner of Ernst and Young.

Millan Ruka

Millan Ruka established the Environmental River Patrol to document and report pollution to local councils in Northland. He has a strong understanding of how the Resource Management Act processes are implemented ‘on the ground’ and the perspectives of freshwater users. Millan is also involved in advocacy and governance for his hapū in Poroti and Mangakahia.

Professor Jacinta Ruru

Jacinta is an award-winning professor of law at the University of Otago, and specialises in indigenous peoples land and water rights. She completed her PhD at the University of Victoria in Canada, and is a fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Annette Sykes

Annette Sykes brings 30 years legal experience in Waitangi Tribunal, Māori legal and human rights issues. She has been involved in national settlement litigation for fisheries and broadcasting. Annette is the director and founder of her law firm Annette Sykes and Co Ltd.

Mahina-a-rangi Baker

Mahina-a-rangi Baker is a managing director of a consultancy firm specialising in environmental planning and science. She is also the environmental manager for Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust and a Mātauranga Māori advisor for the Environmental Protection Authority.

Dr James Melville Ataria

Dr James Melville Ataria is deputy chair of Tuaropaki Trust, Director of Tuaropaki Power Company, and a Māori business consultant (ecotoxicology) for the Cawthron Institute. He is a lecturer in the bio-protection research centre at Lincoln University. James brings Science, Mātauranga Māori, and governance skills.

Dr Tanira Kingi

Dr Tanira Kingi brings experience in primary industry science and research and is an advisor to Māori and mainstream agribusiness enterprises. He is currently a research leader in primary industry systems for Scion and was previously a senior scientist and science advisor for Agresearch Ltd.

Traci Houpapa

Traci Houpapa is the member in common with the Freshwater Leaders Group. Through her work chairing the Federation of Māori Authorities, Ms Houpapa has an in-depth understanding of Māori concerns about freshwater management. She is a business leader with extensive executive management and advisory experience. Traci is the Chairman of Hineuru Holdings Ltd, Director of Primary ITO, Director of Predator Free 2050, and Director of Tuhono Whenua Horticulture Limited amongst other roles.

Paul Morgan

Paul Morgan is the current chairman of Wakatū Incorporation and led the evolution of Kono NZ LLP, a subsidiary company he also chairs. Paul was previously the CEO of FOMA for 20 years and has held many executive positions and directorships.

Hon. Dover Samuels

Hon Dover Samuels was elected as Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau from 1999 – 2005 and was the Minister for Māori affairs from 1999 – 2000. During his time in parliament, Dover contributed to the establishment of Māori television, widening of Te Puni Kōkiri to include Māori economic development and strengthening of Māori tourism.

Riki Ellison

Riki Ellison has held Senior and executive management roles including as Pouwhakarae for Greater Wellington City Council, Tumuaki for Ministry for the Environment, Director for Ngāi Tahu Development Corporation. Riki was also private secretary for the Minister for the Environment, and a technical advisor for the freshwater iwi leaders group.