Three new graduates are set to join Te Tumu Paeroa next year as the first cohort in its new graduate programme, Taupae Pia.

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The programme aims to develop excellence in Māori land administration, opening up new life-long career pathways for rangatahi so they can have a role in protecting and enhancing whenua Māori for generations to come.

Māori Trustee, Dr Charlotte Severne, said she’s excited to be welcoming the graduates “The skills, interests and experiences they are bringing into our organisation is inspiring, ka whakarauika tātou ki raro i te korowai manaaki o Te Tumu Paeroa, tauawhi ai ngā whenua o ngā tīpuna.”

Graduates Hinerangi Mahara, Mihikeita Ngata and Queenisha Davis will join Te Tumu Paeroa in February for the 12-month programme where they will be mentored by Pou Tikanga, Te Hāmua Nikora.

“We received nearly 40 applications from a number of talented rangatahi. All of whom have a passion for whenua Māori.  It's positive to see our people wanting to develop their whenua Māori administration capability, having these skills valued and recognised in our communities is key to future sustainability of whenua Māori,” says Dr Severne.  

Each of the graduates will undertake two 6-month rotations with different business units.  The intention is to allow the graduates to engage with the lifecycle of the business across the range of responsibilities the Māori Trustee has, then they will work in an area most aligned with their interests for the future. 

Queenisha (Te Arawa, Tūwharetoa, Pare Hauraki-Pare Waikato, Ngāti Apa), who has an Accounting degree, says she is looking forward to gaining rich experiences and knowledge to help ensure the protection of whenua as taonga tuku iho.

Hinerangi (Waikato (Ngaati Mahuta, Ngaati te Wehi), Taranaki (Ngaati Moeahu, Te Atiawa (Otaraua), Ngāti Ruanui) is interested in gaining first-hand experience about the mechanisms of Māori land administration. “I’m looking forward to being able to take my kete maatauranga back to benefit my iwi, hapū and whānau one day.”

The challenges of COVID-19 brought Mihikeita (Ngāti Porou, Ngāiterangi, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Tahu) home to Aotearoa from an internship in New York. But she sees this opportunity as a positive one and says one thing that has remained constant and unwavering is the commitment she feels to her whānau, hapū and wider community.

During their time with the organisation, Te Hāmua will tautoko them as they work on a specific initiative designed to develop their capability and help build new transferable skills.

Taupae Pia was launched in July to help aspiring young leaders develop skills for the wider benefit of Māori.

The graduates will be welcomed to Te Tumu Paeroa with a whakatau, attended by their whānau, in Te Whanganui-a-Tara on 1st February. 


Pictured left to right: Hinerangi Mahara, Mihikeita Ngata and Queenisha Davis