Te Ohu Whakaita was first established in 2009, and brought together a number of organisations across the Waikato region to raise awareness around the Celebration of Matariki, the Māori New Year. In 2012, the group re-established itself, forming a Matariki ki Waikato Working Group who developed a Calendar of Events and a platform to promote these Matariki events that were occurring within the Waikato region. Te Ohu Whakaita have established as a Charitable Trust, confirming its strategic direction and key goals. Moving forward Te Ohu Whakaita Trust are taking expressions of interest from motivated and enthusiastic people who would like to join the inaugural Board to assist with this important kaupapa. If you are interested in becoming a trustee for Te Ohu Whakaita Trust please email us on [email protected]
- Marleina RukaTrustee / ChairpersonRaukawa ki Te Kaokaoroa o Patatere rātou ko Te Aupouri, Ko Te RarawaMarleina RukaTrustee / Chairperson
Chairperson of Te Ohu Whakaita, Vice-President of the Friends of the Hamilton Gardens and a Matariki Ki Waikato representative, Marleina’s role in all three groups is in relationship building across ages and cultures to help build stronger communities.
Marleina is a self-motivated and proactive person who thrives on a challenge and new opportunities. Integrity, reliability and loyalty are traits she values.
As a graduate from the University of Waikato with a background in Communications and Public Relations she has a proven ability to work in a team environment and to motivate and lead teams to success.
Te Ohu Whakaita is a Charitable Trust with a vision to increase the public’s appreciation of Māori culture in the Waikato region. Marleina believes one way to do this, is to emphasise the cultural significance of Matariki in order to grow the Māori New Year festival in Hamilton, which she is honoured to be apart of.
- Maree MillsTrustee / SecretaryNgāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Hine, English, ScottishMaree MillsTrustee / Secretary
Born and bred in the Waikato, Maree joined Te Ohu Whakaita after taking on the position as Curator Tangata Whenua at Te Whare Taonga o Waikato in 2017.
From 2013 she worked at Auckland Council to project lead, and author the regions first Arts and Culture Strategy - Toi Whītiki.
Prior to this she implemented a kaupapa Māori operating policy in the role of Director at Hastings City Art Gallery in Heretaunga. Maree also lectured at the University of Waikato.
As a foundation member of Nga Aho, she is committed to growing Māori visibility in Kirikiriroa and sees the growth of our Matariki Festival and the vision of Te Ohu Whakaita as vital.
- Ani NockTrustee / TreasurerNgāti Maniapoto, Ngāti KuriAni NockTrustee / Treasurer
Ani has been involved in Matariki ki Waikato for over 4 years, through her role at Hamilton City Council where she works as a Community Advisor.
Ani has been with Hamilton City Council since 2008 as part of the Social Development team where her current role is to lead the focus area of Tangata Whenua, which focuses on supporting various Māori Projects and organisations.
Ani is part of the working group that leads one of the signature events, Matariki in the City.
Ani has a large amount of experience in event management where she has led a range of community events.
Ani also has a background in youth work and a wide range of knowledge in the sports sector.
- Era PeihopaTrusteeNgāti Hine a HineamaruEra PeihopaTrustee
Era’s involvement in the festival has been driven by a passion to celebrate Māoritanga across our communities.
As a trustee of Te Ohu Whakaita, Era is committed to supporting the growth of this regional festival believing it is an important platform to connect people, share our unique worldview and values through mahi toi, wānanga and events.
Previously, Era has supported the festival through her mahi as an arts advisor at Creative Waikato by way of coordination and marketing.
Era is excited to collaborate with the many rōpū and organisations that weave together activation for the Matariki kaupapa, and continuing the mahi of those who started this in 2009.
- Te Rangi MartellTrusteeWaikato, Ngai Tai, Whakatohea, Te Whanau-a-Apanui me Kai TahuTe Rangi MartellTrustee
Before becoming a Trustee for Te Ohu Whakaita Te Rangi has been a key part of a number of initiatives and events such as Matariki in the City working alongside Hamilton City Council Libraries, Entertainment Suite and Mareikura Creations.
Te Rangi is passionate about Māori Art and Culture and believes that by being apart of Te Ohu Whakaita Trust she can be apart of providing the platform to connect with Iwi, Hapu, ngā Kura, Nga Whare Wānanga, ethnic and regional communities and all our Marae.
- Jane StevensTrusteeNgai Tahu, Ngāti ToaJane StevensTrustee
Jane grew up in Te Wai Pounamu, moving to Ngāruawaahia with her whānau 22 years ago. She has a strong community development background working in Hamilton and around the Waikato rohe for 17 years.
She now manages Te Whare Toi o Ngāruawaahia - Twin Rivers Community Art Centre, a group that has a focus on whānau ora, community participation, mahi toi and making creative expression accessible to everyone. The Centre has been running Matariki events since 2014 with a focus on tamariki and whānau.
Jane believes that celebrating our cultural identity is vital to building healthy, vibrant, resilient whānau, hapu, iwi and our wider communities.
Jane wants to contribute to Te Ohu Whakaita mahi to grow and embed Matariki celebrations around the rohe.