Our people | our whānau

(L-R: Melanie Mark-Shadbolt, Dr Nick Waipara and Dr Amanda Black)

Mei kore ake koutou hei whakaruruhau

i te kākano o tēnei kaupapa, kia tupu, kia whānake.

We are fortunate to have you nurturing the seed that is this vision, 

so it would grow and strengthen.

Te Tira Whakamātaki was originally known as the Māori Biosecurity Network.  It was established in 2015 through funding from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE).  Designed to connect Māori communities aimed at protecting Aotearoa’s biological resources from biosecurity risks & threats, we were gifted our current name in 2016 by Matua Kevin Prime.

Te Tira Whakamātaki would like to acknowledge those who helped establish this network:  

Glenice Paine, Dr Nick Roskruge, Dr James Ataria, Dr Nick Waipara,

Dr Amanda Black, Thomas (Tame) Malcolm,  Melanie Mark-Shadbolt,

Dr Shaun Ogilvie, Kiri Hurunui and Alby Marsh

The network was created by social scientist Melanie Mark-Shadbolt, plant pathologist Dr Nick Waipara and soil scientist Dr Amanda Black after identifying benefits for mātauranga Māori principles to be applied in tandem with a modern scientific approach for the protection of our native species and bush.

Described as thought-leaders in the science sector, the accomplishments of the team were quickly acknowledged, receiving several awards including the inaugural Dave Galloway Award in 2016, which recognises innovation in the biosecurity sector.  From there, the demand for the application of traditional Māori principles in environmental management has grown exponentially, both in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally, as the demand for indigenous knowledge is increasingly respected.

Having started in the areas of biological science, protecting Aotearoa’s taonga species and natural heritage, Te Tira Whakamātaki Foundation has evolved into the areas of advocacy, education and wellbeing.

Te Tira Whakamātaki Foundation Trustees

Melanie Mark-Shadbolt

CEO | Co-founder | Trustee

Dr Nick Waipara

Co-founder | Trustee

Dr Amanda Black

Co-founder |Trustee

Te Tira Whakamātaki Limited Directors

Melanie Mark-Shadbolt

CEO | Director

Alby Marsh


Kiri Hurunui


Shaun Neeley


Te Tira Whakamātaki Foundation
Administration Staff

Shinae Terekia

Assistant to Matua Kevin Prime

Melissa Berry

Executive Assistant to the CEO

Tame Malcolm

Operations Manager

Caroline Whittaker

Comms & Engagement Mgr