Te Taiawatea (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou, Waikato oku) is passionate about empowering whānau/hapū led environmental policy and research, centring whakapapa to te taiao while remedying the violent impacts of settler colonialism.
Te Taiawatea studied a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Marine Biology and a Master of Conservation Biology and has gained professional experience through working at all levels: in an international environmental organisation (IUCN), within Government (the Environmental Protection Authority) and more recently, prior to TTW, at the Māori organisation Te Ohu Kaimoana. Te Taiawatea’s area of focus is Indigenous-led environmental policy and research within the moana, ki uta ki tai.
Te Taiawatea joined Te Tira Whakamātaki because, as she says, TTW is unapologetically ‘by Indigenous for Indigenous’ and that its team provides an opportunity to transform environmental policy without the bureaucracy. Te Taiawatea’s role of Policy Manager enables her to focus on and support the aspirations of Māori and their relationship with te taiao.