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Our Board

The Whai Rawa Limited Board is led by experienced company director and insolvency expert Michael Stiassny.

Michael Stiassny

Board Chair
As one of New Zealand’s most respected directors, Michael is a strong advocate for Māori development and has strived to bring about positive and lasting change for the hapū since joining as Chair in 2013.

His passion for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei goes well beyond his position as Chair, and his influence on Whai Rawa has led to both growth for the organisation and the professional development of his fellow directors. A key focus for Michael has been the need to prepare Whai Rawa for succession.

A former president and current Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FInstD), Michael is also a chartered accountant, a lawyer, and a director for several public and private companies. He served on the board for Vector Limited for 16 years and is currently a chairman for Tower Limited.

More recently, Michael was appointed as a member of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) Board

Ngarimu Blair

Trust Representative Director
Named the Inaugural Emerging Māori Business Leader by the Auckland University’s Business School, Ngarimu Blair is the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust representative for Whai Rawa.

A geographer, with over 15 years’ experience in advancing a range of iwi issues in Auckland City, he is regularly called upon by the media and political influencers.

Ngarimu is a Director for Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, as well as Member of the Board of Trustees at Sir Peter Blake Trust, on the Board of the National Science Challenge, and Chair of the Settlement Protection Team.

He is passionate about Auckland tribal histories, kaitiakitanga, and taking care of our environment for a better New Zealand.

Precious Clark

Whanau Director
Utilising her impressive background in law and Māori studies, Precious Clark is the Managing Director of Maurea Consulting Ltd, an organisation that shares Māori culture globally so that it shapes and informs a modern world. She is also the creator of Te Kaa, a unique Māori cultural competency training programme that aims to bring the Māori culture to a business environment.

Precious is a Director of the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board, Chair of the Auckland War Memorial Museum Taumata-a-Iwi, a Trustee of Foundation North, and a past Director of the Independent Māori Statutory Board and the Centre for Social Impact.

She is also a Member of the Institute of Directors, a Member of the National Māori Lawyers Association and a graduate of the Global Women Breakthrough Leaders programme.

Julia Steenson

Whānau Director
Julia Steenson (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Māhuta) was appointed to Whai Rawa in June 2017 and is a passionate business woman with a background in law, finance, and e-commerce.

Her commitment to making legal services more accessible to the public led to her founding the tech startup Ture.co.nz, an online platform that provides a place for the public to connect with New Zealand lawyers. She also produces a podcast called NZFREELAW.

In addition to her contributions in New Zealand, Julia is also making her mark internationally. In 2017, Julia led the development of a LEARNX Impact Award winning online risk management programme. She also presented, as General Counsel for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, on intellectual property at the World Indigenous People Conference in Toronto.

She is Chair for the board of Kia Puawai Limited.

Future Directors

One of the most rewarding aspects of Whai Rawa’s role is the Future Director programme. Our Future Director programme has gone from strength to strength, allowing the future of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to put themselves forward for the opportunity to sit alongside the Whai Rawa Board for a term of two years. Dane Grey finished his term as Whai Rawa’s inaugural future director in June 2017, after which we made two further appointments – Stacey Perillo and Te Arepa Morehu. The current Future Directors are Faiz Salim and Otene Hopa, read more about Faiz and Otene here.

Otene Hopa

Otene, Maori Advisor, an orator in both Te Reo Māori and English, and renowned kapa haka exponent, is thrilled to be given the opportunity to further his connection with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and share whakaaro (ideas) that explore a range of possibilities for the betterment of the hapū.

Raised in Whangārei, Otene believes this role allows him to reconnect to his Ōrākei taha. Otene looks forward to spending more time at the papakāinga while learning about the commercial interests of the hapū and its extensive property portfolio.

Faiz Salim

Faiz, a Project Manager in Civil Engineering, sees this role as a chance to sit alongside leaders in the industry and get a sense of how decisions are made that impact whānau.

Faiz looks forward to deepening his understanding of governance and how that differs from operations management.

We will regularly check in with Faiz and Otene so we can follow their two-year journey.

Former Future Directors 2017 - 2019

Stacey Perillo

Stacey had little prior exposure to governance but after ten years in corporate roles she was familiar with formal commercial environments. With a degree in business and marketing, Stacey has forged a career in digital media and is currently Senior Commercial Product Manager at Fairfax Media.

For Stacey, whose father grew up on Kitemoana Street, the chance to gain valuable boardroom exposure at a young age is an honour.

Te Arepa Morehu

As a senior business analyst for Spark, Te Arepa, who is 32, already had some previous exposure to governance but “on the other side of the fence” in his dealings with Spark’s executive team.

With his technical background and degree in software development, Te Arepa is already searching for where he can offer his input and contribute to the future growth of the hapū.

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