Kaimahi Kōrero: Kim Grenfell, Whai Rawa General Counsel


We had a kōrero with Kim Grenfell, General Counsel for Whai Rawa. Kim has been instrumental in preparing all the legal documents for our Hawaiki development and facilitating whanau with the home purchasing process. Kim oversees all the transactions and legal requirements for Whai Rawa. Kim recently joined Te Pou Whakairo, the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Group Kapa Haka rōpu that performed at the Tāmaki Kapa Haka Regionals.

She shares her experiences and feelings about performing kapa haka for the first time:

Tell us about your background and how it led you to a role at Whai Rawa.

I am a corporate lawyer. I worked in private practice in New Zealand and overseas before moving into business legal roles.

I then took a career break for family reasons and was just planning to get back into the workforce when I started a 2-month contract to assist Whai Rawa whilethey recruited a General Counsel.

I applied for the role and was thrilled to come on board permanently almost 2 years ago.

You’ve never performed kapa haka before and took to the stage at the Tamaki Regional Kapa Haka competition, how did that come about?

The call went out from Bucky (Monique Maihi) at the Trust to all kaimahi to get involved and I thought I’d attend the first practice to help me learn Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei waiata (without realising how much was involved).

Then I just took a deep breath and kept turning up. Two weeks later, I was on stage with the ropu.

How has this experience contributed to your mahi?

It’s definitely helped to connect with more whānau. Often I am emailing people but it was good to put names to faces, and see how everyone is connected. It was a great way to get to know so many kaimahi outside of Whai Rawa too.

What is an interesting fact about you?

Before the kapa haka, the last time I stepped outside my comfort zone was getting my HV licence so I could drive a horse truck to take my daughter around the motu to equestrian shows.

Where is your favourite place in Aotearoa?

Sitting on the deck of my whanau’s bach at Mount Maunganui (lots of holiday memories)

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

If you’re going to do something, do it well.