Tumu Whakarae

Poia Rewi
Ngāti Manawa, Tūhoe, Te Arawa, Ngāti Whare, Tūwharetoa

Poia is renowned for his work in Māori language revitalisation, whaikōrero and research. His main areas of research and teaching and his community engagement involve Māori language, culture, education and performing arts and exemplify the innate knowledge he brings to this role. He is the Principal Investigator on the three-year Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Pae Tawhiti initiative on te reo me ngā tikanga Māori platform, which investigates normalising the Māori language and culture and collectivising research in these areas. Poia joined Te Mātāwai as Tumu Whakarae in July 2020.


Investment Manager

Hana Buchanan
Taranaki iwi, Te Ātiawa, Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika

Hana joined Te Mātāwai in January 2022, and brings a passion for te reo Māori, and a broad range of professional skills and experiences. She has previously worked in the public service, for her iwi, as an independent consultant and a teacher.  Committed to life-long learning, Hana’s qualifications include a Diploma in Te Pīnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi; a Master of Arts (Linguistics); a Bachelor of Arts (Literature and Education); and a Diploma of Teaching.


Chief Advisor

Ria Tomoana
Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Pāhauwera, Te Āti Awa ki te Upoko o te Ika

Ria joined Te Mātawai in May 2019. She has a Master of Applied Linguistics from Victoria University of Wellington and extensive experience in Māori language research and revitalisation. She has provided consultancy services and held senior positions with Te Paepae Arahi Trust, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, Whitireia and Te Puni Kōkiri.


Research Manager

Mikaia Leach
Ngāti Konohi, Ngāti Ira, Ngāti Porou 

Ko Whangara te pūtahitanga o te tangata, ko Whangara te pārekereke o te kōrero! 

Mikaia was born and raised in Whangara and Mangatuna and had the honour of being taught te reo Māori and tikanga Māori by her whānau, hapū and iwi. She is a graduate of kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa Māori and Te Herenga Waka Marae – Victoria University of Wellington. Her work choices have seen her consciously develop her passions by engaging in roles as a research assistant, intern, Māori language and kapa haka tutor, presenter, performer, cultural ambassador, community researcher, policy analyst, and senior research analyst. Additionally she has had roles in governance and management, focusing on kaupapa Māori research and evaluation with the hope of discovering, exploring and revealing the many unique layers of te reo Māori revitalisation. 


Corporate Manager

Brylee Haapu

Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Te Whatuiāpiti, Tainui

Brylee joined Te Mātāwai in March 2021. She brings with her a broad range of accounting, audit, risk and process improvement expertise.

Prior to joining Te Mātāwai, Brylee held a senior position at KPMG providing business advice to private enterprises as well as working with public sector clients providing internal audit, risk and compliance services.

Brylee is a Chartered Accountant and has been a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand for over ten years. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), a Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting and a Diploma in Te Aupikitanga ki te reo Kairangi.

Brylee is passionate about te reo Māori and began learning as an adult. Her and her husband are committed to raising their tamariki with te reo Māori as their first language.