Te Arawa Māngainui


The Trust is governed by 6 Trustees of whom the General Manager directly reports to. The current Chair is Don Bennett and our Vice Chair is Colleen Neville.

Kia wehi ki te paepae a Houmaitawhiti!

One must respect the sacred threshold of Houmaitawhiti!

This whakatāuki refers to the importance of recognsiing our ancestors and the connection to the land that weaves us as Te Arawa together.

Don Bennett


Don Bennett received the Insignia of a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and the community in 2010. This is a testament of his commitment and involvement in the Te Arawa community, which extends over 15 years.

He continues to contribute as trustee on a number of land trusts, and is Chairperson of Mana Social Services and Te Reo Irirangi o Te Arawa.

Sir Toby Curtis


Sir Toby Curtis is a well known koeke and has held many academic roles in lecturing, research, and administration within tertiary education fields.

He has participated on a number of Boards such as the originating Te Arawa Trust Board, various lands trusts, and is currently the inaugural Chair of Te Arawa Lakes Trust Board in addition to his role as trustee for Te Reo Irirangi O Te Arawa.

Dr Cathy Dewes


Dr Dewes is recognised for Maori language leadership and was awarded the 2012 Maori Language Awards. Her contributions have been recognised through the receipt of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2011. Dr Dewes is principal of total-immersion school Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ruamata. She's been a leader in Maori education for more than 4 1/2 decades. She consistently asserts her passion toward the reclamation of Maori language for current and future generations.


Colleen Neville

Vice Chair

Colleen Neville, is the Chief Financial officer for Te Arawa Group Holdings Ltd, and is actively involved on a number of Te Arawa Trusts, including commercial organisations, and recently returned from short term study at Stanford University. Colleen continues in her role as Vice Chair benefiting Te Reo Irirangi o Te Arawa through sharing her knowledge and vast experience in trusteeship across a wide range of interests.


Sita Emery


Sita, also known as Wynsome is an iconic Country music artist, having recently been recognised in the 2013 NZ Country Entertainer of the Year Awards.

As Trustee for Te Reo Iririangi O Te Arawa, Sita shares her passion and interest for music, has expansive industry networks and is a strong supporter toward the production and the continuous growth of Maori entertainment.


Dr Joe Malcolm


Dr Malcolm was introduced to iwi affairs at an early age.  His long standing involvement and leadership on land trusts, Treaty settlement negotiations, and education is driven by a passion to ensure Te Arawa generations enjoy the benefit from their assets, and have access to good education. His efforts were recognised in 2009, where he received a New Zealand Order of Merit.  He has also worked for the Ministry of Culture and Heritage with a specific focus on translations