Our Team

Te Mātāwai has a team of experienced staff who are passionate about the revitalisation of the Māori language and committed to support the achievement of the strategic direction set by the Board.

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.



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.


Investment Manager

Nate Brabender

Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Ruapani

Nate is a dedicated individual driven by the values of manaakitanga and a strong sense of service.
Raised by his grandparents and later in his teen years by a solo mum, he observed and learned determination and how to serve whānau from an early age.

"All things to all people" - Is Nate's attitude, though his role may say Investment Manager, Nate enjoys serving his people in as many was as he can. With a background in team management and development, combined with studies in Sustainable Investment at Harvard Business School, Nate brings a unique skill set to his role and to Te Mātāwai.

One of Nate's greatest achievements was empowering leaders to lead by implementing team development strategy to take an NGO from a team of 230 individuals and growing it to 750 individuals increasing capacity and productivity by $2m a year.

Joining Te Mātāwai in 2020 from Te Amokura Consultants as a contractor Nate soon fell in love with the kaupapa and was inspired by whānau revitalising te reo Māori in their kāinga, hapori and iwi. Nate then joined full-time where his role was to refine the investment program and the investment team's capacity and capability using his skills in team management and development. Nate is also passionate about his own te reo Māori journey with his whānau, actively implementing a whānau language plan with his wife Chelina (Ngāti Welsh) to raise their future tamariki fully immersed in te reo Māori, ensuring the preservation of their cultural heritage.

"Anei tātou nā ko te pō: anā tātou nā he rā ki tua - here affliction grips us, yonder is relief. We are in this for the long-haul e te whānau, though we are at critical state today, I truly believe kei te ūkaipō haere tō tātou reo, mā ngā whānau, ngā hapori māori me ngā iwi tō tātou reo e kawe ki te karamatamata o te rākau taumatua. Mā tātou anō te reo e whakatō ki ōna whenua haumako”



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.